Today I go into UCLA for my one year post-chemo check-up. My final chemo treatment was April 30, 2009. In many ways, it’s hard to believe it’s already a year in the past and in other ways it seems almost like it never happened. I seemed to have moved far away–emotionally/ mentally–from being “Cancer Girl.”
Here are some ways in which I know I have moved on:
* I’m driving into UCLA today by myself. In the last year and a half of doctor’s appointments, this will be the first one I’ve gone to without Chris. He’s really busy these days with a lot of wonderful things and there is no reason he has to give up an afternoon to be my health escort anymore. Besides, the good and great Dr. Karam will be there.
* I like my hair now. (See photo; Okay, I was on my own…self photos are darned hard to do!).
* I had a phone conversation with a business associate the other day wherein he told me he had moved from “sympathetic” to “empathetic” with my “recent difficulties.” I struggled to figure out what he meant and assumed he meant “divorce” (yeah, even though mine was over 6 years ago) and was trying to tell me his wife left him or some such. But no, he meant he’d been diagnosed with cancer recently. I had a moment of “I don’t have cancer; what does he mean?” And had to actually remember that I did indeed have cancer last year!
* The first blogs I read on my blog list are no longer the cancer blogs. I still check them, because I feel oddly that I’ve gotten to know these virtual “friends” and I want to know how they are doing, but I no longer read for information or cancer camaraderie (I am occasionally reminded that I indeed had “cancer-lite” when I read what others have gone through and are still going through). I read the funny, single-chick blogs, the writing blogs, and the food and wine blogs first now.
* I forget to blog. There was a time when this blog was a daily sort of lifeline for me. Now, a week goes by and I realize I haven’t blogged at all. Thanks for hanging in there those two of you who might still be reading the blog at all.
I haven’t completely moved away from “the whole cancer thing.” Chris and I both are still very much involved in The Pink Ribbon Place and in fact this Saturday is the sold-out Pink Carpet Premier event. 400 folks bought tickets at $50 a piece to an exclusive showing of Sex and the City 2 at a local theater. Guests will walk the Pink Carpet in front of a step and repeat banner of sponsor logos, while the local paparazzi snap photos and Chris plays the “what are you wearing” Ryan Seacrest role (I’ll be playing Joan Rivers, I’m sure), then they’ll head into the theater to enjoy a fruit and chocolate and other goodies food spread, a “swag bag” (absolutely stuffed with wonderful things from our many sponsors) and get a raffle ticket for “Samantha’s Super Swag bag” (which has a designer purse, perfume, the use of an S type Jaguar for a weekend, dinner certificates, make-up, hair products, a fresh-water pearl bracelet, and allllllllll sorts of great stuff!). After the movie, there’s an exclusive after-party at a local restaurant and bar. Another sponsor is putting on a tequila tasting and the bar will have SATC2 themed drinks (I’m guessing that means Cosmos!). But I have to say, this has been mostly Chris’s thing. He and his friend Steve Holquin have done an amazing job of putting this whole thing together–that part of the reason Chris can’t go with me to UCLA today. Too much work to do!
I’m no longer Cancer Girl and I’m happy to say I don’t think about it much at all anymore. Breast cancer is now just a part of my history. I am glad to be involved in things like the Pink Ribbon Place and I’m looking forward to this event–just as me. Not as Cancer Girl. I think it’s kind of a great way to celebrate my one-year post-chemo anniversary, don’t you?
(Is this one any better? I’m kinda smirking here–please don’t take it personally–again, it’s that self photo thing.)