Thursday, October 10, 2013

Where are the dancing elephants?

A radiation machine. Yep, it is as big as it looks.

There wasn’t a parade. There weren’t fireworks. There wasn’t even a hint of dancing elephants anywhere in the vicinity. But it doesn’t matter. Even without a drum line present to witness the occasion, as of 2:00 pm today, I walked out of the cancer ward, done with active treatment for stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. 18 weeks of chemotherapy, 28 radiation doses (with the resulting radiation burns), and one massive surgery completed. Boo yah. 

At some point this afternoon, the universe quietly handed me back the keys to my life. Cancer is no longer in the driver’s seat dictating exactly what I can and cannot do. Can I leave the state now? Yep, I no longer have to be at the hospital every single day for treatment. Can I start thinking about bringing my hairdryer and flat iron out of retirement? Oh, you better believe it.  Could I go a whole day without scrubbing my hands with Purell for the slight chance I am in the vicinity of someone with the sniffles? Absolutely. Catching a cold won’t mean possible hospitalization anymore, it would just mean an excuse to take a hefty dose of Nyquil at night (Nyquil sleep is great sleep). 

The door everyone hides behind while I get treatment
This is a big deal. It is a wonderful, amazing, scary, crazy big deal. I count myself a million times lucky to have a good prognosis right now. I'm fully aware many people don't come out of this. This feels like a second chance. That kind of thing, if you are smart, changes your life forever for the better. 

So, what’s next? What do you do with yourself after you’ve had your life run by the big C for a whole year and all of the sudden you are master and commander of your own body again? What do you do? I'm not sure yet. All I can tell you it is gonna be big. And it is gonna start with a party. Now if I can just raise enough money for some elephants…