Today, one year ago, I discovered the lump that would change my life and Tom’s for the next year. It was a playoff football game I was watching on TV when I jumped off the couch, upset at a call made on the field, crossed my arms and felt the scary lump. I can’t remember what teams were playing, but because of what I considered a bad call, I found that lump. My oncologist discovered there were two lumps, not just one and there were two lesions on my liver. This is Stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer which isn’t something you want to be diagnosed with. Today, one year later, after a very aggressive treatment regimen, I am in remission. My oncologist told me that only 1 in 5 patients with my diagnosis reach remission.
What have I learned over the past year?
- Always wear lipstick
- . Find an Oncologist with a sense of humor. It helps.
- Expect the unexpected.
- You will be stunned at the number of friends you have.
- When your friends set up a meal train for you, tell them chicken noodle soup is your least favorite dish, because if you don’t, by the end of the meal train it will be.
- Tillamook Salted Caramel Toffee Gelato is worth every single calorie.
- It’s really hard not to have hair and you will be stunned at how big your ears are.
- A scary cancer diagnosis is a great motivator. After thinking about and putting it off for several years, I wrote our family cookbook and memoir.
- Staying positive is essential.
- Staying active is essential.
- Make cookies for the nurses, they will think you are a superhero.
- I really missed wine.
- Everyone needs a Tom
- Always wear lipstick.
I keep asking myself the NOW WHAT question and the why did I get so lucky question, am I supposed to do something amazing? But I am finding happiness in just the routine things I wasn’t able to enjoy this past year and feeling so grateful to be able to do them. I do want to make some changes, which I will probably write about, but I am a changed person for sure. What that will look like this coming year, I will find out!