Amazed, grateful and humbled are all words I used to describe my feelings after my November 30, 2010 surgery to remove the remains of my second non-mucinous colonic-type appendiceal adenocarcinoma tumor. After this debulking surgery, I had no evidence of disease (NED) and a new chance at life. As I mentioned in my last post, I am grateful for enjoying my first cancer-free year as of November 30, 2011. So much to be thankful for, right?
But then I was blindsided by overwhelming feelings of sadness, anxiety, pain and loneliness shortly after this first anniversary date. I cried at the drop of a hat, wasn’t able to get anything ready for Christmas, and barely made it to my daughter’s piano recital for our duet. To top it off, I couldn’t even go with the family to pick out the Christmas tree. Instead, I was crying on the couch and feeling overwhelmed. Craziness!
The fact that I had a very brief breast cancer scare on the first anniversary of my life-changing surgery probably started the cascade of emotions that I was going to feel over the next month. Then a couple of appendix cancer folks passed away. And then, ironically, I learned that the one-year anniversary was probably the main culprit. I know the anniversary of a loved one’s death can be very difficult. But the first anniversary of my renewed chance at life? What was there to be sad about?