Today (November 30) is my “new birthday.” Three years ago today, I had a massive surgery at MD Anderson to remove the remaining cancer tumor (appendiceal adenocarcinoma) in my abdomen that six months of weekly chemo had reduced to a pulp.
None of the doctors were certain how the surgery would turn out but it went well. I even escaped the need for the HIPEC and was declared to have “no evidence of disease (NED)!” Since then, my visits to MDA for checkup scans have moved from 3-month to 6-month intervals, giving me (and my family) peace of mind with each clean scan and NED result.
Before my surgery in late 2010, I wasn’t sure that I would make it this far. I can’t believe it’s been three years.
Looking back, I’ve been blessed to have moments like these:
- Waking up everyday and having my cup of coffee. It seems so insignificant and joyful at the same time.
- Watching my kids grow. Laughing, crying and simply being there for them, through both the chaotic and mundane times.
- Celebrating three wedding anniversaries with my husband.
- Being able to support my mom in her cancer journey, and the bittersweet mommy/daughter CT scan cancer checkups at MDA.
- Laughing and crying with my girlfriends, and being able to reciprocate the tender care they’d given me.
- Getting to know and learn from new friends.
- Sticking my toes in the sand in the Outer Banks with my brothers’ families.
- Exhaling in Taos one summer, watching my kids and dog befriend “Dolly” the Llama.
- Having the privilege to search for my place in the universe.
So a big happy 3rd “New Birthday” to me!