Ok, you may detect a hint of irony. I have long hated the word ‘Cancerversary.’ First of all, it doesn’t go particularly well with the word ‘happy,’ which should be reserved for things like holidays and families and birthdays and cake. ‘Cancerversary’ is up there with ‘Your cancer journey’ and ‘Your battle with cancer’ in my Most Disliked Cancer Terminology book, even though I’m guilty of using some of these myself. It’s also perhaps because I’m a grammar and spelling Nazi that I hate the adding of ‘-versary’ onto anything that isn’t ‘anni,’ but don’t get me started on that.
Hating aside, today is the anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I would like to say it was the worst day of my life, but the truth is there were far worse days to come. A year ago today, I was the naive Laura who said things like “Ah, it’s just like breaking a leg” and “I’ll be running marathons again by the end of the year.” Pah! Little did I know what was ahead of me.
I survived. And the fact is, I’m doing wonderfully. I haven’t quite got the ‘One-year all-clear’ yet because I’m still waiting for my mammogram and MRI scan, but the important thing is I feel healthier and happier than I did a year ago.
As proof, here is a photo of me looking suitably content on a beach in Ireland last week (yes, I did just say “content,” “beach” and “Ireland” in the same sentence – we were truly blessed with the weather.)
And, while I may not have fulfilled my slightly farfetched hopes of running marathons by the end of 2012, I did manage to climb to the very top of this rather sizeable mountain in Ireland last week and am making significant progress training for the half marathon I’m going to attempt in October.
Considering there were times during chemo when I couldn’t stand on my feet long enough to even brush my teeth, I’d say I’ve come a pretty long way. So there!
Rejoicing aside though, I am very aware the ‘cancer journey’ (for want of a better phrase) doesn’t end here. Life goes on for me, but I’m well aware not everyone is so ‘lucky,’ which is why we’ve got to continue spreading the message and encouraging early detection. I’m very proud to have joined forces with Coppafeel!’s Boobettes and will be giving my first breast-cancer awareness talk to the boys and girls of Britain next month. (More on this later).
So… while I may not exactly love the phrase ‘Happy Cancerversary,’ I’m going to celebrate anyway, because I’m alive and well and that’s good enough for me!