Notes From Supergirl

My Diary from the Trenches

2 Years and Still Here!


It is funny that June 1, 2012 came and went and it wasn’t until today that I realized it has been 2 years since I began this journey! My oversight of the passing of the date should give you a sense of how little I think about cancer these days, which is awesome. It is obviously still very much a part of my life, but I no longer focus on or think about the days as I used to. I am in the nebulous aftermath of the transplant and there is no definitive finish line and nothing left to do but live and hope. I’ll take it.

There are so many joyous things that I feel these days mixed in with a lot of junk and negativity that are partially from normal life and partially from being a cancer survivor. When I start to hit a lull, I’ve learned to pick myself up a little faster and I’ve learned to turn more quickly to yoga or running or meditation or good friends as a way of reminding myself that nothing is worth fretting over, as long as it’s not cancer. So for this two-year post, I thought I would write one of my trademark lists as a reminder to myself about how far I’ve come and how blessed I am. It is a way of expressing enormous gratitude to the universe and my friends and family for helping me get here. And hopefully some inspiration for others on their journey to never give up hope. It does get better.

In preparing today’s list, I thought I would go back and reread my very first post on Day 1, June 1, 2010. I have to say I was surprised by what I read because I would have expected some scary, sad details, but instead this is the last part of that short post:

So rather than give you the gory details of Day 1, I’m leaving you with the top 5 positive things I can say about this experience … so far:

1. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I have received from friends and family. With this team behind me, it makes it easy to get up everyday and fight. I can honestly say that I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world – my beautiful, healthy children; my loving family and my amazing friends. These are gifts that will last forever, long after this hiccup has passed.

2. I’m facing one of my greatest fears – and surviving. I’ve always had a fear of doing things for fear of getting hurt or sick or dying. They always say fears like this are really a fear of living. It is a gift to be able to face this fear early enough that I will make everyday forward a day of living fully.

3. I’ll be the only one who doesn’t need a wax during bathing suit season (what, too graphic?)

4. I’ve gotten to see a pretty impressive side of my husband. He’s not so bad afterall.

5. A lot of people have already joined the bone marrow registry which means that my bump in the road may save one or more lives in the future. Thank you to everyone who joined!

So here’s the awesome news, guess who will need a wax this bathing suit season??? Not going there, but it made me laugh! And that bone marrow registry probably just saved MY life so big yeah to that! Overall, in rereading my initial thoughts about this whole experience, I can say I feel really good about where I am now. I have learned a lot of lessons and taken a lot of positive out of this negative experience. My world and eyes have opened to things I never saw or understood. And that has made life richer.

I beat myself up now and again when I am not feeling so enlightened. When I am irritated by the kids or in a terrible funk over my hair, I hardly feel like someone at peace with the world. I feel superficial and bitter. The good news is that I recognize it for what it is and I move on. I’ve let go of a lot over the past two years. I don’t let most things anger me and I don’t care about a lot of things if they’re really not that important. I care about my family and friends and I care about the relationships I have with people. I’m disappointed that I don’t look the way I want to or run as fast as I hope to, but I know in time I’ll get there. The greatest thing I’ve learned is that believing in yourself works. I’m not sure it will cure cancer, but it sure makes like richer. It makes the critics look like fools and it makes us feel like superheros when we set our minds to a goal and defeat the odds to reach it. There is nothing more empowering.

So here is today’s list of Top 10 Ways My Life is Better After Surviving Cancer:

1. I faced one of my greatest fears and beat it – nothing else is nearly as scary now.

2. I learned who my true friends are.

3. I have no doubt that the love I have for my children is the reason I’m here today.

4. I believe in myself in a way I never could have before. I don’t doubt my abilities – I know I can accomplish anything with the right mindset and enough hard work.

5. I understand what my mother experienced in her own battle with cancer. I always loved and admired her, but I now have a much deeper level of understanding and am grateful to have inherited her strength.

6. I see a new path for myself in life that is richer, deeper and more fulfilling than what I saw before. I will make a difference.

7. I’m not afraid to be honest anymore, with myself or anyone else.

8. I know what’s important in life. I know that I’ll look even better with a glow on my face than with an expensive pair of shoes (though the occasional splurge is ok ;) )

9. I’ve reached an entirely new spiritual understanding of the world that finally makes sense to me. It’s personal, but it’s peaceful.

10. Getting older feels really great! Each birthday is one to savor instead of look at with dread!!!

There you have it. As for the life of this blog, I plan to keep going until December 2012 – the one year anniversary of my transplant. I would like to start 2013 completely cancer-free and on with the rest of my life!

posted under Part 3 - The Allo-Transplant, The Daily Record | Comments Off