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Two Years Later

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

By Stephanie

Less than 24 hours after this amazing women did a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node removal she delivered the news that I was now officially cancer free!

March 1,2019

Yesterday I celebrated 2 years of being cancer free. It is extremely weird to type that. I’m not where I thought I would be; yet I am at the same time. There are more surprises now then I thought there would be this far out.

First my life is somewhat back to normal. Will it ever be how it was before cancer? No. Is that a bad thing? No! While my hubby is back to work, kids are back in school, and I’m back to doing mom and wife duty COVID is still happening. I thought by now I would be going out with friends and having play dates, be back at work, and having a little bit more me time to center and focus. However with COVID I have had to shift and change my plans as many others have had to too. I’m also still dealing with side effects from endocrine therapy meds and Zoladex shots. They do affect my daily life. Bone pain, fatigue, insomnia, just to name a few can wreck havoc on me from day-to-day. Still I’m trying to find a way to minimize these side effects through altering my eating and exercising habits. If I find the magic combination I’ll let ya know.

Another thing I thought would be different is the way I felt after they said those magic words. After I was declared “cancer free” I still had to do 33 rounds of radiation. The way I thought I would feel when these words were said to me was not how I felt. I thought when they said them I would be done with treatment not half way through with surgeries still ahead. I was anger and mad at how this had played out. I wanted to celebrate when those words were said, pop champagne and party, not go and have my skin burned everyday. I was anger for a long time and once radiation was over I was just plan exhausted.

Yet here I am two years later, unbelievably thankful to be on this side and not have to deal with chemo, radiation and a majority of my surgeries. However it isn’t as easy as I thought. Cancer is still present in my life. I still have those thoughts from time to time. “What if it comes back? How much time do I really have left? Do I have cancer right now?” Its as if someone pulled out the countdown timer of my life and I’m still looking at it reminded my days are numbered and I need to make the best and most of them. This isn’t a bad thing though. I realized this not long ago. It just shows me to stay focused on what matters and not the grind over everyday life we live in. If something isn’t making you happy change it! This is your life. You should be living it for you!

Last I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy in the small moments in everyday life. I am able to slow down and take in what I took for granted before. As a family we can finally make plans for trips and vacations and not have to worry about upcoming treatments or surgeries. The sense of freedom that gives my family and myself is wonderful!

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know some things.

1. If cancer does happen again I can beat it again. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. I get the choice of how I react no one else.

2. Your health is a gift. Don’t take it for granted.

3. Remember life is constantly changing NOTHING last forever. Enjoy the ride and if life gives you lemons squeeze the crap out of them and make lemonade!

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