Yesterday was June first. That means it has been exactly ten months since d-day (longer still since I *knew* what the lump was going to be, but August 1st was the day I received the official word). I don't know if I've ever written about this before, but getting "the call" is something you'll never forget. I had taken the kids roller skating and as soon as I saw my doctor's office number on my caller ID, my heart sank. I remember the nurse practitioner was trying to beat around the bush and sugarcoat it a bit and I didn't want that. I already knew what it was, I just needed her to confirm it. She finally said, "It's not good, hon." Yeah, no kidding. I put on my happy face for the kids until we left the skating rink and didn't break down until I got home to Hubby. That was the day that changed everything.
If I think back on everything I have been through since then, that first day seems like so freaking long ago. I can barely remember what I was like before that day. To say cancer changes a person is an understatement. My emotions were so battered in those first few weeks and I was so fragile....I felt like I woke up hanging on by a thread every single day. However, I've thought about changing the blog to include the days between d-day and my first chemo as kicking cancer's ass days.... because even though I wasn't doing anything treatment-wise yet, in my head and in my heart I was already battening down the hatches and gearing up for battle. But that would mean going back and changing the title of 278 blog posts and I'm just too lazy for that. So today's really 278 + 28 days of KCA.
There are all different theories about when a person is considered a survivor, but one of the more common ideas is to count from the day you were diagnosed. I like that, because surviving cancer is a long, drawn-out war full of daily battles both big and small from the very beginning. Whether I am having to endure an awful treatment or go through yet another test or a major surgery, or just trying not to cry or sleep through the night (or both), it's an ongoing process that will be my "new normal" for the rest of my life. So every day that I wake up, I wake up smiling because I'm doing so as a survivor.
Yesterday was also National Cancer Survivors Day. For people who don't have cancer in their life, this is just another blip on the radar on their calendar. For people like me, it's a day to acknowledge the fact that I may be in the trenches but I am winning, little by little, day by day. I'm a survivor.