One year ago today, I found out I have cancer. (One year since diagnosis is actually June 22, but I was on vacation when I was actually diagnosed.) So one year later I have successfully made it through the whole thing- chemotherapy, hair loss, radiation, hormone therapy, and countless scans. In the past year my husband and I purchased and moved into a new house, he changed jobs, I completed my eleventh year of teaching, and my first year as a Pampered Chef Consultant. Wow.
This year was a tough one for my family. It is always difficult to watch your loved one struggle through a disease with the unknown always lurking. I have to say my friends and family...all of them, husband, parents, siblings, in-laws, grandmother, aunts and uncles, coworkers, even my students have been by my side every step of the way. I couldn't have wished for a stronger support system, and cancer or no cancer, I think I am the luckiest girl ever!
This year I have met some of the most amazing people ever! My doctors and nurses are absolutely amazing... as usual, there are no words. I know it is their job and all, but how do you say "thank you" for saving my life? My doctor and Oncology nurses go above and beyond for me on a regular basis. They are truly amazing, patient, understanding, and loving people. I hope to know them always.
Although I continually complain about being at the hospital so often (don't believe me? Ask my mom!) ...especially on scan weeks, I believe that it is a blessing in disguise that I am there so often. I have met some of the nicest people in waiting rooms. Some have been encouraging to me, others have needed encouragement. The cancer experience has introduced me to many survivors that will be my life-long friends. I can honestly say that I would never wish cancer upon anyone, however my journey hasn't been so bad. There are so many positives that have helped balance the unpleasant things that come with cancer diagnoses.
So here I am one year later, gearing up for my trip to Chicago for the Pampered Chef National Conference, and then our yearly trip to the beach. Upon returning from North Carolina, I will go under the knife yet again. My last round of scans revealed a new, very large cyst on my ovary. I have no symptoms, but this cyst was not there in March when I was last scanned. Due to its large size, the doctors say it must come out, and with it will go my ovaries and uterus. A hysterectomy is in my future. It turns out ovarian cysts are extremely common, and I am not worried about this being another malignancy...besides, by the time I find out what kind of cyst it is it will be out of my body. I am not looking forward to the six week recovery and delaying my start of the new school year. However, with news of surgery comes good things too. I had the BRCA test done to see if I carry the "cancer gene" my results say I DO NOT carry the gene! This is great news for me, my mom, and my sisters! :)