2:21pm, November 1, 2011.
That's the moment.
That's the moment I answered the phone and my doctor said the three words that changed the me forever, "It is cancer."
I have spent the last year, the last 366 days looking forward to today. I have thought of this day as I met with my surgical team, as I was wheeled into the operating room, as Mr. Awesome cleaned and dressed my wounds after surgery. I have thought of this day as I had my port installed, as I saw the red medicine course through my IV for the first time and as I watched my hair blow away in the wind.
I have thought of this day as I lay in my bed, too sick and tired to move. I have thought of this day as I prayed for the strength to make it through one more treatment. I have thought of this day as I thanked God for all the people who loved me and were praying for me. I thought of this day as I stretched out on the radiation table, exposing my already scarred, damaged and raw breast to yet another blast of the beams.
I thought of this day.
The day that I am whole, healed and strong again. The day that the fear is gone and nothing but joy remains. The day that I can look into my future and know that it is mine, know that I made it, know that I survived. This is the day I have been waiting for! This day ... and the next day and all of the next days to come.
Recently someone made the comment to me that they wished that they could take back this past year for me, they wished that they could erase this whole horrible year. And while I appreciated the sentiment I told them that I wouldn't trade this past year for anything. They were shocked but I was serious. Am serious.
Although I could have done without the life threatening scare, I wouldn't trade the lessons, the personal growth and the relationships I have gained for anything. I wouldn't wish away one single encounter with other patients, one single note of encouragement, one single firm, strengthening hug. I wouldn't.
I am a very different person than I was a year ago. My body is different; it is scarred, altered and frankensteined together but it is strong, it is powerful, it is beautiful. My heart also is different; it is whole, huge and full and it's capacity is endless.
This week a friend said the nicest thing to me. He said, "There is fire in your eyes." And he is right. There is. I have a passion for this one life, this one chance I get to make a difference, to leave a legacy ... so watch out, 'cause here I come!