Yesterday was an auspicious day. It marked the one year anniversary of my diagnosis with breast cancer. I remember that day and those that followed with visceral clarity. I remember my physician saying "Next year this time, you'll be smiling again". I remember those words and thinking about how long that seemed. Is it my "one year survival" milestone? I don't know. I don't know how you decide when you became a survivor. It seems a bit arbitrary.
In the month and a half since my final radiation treatment, we've weathered a hurricane which thrust us back in time without power and air conditioning for 10 days. Then this weekend the 5th birthday party that I had been planning for months for my daughter was destroyed when the dance school forgot about it and wasn't there to open the room or studio. It's very easy to place a higher value on these life events in the context of an illness but these things happen in life whether you're well or not. I can't say I'm "smiling again" as my physician suggested I would be. I'm working my way through the emotional journey one takes after you've done all you can to treat your cancer. I don't have the luxury any more that most people have of living without the constant thoughts of a cancer recurrence. But each day I'm well and active is another day I have to share with my family - for better or for worse.
So I will always remember Oct. 5th but mostly now I choose to move forward, no matter what lies around the corner.