On Saturday, my cousin is coming in town with her daughter. They came in town last year on August 3rd–less than 24 hours after my breast cancer diagnosis. Pretty sure we’ll have a much better time this year.
The day they are coming is the one year anniversary of my biopsy. My biggest concern that day, one year ago, was a late in the day surgery and therefore, no coffee to start my day. I’m still not a fan of going three quarters of the day without coffee but I’m sure I would handle it much better now. Oh what breast cancer teaches you!
On August 2, 2008, my one year anniversary of my diagnosis, my niece Taylor–an absolutely amazing girl–will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah. And I will be there with her to share in all the happiness. I am confident breast cancer will be the furthest thing from my mind.
When I was diagnosed, Taylor was old enough to know about breast cancer. She couldn’t figure out how her Aunt Ellyn who eats so healthy, exercises, and takes care of herself could get breast cancer. In my case, genetics played a huge role. It likely wasn’t a matter of will I get breast cancer; it was a matter of when. I also know that my healthy living habits must have contributed to my recovery from surgery and chemo treatments. While I couldn’t prevent cancer, I could speed up my recovery. Now, more than ever, I understand the importance of taking care of myself.
But the biggest lesson I’ve learned this past year is not to sweat the small stuff. So what if I can’t drink coffee? So what if my kids spill milk all over the floor? So what if things don’t go exactly as planned? It really doesn’t matter. It’s tough to share this lesson with others and really make it meaningful. For me, it took breast cancer to make me realize what is really worth sweating. I’m hopeful in 20, 30, 40 years, I’ll remember the lessons I’ve learned. If not, I can always read my blog to remind me.