An important anniversary seems to have slipped right by me, and that's not entirely a bad thing. It's true that I was once obsessively aware of certain dates in 2009--the date of my surgery, the date I started chemotherapy, the date of my final treatment--but at some point cancer stopped glowering in the center of my mind and slunk off to hide in the corner of a dusty closet.
Nevertheless it's worth remembering that if you had asked me five years ago what I expected to be doing in 2014, I would have said, "I'll be happy just to be alive." Sounds morbid now, but the five-year survival rate for my diagnosis is just a bit better than 50/50, and the horrors of chemotherapy and radiation made 2014 seem like an even more unreachable goal.
And yet here I am five years later, fat and sassy and enjoying a full head of hair. It would be crass to boast about beating the odds when so many others don't--and besides, my survival was a group effort that drew on the strength and expertise of a whole host of people. But perhaps this event calls for a small celebration, which could be called a Celebration of Life if that didn't sound so much like a funeral.
How about this: join me in taking a very deep breath and letting it out slowly. Now do it again. And again. Doesn't that feel great? Still breathing! That's worth celebrating today and every day.