September 7, 2009 was the one year anniversary of my second transplant. I carried a lot of anxiety in the days leading up to that special milestone. October 7 marked my thirteen month anniversary post transplant. There were strange dreams leading up to that day as the little box full of nightmares I keep tucked away in my mind popped open to let a few fears drift out. I was cancer free thirteen months after the first transplant.
The next big milestone I was working toward was the magic eighteen month marker. If you can make it cancer free to this arbitrary day, your chances of survival eek up ever so incrementally. I set goals ahead of this day, promising myself that I would take charge of my physical health in one of the only ways I could truly control. I hit the treadmill and started strength training. It's getting easier to put the milk back on the top shelf.
I don't know if anything has truly changed, but the days leading up to lucky eighteen were quiet. My mind was still and the monster in the box didn't so much as exhale. Perhaps it was the fact that we had house guests that kept me preoccupied. Maybe it had something to do with the focus I've placed on planning and executing the special menus required of Chris's diet. I can vouch for the fact that I was more worried about a textbook I'd ordered arriving in a timely manner than I was about relapsing.
March 7 was here and gone before I realized its significance. I sailed past the big eighteen month marker without even realizing it. I wouldn't have celebrated it, but I am rather surprised that I wasn't experiencing any undue panic as I have in days past.
Saturday, I saw my friend, Lydia, who owns the Garrett Neal Studio in Baton Rouge to have my hair cut and colored. Chris came along to get a trim and visit with Lydia and her son Garrett, who's also a stylist. Sunday, I started doing our taxes.
This past weekend was so absolutely normal, it was outstanding. Perhaps the secret to keeping my fears in check is a busy life filled with the activities that used to be routine to me pre-cancer. I didn't realize that I'd forgotten to be afraid until Tuesday, which made me smile.
Lydia gave me a funky, edgy styling.
The fabulous and incomparable Lydia. I'm going to shamelessly plug her salon here: if you're in Baton Rouge, or nearby, you should do yourself a favor and book an appointment. Lydia and the gang at Garrett Neal Studio will keep you entertained while pampering you. You'll leave smiling and looking fabulous.