Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Midweek madness

Chris and I have often written about milestones and anniversaries throughout treatment and recovery. Dates usually weigh very heavily upon my mind, so much so that they occasionally find a way to penetrate my dreams and upset my balance. For instance, today would have been my dad's 75 birthday had he survived cancer. He did not and I got that heinous call April 6, 2001. That's another date that will be creeping up on my psyche.

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.


Anonymous said...

Lydia and her salon aside, you are looking so fabulous and living life so normally, so unabashfully, so naturally! I am so very happy for you that you are just melding into the everyday happiness that is living! Now, kudos to Lydia for making you look wonderful! Live, Ann, Live!

From Prayers and love further up north,

PJ said...

Nice do! I have less to work with but my stylist did the best he could yesterday. At least it's under control.

Happy milestones is all we want. You should have a 2-year party.

Wiley said...

You look great, kiddo! Keep it up! Enjoy the 18 and many many more! We're pulling for you!

Ronni Gordon said...

I can relate to all those dates (not exact dates, but the experiences connected to them.) Father's death, transplant dates, etc. and the sadness or anxiety that accompanies them. Congratulations on getting through the 18-month. You sound great.