It has been a long, all-consuming and difficult process, including 5 months of chemotherapy, three surgeries, the trauma of complete hair loss, large chunks of time where I felt physically sick and weak, mentally discouraged, and frustrated at having to put so many things aside to focus on the task at hand. Whether I wanted it to or not, everything we did for the past year had a wrapper of cancer treatment around it. I was either anticipating, going through or recovering from some step in the process, waiting for the next appointment and the next unknown.
But as of this week--it's over! I'm finished.
As I had my stitches removed from my final reconstructive surgery on Monday, I sensed a dark cloud that has followed me for a full year roll away. The skies above me cleared and I felt like I could finally look up and forward and see life beyond this season. I cannot adequately describe the incredible feeling of relief that washed over me, and frankly took me completely by surprise.
Ben, my lifelong DJ, suggested I take another listen to the song "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves. I could not keep the tears from rolling down my face as I listened to the words...
As a family (both immediate and extended to all of you who have walked alongside me), we are not left unaffected by this storm-- but we are through it. Finally.
So today, instead of forever associating St. Patrick's Day with a grim and heartbreaking day that hijacked a full year of my life, I'm able to smile and laugh and look forward to a lighter and brighter future.
And this shirt seemed perfectly appropriate to sum up my year...