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Friday, July 11, 2014

Getting back to (the new) normal

Life seems to have finally returned to "normal." I'm back at work, Mark has resumed occasional travel to his project in Denver (he was gone this week), Annalisse is away at her summer camp job, and Cam is in his apartment near RIT, doing summer research and taking a class.

A couple of months ago I didn't think life would ever feel normal again. I had cancer, and my future treatment was uncertain. I would be undergoing a life-changing surgery, and had no idea what the recovery and treatment, if needed, would be like.

Everyday I remind myself how lucky I've been to be able to come out on the other side of my recent crisis with my health intact. Not to minimize the suffering of those who have gone before me (or who will come after me), but I think of myself as a healthy person who had a cancerous growth in my breast, had the growth removed, confirmed there was "nothing else," and am now moving on. My breasts were a small sacrifice, a no-brainer, when it came to preserving my health, and the reconstruction has been a nuisance, but definitely not a deal breaker.

Of course there are meaningful changes, day to day. I am slowly modifying my diet: I've cut out processed sugars in my coffee, am drinking green tea during my days at work, am trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, and am trying to minimize my intake of meats (especially red meat), dairy, and products containing white flour. My neighbor, who has been holding off a recurrence of (I think it was) a type of lymphatic cancer for four years swears that she has been saved by a plant-based diet (which she first learned about in the powerful documentary "Forks over Knives"). Additionally, I've bought (though not yet had a chance to really get into"Anticancer: A New Way of Life." (Dang: upon looking up the link for the book I see the author passed away in July 2011).

There are still things to take care of: on September 19 I will have another surgery to place my implants (Happy Anniversary, Mark!), and I still need to hear back from Dr. Levine about my ovaries. But truly, my future's so bright, I've gotta wear shades! Two months ago I didn't think it would be possible to think of anything but the "C" word. With the help of amazing family and friends, I'm so happy to be able to move on!

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