A Mother and her Two Daughters

17 February 2011

My Cancerversary. I’m a One-Year Survivor!



Today is my cancerversary! 

A year ago today my doctor called, and it was not the expected “you are fine” phone call.  Instead, it would become the day “cancer” would come into my life – a terrifying moment, a day every cancer survivor forever remembers. 

In the cancer community, you typically say that you’re a survivor from the day you received your diagnosis.  So, I am counting today as my anniversary date – or my cancerversary as some say. 

I know, I know!  It’s the five-year celebration that allows you to really take a deep sigh of relief.  But this one-year celebration lifts my spirits immensely. 

Today I will celebrate enduring one of the toughest years of life - living with, through and beyond cancer.  A little champagne tonight, with a toast to my medical team, family and friends, colleagues and new acquaintances who lifted me up and surrounded me in care and love and immense support.  They helped make this tough year much more bearable.  

One year later:  I’ve endured four months of chemotherapy and twenty-five radiation treatments – medical miracles that can truly obliterate cancer cells.   In four months I went under the knife three times – once to remove my breasts, twice to give me what I call “my party favors” from UAMS for having to endure the heartache of breast cancer.  Pain in my legs persists from the osteoporosis created by the chemotherapy, and next week I’ll see a lymphedema specialist to help me with the swelling in my right arm.  My hair is quite short, and a new shade of gray – but hey, I have hair!.  And each morning I swallow a handful of pills, one of them to be my medicine of choice for the next four years.

The end result – I’m alive, I survived and I don’t have cancer!  My UAMS and CARTI teams have kicked cancer’s butt! 

Last night’s fortune cookie:  "Times long ago will present a special treasure to you.” 

Obviously that treasure is life, and I will celebrate the gift each day, along with 12 million other survivors in the USA.  

Here’s to one year, and counting . . .

6 comments:

  1. Stacy, I think the treasure could also be that you found a voice through cancer and you gave a voice to other cancer survivors and their families and friends. Your words and their thoughtfulness combined with heartbreaking honesty educated all of us. That is a treasure that will continue to give for years to come.

    Congratulations!!! Cheers to you!!!! :)

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  2. Congratulations Stacy! Keep writing...I love reading your blog : )

    ~Erica H.

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  3. Absolutely splendid, Stacy. I am so happy for you!

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  4. Happy Anniversary! I hope your celebrated big today! You are an inspiration!
    G Parks

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  5. We're all counting with you, Stacy. God has used this tough year of yours to bring awareness, courage, encouragement and hope to thousands of people. Thank you for enduring it with hope, perseverance and determination of your own. God has sustained you through the tough times and brought you, your family and your friends much joy.
    Shelly Moran

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  6. Stacey Sells,
    I am a friend of Shirley A. She is a friend of your mothers. Shirley gave me my wonderful angel that sits by bed. I love it. I was diagnosed with CML 6 years ago and my angel is one of my treasures. I recently visited a friend in Hawaii and am going to send her one also. She is having multi cancer challenges and an angel was the first thing I thought of when I returned home from the trip to send her.
    Debbie

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