The last couple of nights I haven't slept well, even with meds to assist me. It almost seems strange that exactly one year ago I awoke early in the morning, refreshed from a good night's sleep, ready for my mastectomy. No tossing and turning for me then. I was confident and at peace, ready to do what was necessary to tell cancer, "Buh-bye."
[PRETEND THERE'S A PICTURE OF DECATUR MORGAN HOSPITAL HERE. I'D LIKE TO INCLUDE ONE TO SHOW WHERE I HAD MY SURGERY BUT IT'S UNDER CONSTRUCTION, SO THERE ARE NO GOOD PICS]
It's amazing when I think of how much has transpired over the past year. I developed anxiety - which praise the Lord is much better!, started Tamoxifen, developed depression from the Tamoxifen - which praise the Lord is much better!, dropped 20 lbs - which praise the Lord I feel better!, had another surgery to get my breast implant, took a girls' trip, and wrote (well, actually assembled) a book. It has been an eventful 365 days.
I'm only now realizing that breast cancer will always be a part of my life story. Someone recently told me, "You had breast cancer, it doesn't define you." While true that it doesn't define me, I'm still actively fighting it and don't know when - if ever - I'll consider it as part of my past instead of my present.
I'd like to "move on" but am hindered by side effects to contend with, another cancer-related surgery to contemplate, shoulder pain which may or may not be related to past surgeries that keeps me up at night, etc...
I don't share this to complain but to help others unfamiliar with cancer know that it's not something you can easily sweep under the rug and pretend is no longer there. While the cancer itself may be gone (here's hoping so) the collateral damage remains. Doesn't mean life is no longer good, it's just different.
One benefit to having cancer that I didn't expect when I was first diagnosed and focused on myself, was how it would enable me to help others in their time of need. Just two days ago I found myself on the phone with a total stranger named Reva who was preparing for a mastectomy and scared of the unknown. I shared with her what to expect and prayed with her.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
I also had a Comfort & Joy Pillow sent to Reva to help with her recovery. Julie McAbee, one of the women featured in Joy Is Contagious...Cancer Isn't, began a ministry creating and mailing pillows to comfort women following a mastectomy. She had sent me one before my surgery and I used it for months. Check out her ministry HERE and if you think about it, would you please pray for Reva's recovery?
There's so much I'm grateful for as I look back over the past year and so much I'm anticipating as we head into Christmas and the New Year. Even if I end up dragging some of cancer's ill effects with me into 2018, I'll do so full of hope, trusting that my tomorrows will be better than today because today is so much brighter than it was a year ago.
Even if I slept better then.
Happy St. Nicholas Day
Funny that the title "Author" appears above this description yet I have no idea what to share about myself in this space! How about my first name is Kim. My last name is Tisor. Tisor rhymes with miser, though I try not to be one.
For more information about me, please visit the author page.