Eight years ago today I heard those words that no one wants to hear, yet alone a Mother with 2 young children.
"You have cancer".
When I think about that day and time in my life I can still tear up. Some one recently asked me what was the most difficult part of cancer.
Chemo and all of its side effects but more importantly the look of fear in my children's eyes.
I learned many lessons from cancer, which I have written of before. The past few months, I feel that I have moved away from those lessons. Work has required me to work close to 70 hour weeks since the new year. It is not what I want, but I am a single Mother who must put a roof over our heads and food on the table. I have a child who has steep medical bills, my own medical bills and I am a worrier about finances.
But as I say "I will do what I have to do until I don't have to do it any more."
The same person that asked me what the most difficult part about cancer was also reminded me that I need to take care of myself to be here for my children. I see fear in my daughter's eyes again, I know she worries about me getting sick, especially when I am working so much.
If I had a conversation with Cancer I would say:
"Don't come back"
and I think Cancer would say:
"You are not heeding my lessons"
So I am taking back my weekends. Starting to eat better and get back to exercise and hopefully more than 6 hours of sleep a night. My goal is to get my hours down to a more manageable 45 to 50 and find time to paint and write regular blog posts again.
Sometimes we veer off our path and we need some reminders to get back on track.
An 8 year cancer anniversary certain helps to do just that.
If you have not had your mammogram, please call and schedule one today. Women of all ages need to complete monthly self exams. Take a moment and complete your self breast exam and call a friend and remind her to do the same.
We must be our own advocates in health and in life.