He was a cancer survivor too. I thought that would fix the bad bedside manner I had so often seen him exhibit with his patients. He asked me how my treatment was going. At this point I was in the middle of my chemo. Then I told him I decided to not take tamoxifen. (Let me just say here that it was my personal decision, one that I felt was the best for me. I am not against the use of that drug for the treatment of breast cancer.) I explained to him my reasons and then he dropped the bomb on me.
"If you wanna live to see 40 you better take the tamoxifen." he said.
My stomach dropped to my knees. It made me want to reconsider my decision. It made me scared. I just wanted to live. What if I didn't because I wouldn't take that drug.
All of that has been rolling around in my head taking up residence there for all these years since I have survived breast cancer. With each birthday I celebrated it popped up. I tried to ignore it but as this birthday crept up on me it was full on in my face. I hate that I let it.
So as I watched the clock strike midnight I thought "Well, 40, here you are and I am still here! It felt weird and all good at the same time. Having never thought I would make it to my 32nd birthday it feels pretty good.
Then I thought about the voice in my head that had been there for so long. His voice. He is no longer here....he has since passed away. Like so many others.
I am still here and all I can do is make the best of the life that I have. I need to be easier on myself, be more forgiving to myself, and have more fun! I don't play nearly enough. I don't want to get so caught up in the worrying. There is just no time for that. I hope I can take my own advice this time!
So I am off to spend the day with my husband. Nothing crazy, just the simple things....those are what I miss the most...
How do you celebrate your birthdays? Did you feel as though your life was shortened when you heard the words "You have cancer" ? How do you deal with it?