Another year growing
This week last year, I was with my family in Sweden when I got the test results back
from my oncologist saying my ovarian cancer had returned…
It’s been a hard recovery journey since that night, starting with a midnight panic attack in another country. After a million tests, IVF treatment & retrieval, a rough tumor removal surgery with painful nights in the hospital… I’m still recovering almost a year later. It still stings to think about all of it. I still cry out of nowhere some days. I still freak out from fear & have to work to calm myself down. I still battle to feel incredible joy while also feeling deep sadness when I see other people’s pregnancy announcements. I’m still building up strength & endurance for everyday life, let alone working out. I still blissfully forget it all then quickly remember everything & want to scream in anger when I see my scars in the mirror. It’s still heavy. It’s still haunting. It still sucks.
But it’s also ok.
This experience has helped give me space to feel my feelings instead of pushing them down. It’s been a time to learn more about myself & grow. It’s helped me find the joy of pottery again & the welcoming community that came with it. It’s shown me the genuine love & support others can provide if you just let them in. It’s given me the power to use my voice to help normalize talking about cancer & infertility struggles. And, maybe most importantly, it’s helped reinforce that THERE IS NOT ONE ‘RIGHT’ JOURNEY FOR EVERYONE. We all say we know that, but it’s so easy to fall back into societal norms and expectations, into guilt and shame. But f*ck that. You do you. We’re all doing the best we can. And we’ll all get to wherever it is we need/want to go on our own road, in our own time.
So, cheers to the long, stupid, joyful journey. To the hard climbs, the dark valleys, the confusing turns, & the infuriating roadblocks. May you have the courage to get through it all, & when you don’t, may you have a cozy bed to cry in, a creative outlet to pour into & the grace to let others help you out.
All my heart to family & friends (& strangers) who’ve supported me through this. I truly appreciate you. 💕