This week marks the 1-year anniversary of my diagnosis of breast cancer (my cancerversary, if you will). I have so much to be grateful for, including the support of my web community, my patients, the doctors who have come in to help take care of my patients, my staff, my friends, my family, my personal doctors, and the many strangers who are now friends that I leaned on during this year.
It’s so true that a life-threatening experience really does change everything. It calls upon you to look up. Stop the busy busyness and look up; value every little thing instead of letting it pass in the blur of the hurry and scurry of modern life. From the act of drying dishes and putting them away in the kitchen to a bucket list trip with loved ones, living life now is what matters – all moments are precious, as are the people who share them with you.
On my cancerversary, I find myself looking back to 12 months ago. The busy, nose-to-the-grindstone me had just started what looked to be a very frightening journey. With every turn the future was looking bleaker and bleaker, and shorter and shorter. It started with finding a lump during my self-exam, then a bad mammogram, then finding another bad thing on an MRI, then biopsies that showed the worst of all types of breast cancer for both tumors, then the revelation that I also carried the dreaded cancer gene BRCA, then the news that my only hope was the most horrible old-fashioned chemo at really high doses followed by having a series of really unwanted surgeries that would tell me if I was going to live or die – soon. And, all this occurred right after I returned from a really lovely 30th wedding anniversary trip with my soul-mate husband of 30 years.
It’s been 12 months. In that time, I’ve had down days but I’ve had so many more up ones. It was your support made the difference. I reached out and you were there. Tears spring from my eyes as I write this sentence. Truly, deeply, with my entire being, I am grateful. To you, my web community, my medical practice community, my family, my friends, and everyone who has walked with me through this. Thank you.
May the future be filled with more precious moments to share, whether big or small, easy or hard – they are blessings and I am grateful.
Warmly, and in Gratitude,
Cynthia Bailey, MD
In recognition of Dr. Bailey’s cancerversary and appreciation of our patients, please join our celebration on Thursday August 11th from 5pm and 7pm. Click here for more details.
Thank you for sharing my cancerversary news with any breast cancer or ovarian cancer survivor or someone on the journey too. We are all in this together. I really appreciate your comments, stories and support below.
Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Harry Choi/TongRo Images/Corbis and © Wavebreak Media Ltd./Corbis