Today’s kind of a big deal. I got my period. Now I know this might seem like a bit TMI, but considering the context, it is a MAJOR milestone in my recovery. You see, the last time I had my period was exactly a year ago. I was in Malawi, mere days away from learning I had cancer. Outside of the hormonally-induced periods I got during IVF treatments (like six in two weeks), I have yet to have a cycle since. What happens when you go through chemotherapy is that it basically kills every thing in your body and you go into early menopause. Menopause is no fun at any age, but particularly so at 36.
Cancer already makes you feel old. But it doesn’t just make you feel old, it actually makes you old. Like arthritis cream, joint cracking, bent over, hard to move old. Add hot flashes to the mix and 36 quickly feels more like 63. Although I know lots of 63 year olds and they are leaps and bounds more spry than I. So long story short, exiting menopause is a HUGE step forward in the transition from the “C-Word” patient to “that one time long ago…”
Adding to the joy of today is the fact that I got I call from my doctor saying that Yes Indeedy, they could fit me in for my FINAL surgery before the end of the year. Meaning that because I met my deductible back in like the second week of the year, I am done with medical bills. Don’t get me wrong, I have a sh*t ton of back payments still to make but no new ones will be coming my way. I decided after my second mastectomy in September (which went swimmingly by the way, much easier than the first, and ended in a week of sun and painting and meditation and relaxation in the company of my two favorite people in South Carolina) to just cut to the chase, get some implants and run off into the sunset with my permanently perky chest. Three hour procedure, no overnight in the hospital and back to work in a matter of days, meaning I can spend my precious vacation days on showing my new rack off in some tropical location instead of on bed rest.
Another thing that’s big about today is that I just left my husband. Oh, my long lasting marriage of 10 months and 26 days. Hey, I beat Kim Kardashian right? At least her second one. Sometimes cancer brings couples together. But I’m learning that more often than not, it tears people apart. Especially people that had issues to begin with. But I’m not going to play the blame game. Maybe cancer made me someone different than the original terms of agreement stated. Or helped us see who we really were when the shit hit the fan. Or maybe, as my amazing rock of a best friend Molly put it, I didn’t just spend the last year fighting for my life, just to give it away for nothing at the end of it all.
So here I sit at the Detroit airport, feeling free as a bird and petrified to death at the same time. Not sure what end is up or where I’m going to land. Where I always do, I suppose. On my feet. I love how life is like that. My greatest adventures are still ahead.
I read recently that when Michelangelo sculpted David, it was from a piece of marble that was given to him for free. Nobody else wanted it. Too odd of a shape, too veiny to make anything good out of it. Of course he didn’t see it that way, famously claiming that David was in there all along. He just had to set him free. One chip at a time.
Maybe 35-36 wasn’t supposed to be just a shitty phase that wasn’t going to amount to much of anything anyway. Maybe instead these are my freeing years. Maybe somebody with a better sense of perspective just wanted to do some chipping so my David could be released. With better boobs.
No matter how my story ends up, I have a feeling it’s just getting started. Single decisions result in spectacular and radical changes in destiny. Mine is going to be kick ass because I am the one determining it. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right?
Life is out there waiting. And I say BRING. IT. ON.
Today’s a pretty big deal.