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It’s been a year

This is a rather significant anniversary week for me. A year ago on Tuesday the lump in my breast was discovered. (I didn’t start blogging about it until May, when it was officially diagnosed, but it was a year ago I learned I might have cancer.) A year ago tomorrow I lost my job of 18 years, and everything that went along with it. Three years ago Monday my dog, Sam, died.

Usually when I look back at what I was doing a year ago, I think time’s flying. Not this year. I can’t believe it was only a year ago that that nurse found that lump. I can’t believe it was only a year ago that I cleaned out my cubicle.

The whole year passed by in a surreal sort of haze. A lot happened. A lot changed. There wasn’t much for me to do but put my life in the competent hands of several highly skilled doctors, hang on tight, and hope for the best. Somehow there was something comforting about that.

Now that the worst is over and my cancer is in remission and my spine has been more or less fixed, it’s time to rebuild my career. My life is back in my own hands again. I don’t know why, but I find it a little unsettling.

9 comments to It’s been a year

  • I am also finding that time moves very slowly these days. Not a bad thing really, as I get more done since the time is slower!

    It IS hard to believe it has been a whole year, isn’t it? Crazy.

  • It’s hard to come out of trauma and suddenly start acting as though nothing happened. It’s good to get better and to feel better and better, but you can’t un-know the experience you’ve been through, which is still very close.

    I think that what you’ve done during this year — and I’m sure you’ve done more than your writing here, but it’s your writing that I know — has been one of the great ways to face the shock, really take it in and then slowly graduate your way out of it. I’ve learned a lot from reading you, even if I don’t often comment, and I’m so glad to read that you’re ready to make the shift. Still — one day at a time. Hugs and congratulations.

  • Jenny

    It’s kind of like leaving school, in this way: no one else is telling you (or even suggesting to you) what to do next. Work has its structure, and even illnesses have their own structure: the doc has a plan, and (more or less) you follow it. No more illness is AWESOME, but structureless, and when you’re used to structure, it’s unsettling to lose it! Here’s hoping for only good structure coming your way this year!!

  • Deb

    You are right…usually time flies but when you said it was only a year ago that you found the lump; my first reaction was that it seemed so much longer. Jenny is right too…now that you have to function without an agenda of doctors’ appointments, it is difficult.

    Work will find you…you are a great asset to whomever hires you and bilingual or not…something will come along.

  • Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year! It’s definitely been tough one for you so I’m not surprising you feel unsettled. But don’t worry, you’re brave and intelligent and have a great sense of humour – I think those are the only things you really need to get on in life – the rest falls into place.

  • Julia, it feels the opposite to me – I feel like it was WAY more than a year ago. So much has happened.

    Skdadl, thank you very much for that kind comment. I’m not sure I’m *ready* to make the shift, but it’s time. It’s more a matter of if I don’t make the shift, my life will crash and burn.

    Jenny, thank you too. I don’t really like structure all that much, at least not consciously, but I’ll embrace your wish for only good structure for me. 😉

    Deb, I won’t miss the doctor’s appointments. I think what’s hard is that now I have to make decisions and take control and rebuild and fix whatever’s wrong myself. When I was sick, my life was kind of a disaster but it wasn’t MY job to fix it. There was no expectation from myself or anybody else that I had to do anything except be me and try to survive.

    Valerie, thank you – I hope you’re right. :)

  • I started reading your blog about six months ago or so, and I went back and read your old posts too because I liked your writing so much. So I actually read your story in much less than a year which made me quite surprised to read this post and find out that it’s your anniversary.

    I just wanted to wish you well, and I have been so happy to hear that your outlook is so positive. I thank you for sharing it all with us.

  • Change is, by definition, unsettling. And change that you’re actually responsible for initiating? Unnerving. Unless you’re one of those who believe we’re always responsible for bringing change into our lives, even if we didn’t consciously choose the form of that change… then it’s just a “duh! that’s life!” thing, I suppose. Either way, you’ll navigate the shoals of unsettledness (well, it *ought* to be a word!) and get yourself right back in the flow, ’cause that’s what you do. Hugs from the Sunshine State!

  • I don’t know if it’s just me, but in the past I’ve found it very unsettling when I had to take a leap on my own after having so much support from others leading up to it. What I mean is that I can understand how it would be hard to take a risk and make decisions all on your own after you’ve had so much help over the last year. Now? It’s up to you. And sure, that’s exciting, but it’s also terrifying because if something goes wrong a) it’s your doing and b) you’ll REALLY be out there on your own!

    Just remember, there will ALWAYS be someone to support you. That you are strong enough to make the leap. That there is no right or wrong decision. We just do the best we can with the information and situation we have.

    And….GOOD LUCK. And…HUZZAH to you!
    And…I love this blog.

    Okay, I’m done now.