I wasn’t going to do it, but I’m gonna. Double-post today!
If you are reading this blog (hi!) chances are you are looking for info regarding a PCS move overseas or OCONUS. Rest assured, you’re in the right place, however today I’m giving a commercial interruption. Or- if you grew up in the 80’s- cue the spinning block letters on the black screen: SPECIAL . This is a very special episode… lol! (Anyone remember those? Anyone?) Usually they were indicators that a tv show was going to take on an ‘edgy’ topic such as anorexia, suicide, drugs, or abuse and it would announce that it was a “VERY SPECIAL EPISODE” and encourage parents to open the gates of discussion with their kids. Which they never really did, beyond “Psh. Drugs. You know better.”
Todays VERY SPECIAL EPISODE is about Cancer.
Today is my one year Cancerversary. I am one year past the point of hearing the words “Cancer Free.” and it’s AMAZING. It’s easy to think of what cancer takes, but it’s more important to think about what it GIVES. Yeah, seriously- it gives! I swear!
It’s given me an amazing sense of perspective. I have learned how to brush off A LOT of things that just aren’t important to me. People get worked up over the dumbest of things, and thanks to cancer- I really don’t anymore. I guess you could say my ‘give-a-damn’ is broken. Don’t get me wrong- you don’t lose your passion for things that matter to you, you just become more selective about what you LET matter to you. Traffic? Care not. Rude people? Whatevski. Changed plans? Please. Get Cancer and you will write the book on changing plans… You learn how to tuck and roll, whether you are ready or not. Believe it or not, you are readier than you think and more capable than you would imagine. Cancer reveals things– inner strength, acceptance, fight, determination, and yes, hardest of all– vulnerability. None of those are positives or negatives, they are just truths. Things you find when you’re digging for … well… you don’t know exactly what. You’re looking for a reserve that you aren’t sure you have, of a supply of something that you can’t put your finger on. Strength? Focus? Trust? I have no idea. Even after walking across those coals, I can’t tell you much about it. I know that cancer strengthened me. I know that it strengthened my marriage. How weird does that sound? Cancer is THE Destroyer to end all destroyers (agreed!) but it’s also rather Phoenix like. Out of the ash, comes something stronger, and more amazing than you could ever think possible.
I am a NavyWife. Nav.Wif. MilSpouse. Dependant. OTHER. I’m used to tucking and rolling. I know when a fight just isn’t worth having, and how to accept what is out of my hands. I know how to make the most of a bad situation. I know I am stronger than I’ve ever given myself credit for. But what I didn’t know- was sometimes, you have to let yourself be weak. Sometimes, no matter how much you value your independence, you have to let others help you. Take care of you. Let them show you that they are there for you. My SeaMonkey does not do ‘powerless’ very well. He rages against it. No matter the situation, he is going to do SOMETHING dammit!! But Cancer? He couldn’t rescue me. That fight was being waged at the surgical and cellular level and was just completely out of his big monkey hands. So instead, Cancer taught him how to be gentle. How to be understanding. How to nurture. How to take care of me when I was sick. He was my knight who rode into CVS ready to battle to the end, the pharmacist that took too long giving me the meds I needed. He learned that nausea is a game changer and deal breaker for any and all scheduled plans. He learned that Ginger chews should be kept in every vehicle, end table, coat pocket and location in the house.
My folks? Also amazing. They supported me through it, flying up to be with me when I would have otherwise been alone (ship was out) or when they knew SeaMonkey needed a little help. For them though, I think it was *slightly* easier. I say slightly, because Cancer isn’t easy on ANYONE. But for parents? From the day their child is born, they nurture them. They take them through every childhood illness and injury, and it becomes instinctive to them to take care of their kids. Now, they don’t usually expect to still be doing it when their adult-child is sick– but they somehow still know what to do, say and how to do it.
Now? Cancer is now one year in the distance of my rear-view mirror. I can still glance back and remember my visit to that town, but I sure as hell have no plans of returning. I have my scars. They tell my story better than any blog post could. I learned my lessons and I’m keeping my car in drive…