Saturday, October 20, 2007

I can't believe it.

I never have "bad" days. But if I did, yesterday would have been one... I'll work my way backwards...

1. The metro was broken. (I hate the facking metro) So I had to wait about 15 minutes in the HOT tunnel and then cram on the train with about 5 squillion other people (it's always more crowded when there aren't enough trains) - my commute time was doubled.

2. On my way to the metro, a 17 minute walk, it poured rain sideways in that special way it rains only in Washington DC. And I? Did not have an umbrella. *shakes fist at sky* ... also, see #1 again and keep in mind that I was soaking wet

3. Was at work till 7 pm on a Friday due to late meeting with the big boss - the PDAS (convoluted Washington title - Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, who is second to the Assistant Secretary, who is second to the Under Secretary, who is second to the Secretary. It took me about a year to fully understand this. ha.)

4. will have to take on work load on Monday of colleague (who conveniently is jetting off to Aruba) crashing on last minute preparations for the PDAS's travel to the Middle East.

5. Found out that my office director may not let me do a rotation outside DC after all, when I've had my heart set on it for MONTHS now, because we just found out that we are losing someone in our office. If that is true, I will not be going to Hawaii for the winter spending three months with my bf or making connections for jobs at PACOM while i'm there the #5 put me in a very bitter and irritated state that just seemed like it got worse all day!


All that, and the most important thing was somehow COMPLETELY lost on me. I mean, I did not even think about it all day yesterday until just now, which compelled me to write this post...

Yesterday was the one year Anniversary of my Cancer Diagnosis. The day my life changed forever.

And it didn't even occur to me yesterday. All week I've been thinking about it. I've been thinking about how I would reflect and do something of a ritual or something... and then the day came and I got wrapped up in life's little mini-dramas and I fORGOT the most important thing.

The irony is significant here. One year ago yesterday, my perspective totally shifted and all of those little mini-dramas did NOT matter, and I completely saw with crystal clarity what really DID. Riding on the metro one year ago, I felt intense compassion for everyone around me because I realized that any one of them could have just been diagnosed with cancer, just like me. Or found out a loved one died or they're infertile or any one of a million very important and very human things could be going on with them. Instead of resenting them for being on the train in my way, sweating on my arm, sneezing in my direction. Little disagreements at work, irritations, etc, suddenly when viewed from the new vantage point of sensing mortality didn't affect me. It was like finding enlightenment.

Sensing mortality means feeling your death. Feeling how close it is, how fragile and vulnerable we are. Feeling how death is just the other side of the coin. It's incredibly overwhelming and words can't describe it unless you've felt experienced it.

Of course, this enlightenment doesn't last. Eventually life goes on and living is not so urgent anymore.

I'm not even officially in remission yet, so I can't say I'm cancer free. I'm in this weird thyroid cancer-limbo land until I have my first year scans and see what there is to see. I had stage I disease, so I'm not planning to die of this.


Yesterday I went and ran hill drills where the Bluemont Trail meets the W&OD trail. I ran down then back up, then ran down backwards, then up backwards. Then down again. Then I did lunges up until my quads stopped firing. ran the rest of the way, then lunged back down. Then ran up and down three more times.

While it's been 60 and cool every morning, this morning it was like a sauna. I, of course, dressed for 60 in pants and a long sleeved tshirt and was DYING. I had my shirt off for the hill repeats, muffin top be damned! It was still dark out so who cares?

1 comment:

maxie's pad said...

I think that there will be tons of other monumental events in your life, that will be more meaningful and will have changed your life more profoundly than thyroid cancer. I don't want to minimize it. But, I do believe that will be so. It will be a blip on your life history...more of a "pain in the neck" that is over. And no doubt, remembered once a year or so, much like a pap smear. (only not as much fun). Congratulations on forgetting the whole cancer anniversary. And welcome to the world of those of us who used to have cancer. We don't need to use the word remission. That's not applicable. We had it. Now we don't. Soon you'll know that.
maxine (had it 40 years ago)