Today is the big anniversary.
One year ago today I was running around Salt Lake getting our passports for our Christmas in Chile. Driving around wearing capris and shoes with heels. Long curly hair and lots of hope.
Thats when the diagnosis hit me. On I-15. In my minivan, while talking on a cell phone.
I remember reading in one persons cancer experience that they had never been happy since the day they were diagnosed. I was so mad when I read it. Surely that could not be the case, and it was their own fault if they felt like that. I thought they should be happier than ever! Just to be alive, wasn't that good enough?
I'm sorry to say I see what she was saying.
I have learned a lot this year. I don't think I wanted to know half of it. I didn't want to know about depression. I didn't want to know about anxiety. I didn't want to know about suicidal thoughts. I didnt want to know the worst in me.
I liked being naive. I think I had enough trials to get me on my best behavior and in my scriptures. I was progressing. I was contributing to society. I was loving my neighbors. I was raising a family in the gospel.
I wasnt doing these things perfectly, but I really was trying. And I was happy.
I know people have had to go through hell like this when they were kids or teens. That breaks my heart. I think I would have been fine to wait 30 more years for this to hit me.
I guess Im feeling like I failed this test. God gave it to me, and I should have been prepared, and I should have come out with flying colors. But I fell short. I dont feel like I can ever have that pre cancer happy smile again. Like there will always be pain in the back of my eyes.
I wonder if this would be a different experience if I had no lasting side effects. If I wasnt limited by my leg, or if my prognosis was better. would I be like, 'Man that was a bad year. Sure glad that part of my life it over. Sure glad I learned those lessons.'
Instead I feel like a truck ran over me, and I feel...flattened. I dont feel like Im a better mom, a better friend, a better neighbor, and better wife, a better mormon. I feel like I'm a worse all of these.
Can something just kind of ruin a bit of you that you never really recover? Or do we always have to be the better for it?
Here is the truth: I am a cancer surviver, but I'm just surviving. I'm not thriving.
What do you think? Is there still a chance at heaven for me, or should I give up and go get drunk?