Today I woke up device free, pain free and cancer free and with a smile on my face. Friday I met another milestone on my journey with the removal of my chest port. This port was implanted over a year ago, the day before my first chemo treatment. It saved my veins from all of the pokes and made hours of IVs tolerable. Apparently I have very small and sensitive veins so even the procedure on Friday was difficult without the use of my handy dandy device, but in the end I am ecstatic that it has been removed. With only a few days of recovery I already feel great, having to remember to take it easy for the stiches to heal. Today I look at a bloody bandage with gratitude and hope. It is a symbol of how my body can and has healed. The blood is temporary and in time I will only have a faint scar (since I have a great doctor) and the memory of all that has occured.
While my body takes on this last round of healing, I have been focused on the full self. Since the beginning of the year I have been working on the emotional and mental healing from the past year. We don’t often talk about this part of the process, but it is real and as consuming for me as the physical process of fighting cancer. While the emotional and mental process starts while your body is fighting, I found that I did not really have a grasp of all that had occured until I was through it. Now, through reflection and conversations with others, I am beginning to realize what cancer has meant for me. Cancer did not define me, but it has brought me to look at the world through a different lense. The evaluation of ones self is incredibly time consuming and often even more behind closed doors than when in confinement for illness. I am finding that I am taking more time for myself than ever before. Never did I think I was going to be a “homebody” and while I still love seeing friends and traveling, I am hoping to balance it with more time spent in my home which I have poured much love into making a place of serenity. This house, where I found my cancer on night 1, is now my healing place.
I am turning a corner with my focus as I heal and move forward. For the next couple of months I will be balancing my dedication to work with my love for travel and seeing my friends who traveled to me for the last year in addition to seeing new parts of the world. Being free of my port gives me a whole new lease – while it wasn’t holding me back physically it was still consuming a large part of my mind. I will continue to share on Instagram and will get back to writing soon. Thank you for helping me meet this huge milestone in beating cancer and healing my body and mind!