This is October too.

Today is October 2nd.

On October 2nd four years ago, I was holding my breath, pleading and bargaining with myself, willing the lump and asymmetry in my breast not to be cancer.

Late in the evening of October 2nd four years ago, I heard those words, those unforgettable words which can never be unspoken.

This is highly suspicious of cancer.

Today is October 2nd.  Today is my fourth cancerversary.  I have come a long way since hearing those words, yet too often I have no idea where I am.  I stand in a strange space, the ground underneath my feet seems unsure.  Words and emotions swirl around my head.

The cancerversary is a strange beast.  Not a day for celebration. Rather a day of recognition, quiet reflection and gratitude for a a present which is precious and fragile.

Misty Rakhine morning

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17 thoughts on “This is October too.

  1. This July was my fifth. And I did have to look up the exact date, which is either a sign that I’m recovering somewhat from the Pavlovian programming that event has stamped into my brain, or that I’m just more forgetful than I used to be. Hugs, my friend. Kathi

    • It does sound like a very healthy sound that you had to look up the date 🙂 I am a remember-the-date kind of girl, I remember all sorts of random and often useless anniversaries. Dates stick in my mind. Unlike any recollection of whether I have turned the gas off or locked the house!! Big hugs to you too, and continued emotional (and physical of course) healing.

  2. The day is a time of quiet reflection – you are so right about that. Once we hear those words, we are forever transformed aren’t we? Thinking of you and sending warm hugs, my friend.

  3. oh, philippa,

    your words, “…rather a day of recognition and quiet reflection for a present which is precious and fragile.” beautiful, and so true. and the photo accompanying your post is so evocative, as it seems to reflect the peaceful place of gratitude, but also the fragile mistiness. we can’t see through the mist, not very clearly anyway, and for now, with the many unknowns, the veil of mist may be the metaphor that urges us to just be…now, in that precious and quiet place.

    keeping you close to my heart, dear one, always with love and light,

    Karen, XOXOXOX

    • Thank you so much, Karen – yes it feels very much like a vague mistiness. The photo is one I took in north western Myanmar two winters ago, it reminds me of the feelings uppermost with me just now and those which you so perceptively noted. A sense of making a solo path, in the mists and with waters swirling around.
      Love and light to you too, in abundance xxx

    • It is such a contradiction, isn’t it? If we did not share a diagnosis then we would never have met on this path we did not choose to walk…. One day our physical paths will cross and we will have that cup of tea and blether! somehow I had forgotten that we shared a cancerversary!

      I too am so grateful for meeting you here too. 🙂 xxx

  4. A strange and unsure place, indeed. I wasn’t superstitious before cancer, but now…I hesitate to linger too long on my cancerversary or think too much about being a “survivor” for fear of finding myself facing recurrence.

  5. Philippa, I know that feeling exactly: the feeling of bargaining and pleading that it’s not cancer. My doc told me the same thing before we knew for sure: that he was highly suspicious that this was cancer. The world seemed to end right then and there. So very glad you and I have met.

    • Thank you so much, Beth – yes that moment is the one branded into my mind and heart. But as you say, the path we moved onwards has been a special one where we have been able to connect with each other. I too am very thankful for meeting you 🙂

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