This week last year I received my diagnosis of Stage III, triple positive breast cancer. Today, I finished six and a half weeks of daily radiation, which is very close to being the final treatment. I just have one more herceptin infusion and reconstructive surgery to go.
After six months of chemo took away my lovely long hair, I am growing very accustomed to my short pixie style that was so easy to manage during an NC summer. The other upside being that my husband now gives me hair tips and I steal his orange tin of pomade to smooth things out a bit. So I am celebrating the difference that a year makes and we are off to Williamsburg, VA, for some camping and sightseeing to celebrate and to let the past year sink in a bit.
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At the same time that I am celebrating, I am remembering my friend Becky, who passed away from breast cancer two years ago this summer after a two-year battle with the disease. What makes us different? Only the type of breast cancer that we both had. I didn't understand the different types of breast cancer when Becky was diagnosed; as with anything, until you really get close to something you don't understand all of the details. I now know that Becky did not have triple positive breast cancer.
On my 40th birthday four years ago, Becky gave me a reflective running shirt and a card that read "Be seen!" for our early morning runs in the dark. It was one of the most thoughtful and useful presents I have received, a truly inspired gift and note. In a couple of words Becky said so much.
Today as I celebrate the end of my course of radiation, and being a year on from my diagnosis, I remember Becky and her note to me to "Be Seen!" There is much to celebrate but there is much to remember as well.