Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dates To Remember.

No, this is not an online site to find your mate or dish about your best/worst date.

I have always been fascinated by numbers and what they represent. Being a cancer patient and now a cancer survivor, the sheer volume of numbers can be overwhelming. But the numbers that stick out the most are the calendar type. They have an intrusive way of sticking in your mind––at least mine––because milestones are HUGE.

Yesterday, February 19, was one of those days. All day I kept thinking "why does today feel so different?" I checked all my blog posts. Nothing but a bad Valentine's Day post I wrote last year. No biggie. But as I began to look through past posts, I rediscovered that my first post on this site was July 19, 2008. And that I had a journal before––hand-written, not digital. Yep, let's go back in time.

My Sister-In-Law, Claudia, would have been 60 this year. She passed away from cancer 16 days after my diagnosis (the first cancer, head-and-neck) in August of 2007. Claudia loved life and her family. I know my Wife misses her every day. I miss her, too. That didn't come from my journal but after telling my Wife, "I keep feeling this is a monumental day somehow" she reminded me of Claudia's birthday (I have always thought it was February 18). "Oh yes, that's right, " I said. But I knew there was more to this day, as callous as that may sound.

February 19, 2008 was my first scan after all the treatments. It was a scan to see if the cancer was GONE completely. A little over 12 weeks after my last chemo treatment––I had finished 7 weeks of radiation, 5 times a week two weeks prior––I was going back in the tube. And it scared the shit outta me. I was a shell of my former self––both physically and mentally. I had already been back to work for almost two months and was struggling to perform. Fuck, I was struggling just to live every day.

Now I remember.