Yesterday I “celebrated” yet another cancerversary – I’m officially one year out of cancer treatment.

By: Robin Harry

Yesterday I “celebrated” yet another cancerversary – I’m officially one year out of cancer treatment. I can’t believe it’s been a year since that last radiation session, since I left the hospital that afternoon knowing that I was done the tough part, as I prepared to wait for the results. On one hand, the year went by very quickly. On the other hand, 2012 was full of so many different things – experiences, emotions, people – that it’s hard to believe that’s it’s only been a year. So I’m going to attempt – somehow – to recap the year in one post. As I did last year:

– I thank God for his presence in my life, for the peace that passes understanding, for the comfort of the belief that He knows where I am even in the times when I can’t find Him, and for the blessing of life and every breath I take.
– My family is one of the toughest there is. Even when they drive me nuts, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
– I have been blessed with some of the most amazing friends a girl could have – both friends I’ve had for years, and the friends I’ve made this year.
– University of Toronto Gospel Choir, Young Adult Cancer Canada, Cancer Fight Club, Lymphoma Canada – how privileged and blessed I am to be a part of these families.

– I don’t think anything will come close to being cancer-free this year!! Every time I heard it – whether it was the first time after treatment in April, or after my recurrence scare in August – “no evidence of recurring disease” is one of my favourite phrases in life.
– Getting to travel this year was definitely a highlight! Vacation in Florida, an event in Montreal, a retreat in Nova Scotia, work meetings in Chicago – it’s been a busy and exciting year!
– Being able to sing with my choir again this December was surreal. It was like coming full circle from when the whole cancer journey started.
– One of the best parts of 2012 was making new friends. I’ve met so many amazing people that have been affected by cancer. While it sucks that cancer is what we have in common, I’m so glad I know them.
– Losing the freakin’ cancer weight!! WHOO!!
– Of course, there were the little random things that brought me joy. Seeing Coldplay live again. Getting a Twitter shout out from Jeff Davis. Getting a Facebook mention from Corey Hart AND seeing him live. It doesn’t take much to make me happy!!

– The unfortunate part of making friends in the cancer community is the inevitability of losing friends to cancer. A young woman I met in August, Naomi, passed away on Christmas day. I didn’t know her for long, but I knew her enough to like her a lot. My heart breaks for her family.
– Oh fertility, how you frustrated me this year.
– Recurrence scares suck. I hate the nagging feeling of uncertainty. However, all is well 🙂
– Also unpleasant was the feelings of confusion and of being lost after being in remission. However, that’s something that continues to heal with time.
– I’m still mourning the end of one of my favourite TV shows, Chuck…don’t judge, these things are important to me…

– More than ever, I love being me. It would have been nice to learn these lessons without having had cancer, but I’m glad to take something away from the experience.
– I did most of what I set out to do in the beginning of 2012. I’ve gone to new places, tried new things, made new friends, started learning how to swim, I eat healthier, I read more books (not enough Bible, but I tried!), and I have my feet firmly planted in the young adult cancer community, willing to do all I can. I feel accomplished.

So here’s to 2012, and all it brought. I pray that 2013 brings happiness and good health – to me, my family, my friends, and to all of you who happen upon this blog. Happy new year, everyone!


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