Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Happy new year.

One year ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Even 12 months down the line – after the heartbreak and the surgery and the all-too-real treatment – I remain every bit as freaked out by that fact as I was upon hearing it. What, me? Breast cancer? Are you sure? It still feels as though I’m talking about someone else – some poor sod I’ve read about in a first-person magazine feature, or heard about in an eavesdropped conversation on the bus. It still hasn’t sunk in. It may never sink in.

Today, however, has been an altogether happier June 17th. In a spookily cyclical turn of events, I have again received a rather massive piece of hospital news; the kind that inflicts tears upon those who’ve so far heard it. But this time, however, it’s for rather more celebratory reasons…

My mammogram is clear.

Poetic or what? I feel like I ought to be taking a bow or something. Punching the air or clipping my heels or screaming from the rooftops or running topless up my street. But since it’s all bit overwhelming right now, I’ve just had a little sob instead. Not out of sadness, you understand. It was a euphoric, relieved little sob. The kind of sob that encourages your husband to kiss your forehead, buy you a lottery ticket and bake you a cake. (Ahh.)

Not expecting my test results to come through until some time next week, I’d been nervous about marking the passing of today. I mean, hell, how do you mark your first cancer anniversary? Or, indeed, the first anniversary of any shit-uation that life chucks at you? I half expected to get up this morning and find my Bullshit birthday on the TV news, hear it being talked about by London cabbies or see it plastered across newspaper placards and magazine covers. (Apparently cancer’s given me an ego the size of Brazil.) Because it is, after all, The Biggest Thing That’s Ever Happened. (Better make that the whole of South America.)

There’s been rather a lot of contact from my family and friends this week, love them. I haven’t banged on about my Bullshit birthday to them even half as much as I would my normal birthday, but everyone’s still silently made it known that they’re aware of its place on the calendar. (And with little over two months to go to my 30th, you can expect that little onslaught to begin, ooh, tomorrow. Come August you’ll be begging me to talk about cancer.)
My mate Ali gave me a pat on the back – literal, not metaphorical – and told me that I ought to mark the day by reflecting on how well I’ve done to get through my first year of a life interrupted by The Bullshit. Mum said I ought to feel proud and allow myself a horn-blow about all the things I’ve achieved. Dad said I’d done brilliantly, congratulating me in much the same way he did when seeing my A-level results (well, two of them anyway). My brother Jamie said I should compare how bleak the picture was this time last year with the altogether rosier outlook of today and hold my head high. And you know what? They're right.

Because, by 'eck, there were times over the last year when I didn't think I'd get this far. Times when I didn't think I could get this far. And the odd time when, I'm ashamed to admit, I didn't even want to. But, bugger me, I have. And yes, I know it's not the end of the road. There’s plenty more to do. (Nipple Phase Two, for starters.) Because as much as the more hardcore phase of my Bullshit experience has tied itself up in a neat 365 days, the bigger battle lasts a lifetime. (After my diagnosis, someone told me to ‘expect to write off the next year’. I may track her down for a palm reading.)

But sod all of that now. Today isn’t for worrying about what comes next, nor is it for mourning the life-changes that cancer has inflicted upon me. God knows I’ve given The Bullshit more than enough of my tears. No, today is for popping corks, feeling chuffed, moving on and partying like it’s June 18th. Today is for saying ‘fair game’ and shaking hands with my opponent, while sneakily smirking at the scoreline that’s in my favour. Today is for looking ahead to a summer – nay, lifetime – of happier memories. (First stop: Glastonbury.) Today is for raising a glass (or six) to all of the brilliant buggers who’ve helped get me this far (that means you). Today is for rising above all the crap stuff, and for celebrating the better things that have come out of my Bullshit year. Today is year zero. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me – and I’m feeling good. 

I can’t guarantee I will be in the morning, mind. Cheers!

36 comments:

RandomPinkness said...

whoo-hoo glad it was clear there was a wee tear in my eye when I read that, my talking to the man upstairs obviosly did it's bit ;-) Well done lass :-)

Freudus said...

Wonderful, amazing, incredible news. I'm 10mins off deadline but fuck'em - this is more important.

The best thing I've heard all year. (raises imaginary glass) To you!

xxx

JoK said...

What fantastic news! Have danced a little at your wonderful news. A really good way to end the year Lisa

Anonymous said...

Been anonymously reading your blog for a while now, but haven't previously been able to put into words how much respect I have for you and your attitude towards The Bullshit.

Reading this, though, I got a lump in my throat and a real feeling of relief, which I have no right to do given that I don't know you (and despite reading all your posts, I still have absolutely no concept of what you have been through in the past year).

You deserve to be shouting this from the rooftops and partying like it's June 18th. And the 19th and 20th as well. To put it simply, you go girl!

Oh, and milk your 30th for all it's worth - 31 doesn't feel nearly as good....!

Alex said...

Wonderful news.

Kate (aka Nose in a book) said...

Fantastic news! Very happy for you. x

Grumpy Old Git said...

Well, lady you went and did it. You well and truly fucked that Bullshit off didn't you?

I am so, so very pleased for you. I hope to feel the same relief some time in the not-too-distant future.

Wish I was close and I'd come round and give you a big hug too.

Welcome to the Rest of Your Life.
xx

gemmak said...

Yayyyyyyyyyyy....wooooooot.....hurahhhhhh, you did it girl!!! Well done you, what a star!!!!! :o))) I am so so pleased, I'm literally jumping up and down for you here!!!!! *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Awesome. I'm genuinely surprised that it isn't on the news, practically everyone (well, anyone who's anyone) knows who you are after all! Thank-you for sharing the journey with us all, you're an inspiration. Xx

Lori's Lens said...

HALLEFUCKINLUJAH!
YOU did it! and P did it too! Both of you deserve to celebrate your cancer free asses off! (or arses, as you would say on your side of the channel..). Big Kiss from Dutchcowboy and Lorilens in Amsterdam (who is now thinkng there is an even BETTER reason for you to visit!)

chris said...

That is quite inspiring, not just for cancer reasons, but for life reasons. Sometimes good things happen. Its as simple as that, take it for what it is and run with it as far as you can go. These are those rarest of moments where you feel truly free, they don't happen very often. Fucking Brilliant. x

Leslie said...

wonderful, fabulous, fantastic news for you!!!!!!!!!!!! As I tried to tweet you this AM, this is Not an "anniversary". That's looking back. You are a ship "one year out" from port on voyage to good health (and a new nipple!) And each year will take you further out! But your blog so clearly shows that you are not spending your time brooding over the past year but, still figuring out WTF happened, you are getting on with your life and THAT is beating the Bullshit! Well done, that girl!

Anonymous said...

happy canciversary

Libby said...

Brilliant news, well done.

Antonia said...

Thank FUCK for that. Seriously. You just thrilled me to the point that I gasped out loud in this internet cafe. I want to tell EVERYONE. Even if they've never heard of you. Love you. Trust me, we will pop corks together all over Los Angeles. Can't wait to see you. Beyond can't wait. Huge congrats Macalicious xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Helen said...

I am so happy for you! I actually just shed a little tear (although I can't guarantee that's not because of my almighty hangover). Still, well done bird. x

Melissa said...

Abso-bloody-lutely brilliant news! I now have no qualms whatsoever in wishing you a very happy anniversary. I love your down-to-earth, no bullshit take on life. And you can rabbit on about your birthday as much as you want, I'd be thrilled if you never have to talk to us about cancer ever again.

Anonymous said...

Well done you, so pleased for you that everything is ok. I am much the same going to do something to celebrate on the first anniversary too. x

Neal said...

Fantastic news. I'm over the moon. Go get drunk now.

Nonamoose said...

So glad it's clear! I'm really happy for you. Enjoy the glass raising and I hope you're not toooooooo hungover lol

*hugs*

SwissToni said...

Well now, that is good news. Hurray! If you happen to see a big lunk in a fedora / Santa hat (don't ask, but it makes it easier to meet up in a big crowd before the headliners come on) at Glastonbury, then do come and claim your celebratory pint of enamel stripping organic cider.....

Well done.

ST

Vixen said...

SCOOOOOOOOORE! I'm so thrilled for you, my equally as excitable about Glastonbury young lady(you've only got just over 2 more months to hear that again)!! Kick up your heels, don those wellies (hopefully not) and give Glasto HELL! Congrats my dear!!!

liz said...

I've got a bloody tear in my eye! So chuffed for you even though I don't know you. Massive congrats, I hope you have a friggin wicked day because you just made MY day!

Liz x

ps the word verification on this post is 'nommi'. he he. nom nom nom, I think it's telling you to eat lots of cake today too :-)

SB said...

Like so many others, I'm sure, I actually grinned like a goon when I read your text yesterday and then cried real, proper tears when I read this blog post (hormonal? Me?!). Part in empathy for how relieved you must be and partly for purely selfish reasons that you're simply too important to us for you to disappear off the radar again for a whole year- we need to see far too much of you for any of that malarky again. We ALL love you so, so much, and can't wait to see you xxxxx

Josie said...

Congratulations!!!

By a strange coincidence 17th June is a sad day for me because it's the date my mum lost her battle to cancer 3 years ago now. Hopefully for you it can be a happy anniversary :)

Chapati said...

YAY!

La BĂȘte said...

Stellar news. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

I'm with all the others on here. Have a lump in my throat whilst writing this.

Happy anniversary and here is to a lifetime of cancer free mammograms!

Janine said...

Fantastic news - what a huge relief!

Anonymous said...

fab news, congratulations!

Butterfly-Crafts said...

I actually shed a tear - congratulations!

lilianavonk said...

Sorry for the belated response, but I wanted to wait until my own mammogram was completed this afternoon (last week the doc found some "anomalies" in Princesse Lefty, though quite frankly, I'm feeling fairly fatalistic about the whole thing, since after having beaten back Mistah Death once already, I know I'm not gonna win every damn time there).

In any case, I talked about you nonstop--sooo, feeling cyberstalked yet?--and the nurse joined in with my w00t! sentiments about your news. BTW, she also agreed with my assessment that you had to wait waaaaaay too dang long for your results--mine are sposed to be back within a week--and welcomed my promise to furnish a copy of your book for their waiting room...uhm, once it's written and published, of course. No pressure there, or anything... ;)

Incidentally--and because I am indeed the Queen of Superficial--I never thought that my boobs could look any bigger than they normally do, but once they've been squooshed and stretched during the mammo--YEEHOWSAH. The next time you hear mention of the Grand Tetons, know they ain't got nuthin on me. O_O

Onto Glastonbury, regardless of weather, and the kickass time you most definitely deserve. Give P massive hugs but be sure to save one for yourself, k? ♥

graduatecalling said...

I have been checking this blog everyday to find out your results. I started reading this blog recently, and have had my fingers crossed for you.
I am so happy. Congratulations!!!!!!

caroline said...

Wow.Such good news, so beautifully written.I love this blog as much as I love marshmallows - yes, I stole that quote from Bete de Jour.

Enjoy every single moment, both of you...because you're worth it, and some.

Angela Phillips said...

Late as usual but I am so glad for you. Have a wonderful time at Glasto all of you - will be thinking of you and expect to see some pictures.
love

TH said...

I don’t believe in god, and I prayed too.

But enough. Cancer is soooo last year. And tomorrow WE’RE GOING TO GLASTONBURY!!!!!!

Am so happy and excited Mac. A million congrats. x