Thursday, February 28, 2019

6 Years of NED

6 years of NED...seems like we were just celebrating the final day of radiation, but here we are. On my last day of radiation, when I had to go to work after, I told myself that I would not work any other February 27th as long as I was cancer free. And so, I created for myself NED Day! I must tell you it is glorious day filled with gratitude, friends and of course...Boob Cake.

Survivorship is not a linear process. There are more good days than bad, but there are more anxious moments, more foot cramps, a lot more pills and a lot more doctors visits then there was before cancer. The more weeks, days, months and years that I put together the FOR (fear of recurrence) lessens, but it can still take hold at the strangest moments. For example, I bruised my rib this past Fall (while making bread in my mixer, I am talented, don't ask) and while I knew exactly how this injury happen it sent me down the rabbit hole. When the pain didn't immediately go away and the days turned into a week I began to think that what if this wasn't a rib injury what if the cancer had returned? Thankfully, a good nights sleep and repositioning of the way I slept helped to make certain the FOR didn't get to set up camp fully. Survivorship is full of highs and lows. And that is why I choose to celebrate the highest of the high, NED day.

I started the day with a run. Nothing says I enjoy being alive like going for a run on 11 degree day (with a negative wind chill). At one point I came around the corner to face the wind head on and actually just yelled. As if the cold startled me. But, getting an ice cream headache while running couldn't wipe the smile from my face.

Next up, my friend and I ate our weight in pancakes and tater tots and had a great time catching up. Eating good food, chatting and visiting with some of my favorite people was a theme of the day.

Then I had the remainder of the day to work on the Year 6 Boob Cake.
6 layers (oh man these cakes are getting bigger) of vanilla bean sponge, key lime curd, coconut butter cream, coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut (which is like my irradiated boob) and a key lime nipple. When it's cold outside, my brain apparently wanted a warm weather flavors, so I went with it. 

My friends then came over (on a work night no less) and very kindly helped me celebrate by eating the cake. chatting and spreading general merriment. 

As if all of yesterday wasn't wonderful colleagues in the intensive care unit where I work (and the same ICU that I once had a breakdown about my upcoming PET scan when first diagnosed), wanted in on the celebration. So they surprised me with a card and cake! (I forgot to take a picture until after we ate a good portion of it). 

How awesome are the people I work with? 

Survivorship might not be a linear process, but when your surrounded by such wonderful people there are always people to pick you up when you hit the lows and there to celebrate with you when you hit the highs!