On Saturday I went to an all-day, informational event focused on metastatic breast cancer. There were researchers presenting the latest findings, nutritionists talking about food, therapists discussing coping, … all sorts of fun stuff! It was the third time I’ve attended this annual event. I’ve been living with MBC for 9 years now which is longer than many last, a point which became poignantly apparent. One fellow patient I chatted with said she was so encouraged to hear that I had survived so long … she was a newbie.
A month before my MBC diagnosis, my daughter was eleven, and she and I went on a trip to England. I rented a car to drive from London to Wales … the rental, of course, was a stick shift. I know how to drive a standard, but hadn’t in years, and I’d never driven one where the stick is in your LEFT hand. Never mind driving on the left and all. When we first set off, we went down a narrow street which ended on a very busy road. The British GPS voice said pleasantly, TURN RIGHT … making a right turn in England is of course like making a left turn here. I was looking at crossing two lanes of heavy traffic into another two lanes, while watching for buses in the bus lane, pedestrians on the sidewalks, and bicycles everywhere. I sat for a moment and said out loud, I can’t do this. A little voice from the backseat chirped up, YES YOU CAN, that’s what you always tell ME when I say I can’t do my math homework.
Obviously I had no choice … six hours later we arrived in Llandudno.
For nine years I’ve doggedly remained positive … not because positivity extends life (it doesn’t) but because it makes life better. Of course, there are days when my mind thinks, ya know, I don’t have a lot of years left. Then my head says to my mind, yeah but we’re still talking in years, not weeks. My mind responds, maybe, but I’m not going to beat this disease, no one does. (Sometimes) my head replies, YES YOU CAN.