February 4th is recognized as a day to commemorate those who have lost their battle with cancer, as well as to give hope and support to patients, their families, and survivors of the various forms of the disease. World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.
Claire asked me if we could do a photo for World Cancer Day again this year, and I was touched, I appreciate she wanted to celebrate this small feat with me today. Here is her inspiration (and skillful photo editing):
(and on my wrist yes, is my new tattoo)
For me personally, it is a day to reflect on what is important to me, what I have accomplished lately, and how I can achieve my goals for the future. It's also a good day to write a bit - I am tucked away in the master suite with pen in hand. It's been a while... very busy few months being back to work and all; I'm still feeling my way around the balancing act which is life (most days thinking I will never make headway on that one).
I've also been battling a severe sinus and ear infection for almost a month, including 15-day course of antibiotics, and - if you can imagine - it has made me even more cranky and anti-social than usual. Not possible you say? HA - take it from me, yes, its true.
Unfortunately, one side-effect of my thyroidectomy is all the cancerous lymph nodes that went with it. Like, literally went... they were removed. That means my body is missing a section of it's lymphatic system, which moves stuff around, namely bad stuff that needs to get away from an infection in order for it to heal. This is actually my second ear infection since August; I was not prone to them before, but now I have to be careful of any infections from the neck up. And well... from the neck down.
It seemed that my super-boosted immune system (from the ipi treatments for melanoma) was warding off everything else too - for almost two years, I hadn't had so much as a sniffle. Now I worry that it has worn off, is that a thing? and what does that mean for my melanoma? Will it come back like the cold/flu? My Mom says I'm just getting old, somehow that is comforting - before cancer I never thought I'd say that.
I'm happy though, to report that my kiddos are well. They survived the first semester of grade nine in a new school; they have almost straight A's and a gaggle of new friends, plus unflagging spirits ready to tackle anything - everything - that comes their way. They have been very helpful in the past few months as we have all been adjusting to my every whim, even though they have been fighting challenges of their own. Don't worry, they are healthy, it's just some of the other stuff can be overwhelming; we all know it's not easy being a teenager.
They still hold the philosophies reflected in our photos from last year's World Cancer Day, Scott too... I don't know how they all put up with me:
Happy New Year everyone, may 2017 bring you peace and happiness. xoox