June 25, 2016


Six year cancerversary

This was certainly another year of change, another year of dealing with the aftermath of my diagnosis.  But then life is all about taking the outcomes of what came before and making the next step, isn't it?

I'm doing well, I think.  Not 100%, not where I want to be, but well.  6 years ago, before my diagnosis phone call, I was planning a life with my husband and my baby and had no idea this was what it would look like in 6 years.  I've had a lot taken out of me, in every sense of that statement.  I've spent the last years trying to fill it back up--in fits and starts, and not always with the best things for me.  I've had years of pain and fear back me into a corner in my own body, and chunks removed.  Now I'm trying to expand myself to re-inhabit my own space.  I don't always know what to do with that.

I was trying to think of a metaphor, a theme, a...something for this year's milestone.  I'm not good at coming up with metaphors.  I started out thinking about the last six years in parallel to my beautiful six year old and thinking about our growth together through this, but it was a stretch so I gave up on that.  Olive is Olive, and barely 6 anymore, and on a totally separate trajectory from where I've been the last 6 years.  

Then I was out in my garden.

There are a lot of metaphorical things one can say about gardening and growing things and weeding and so forth.  I'm going to take this a little more literally, though, and it'll all come out in the wash.  My garden has been the perfect mirror of where I've been in the last years, especially the last 4 on my own.  The garden was not my baby, my passion, my idea, but I was left with it and had to figure out what to do.  

How these last 4 seasons have been have mirrored a lot.  I tried hard to go all out in the beginning, trying to make it a f@$* you statement that I could do the same thing and didn't need help.  Then I took some help.  Then it got away from me again and I didn't have the energy to match my original bluster.  Then I accepted whatever I could get out of it, and let nature take over the rest.  Last year, I had intentions but did nothing with it for months, until finally I accepted help to just cover it up and minimize the weeds.  This year, we'll see.  I planted, I'm sorta keeping up so far but not stressing about it, and I'm getting some results.  But not everything sprouts.  

And something keeps nibbling down my peas--I don't think I want to make that a metaphor for anything, though. :)

And some years, some moments, some magic happens.  I get to eat some good things and feed them to Olive.  I get Julie to teach me that the purslane that has taken over my beds is actually delicious and good for you.  I get Barry and Olive to meticulously weed at the start of this season.  I get blueberries coming after years of nothing.  

Yeah, the effing mint won't go away despite my best efforts.  Yeah, my strawberries were super happy, but the animals got every single one before me.  Yeah, I've got a lot of weeds again.

You know what's been a constant, though.  The raspberries.  They're easy to maintain with a little pruning and have never let me down.  They bring me and Olive a lot of joy and deliciousness, and I get to share them.  I get behind in picking and the bugs wind up getting a share, but that's life.  That's why there's an abundance.  And they're there even when I'm not putting in my best effort.  

Thanks for being my raspberries, guys.