November marks three years since my diagnosis. In some ways, that journey feels like long ago. I’m completely back to work. My hair has grown long again. My doctor visits are few and far between. With my clothes on, there’s no physical reminder of that painful past. But then I’ll catch a glimpse of my scars in the bathroom mirror, or feel a familiar tightness across my chest, I’ll pop my morning cancer pill and suddenly it doesn’t feel so far away.
Cancer survivors mark survivorship by the date of diagnosis. It felt funny to say I was a one year survivor when I was barely wrapping up treatment and my hair was still a close, cropped mop on my head. But three sounds good and solid, like real progress. In fact, I’ve heard myself tooting my horn lately as I share this news with those who ask. Survivors know that the farther you get from that diagnosis date, the better the odds are that it won’t return. I’ve never been good at math or statistics and I know that odds are just numbers, nothing is guaranteed. But these milestones feel meaningful. So happy three to me!