In April I found out that I had thyroid cancer. If you are a regular reader of my blog, than you know I wrote a number of posts chronicling my experience with thyroid cancer during the past eight months.
The doctors can tell you when you are done with treatment. They tell you when you have made the physical shift from a cancer patient to a cancer survivor. But they can’t tell you when the mental shift will happen-that you can now get out of cancer patient mode, and get back to your life.
It was important for me to take a series of smaller steps, to get myself mentally out of the cancer patient mode. I started doing more activities with Ryan and Cole that took us out of the house like going camping, to the zoo and to parks. I have had quality time with my family- all of us together and also spending time with individual family members. I started exercising and doing activities again like hiking and riding my bike. As I did these things, I could feel the mental shift happen.
One step that I had not had an opportunity to do was spend time with my friends. We all became friends around the time when our first children were born. We would have playgroups, craft nights, and mom’s nights out together.
As our children grow, our activities have changed, and we have all become busier. The time we have to spend with each other has diminished. But this summer, they put their own families and lives on hold to help me. They didn’t ask me what I needed- they just did it. They did everything from cooking meals, to doing housework, yard work, offering childcare, stopping by to say hi, to just being there for me, and offering their support. Not a day went by that I didn’t hear from one of them- either by phone, e-mail, or cards.
So when Mile High Mamas, announced they were having a social media event with Mom it Forward at the Warwick Hotel in Denver, last Thursday night, my friends and I were exctied for the night out. I was also happy that we could spend some time together. Below is myself with some of my terrific friends, Nicole, Alison, Melissa, Amy, and Julie.
Photo credit Amy
The event was a lot of fun, with wonderful appetizers and a wine tasting. I was touched by several women, who when read my name tag, gave me a hug and told me they had been following my cancer journey, and offered their support. Several blog posts have been written about the evening- you can read Amy’s, Aimee’s or Amber’s posts for more information (and pictures) on the event itself.
As we were getting ready to leave, the Warwick staff invited us to see the only rooftop pool in Denver, that just happened to be on their roof! We put our feet in, and that soon turned into splashing, which turned into two of the women, Aimee, and Jyl, jumping in the pool, fully clothed for a swim.
They looked like they were having a great time, and as I watched them swimming around, I decided that I was going to go for a swim myself. It would be the perfect way to remember the evening.
Julie was ready as well so we grabbed hands, and took the plunge!
Photo credit Aimee
Shortly after, Amy and Alison joined in too. We were silly, laughing, and having fun.
Photo credit Aimee
Photo credit Amy
The evening was about fun and friends, but also for me, it was a way for me to mark the end of being a cancer patient, and celebrating life with amazing women that are my friends.
As I jumped into that pool, the shift was completed. I have returned back to my life- healthy and strong.