Cancer will etch a few dates into your mind.
Much like questions about - what you were doing on 9/11? You remember some things forever.
I celebrated one of my first (1 year since diagnosis) with a friend named Colin. I had celebrated his first Cancerversary with him too. He can celebrate no more, and now November 20th, is forever on my calendar.
Some of my other dates -
April 24th - first surgery
May 14th - told it was Cancer
Part of the Cancer journey is to "ring the bell". Some of the Cancer clinics have a "Bell of Hope" that people can ring when they are done their treatments. I didn't know much about this, and when told about it by a friend, I thought he was yanking my chain. But that day, he showed why he is such a great friend to come and see me ring that bell. My wife took a video (it almost came off the wall)
Ringing the bell has multiple meanings in my military culture. Everything from recognizing a dignitary or accomplishment, to admitting defeat. Not sure what I thought about having a bell associated with a Cancerversary.
But, even the guy giving me the BCG told me about the bell, my wife said I was ringing the bell, and my friend brought me muffins (Mike Birbiglia joke ). So, I rang the bell.
thanks for reading this far. I am still working on a bunch of topic for future blogs related to my rebuilding of a new life, now that medical retirement is approaching, and I need to turn a corner. I have a number of lessons to share, and many I still need to learn.