An anniversary that’s really only important to me has come and gone and so has more than a year since my last blog post, called “Candle #3”. In that post, I spoke of the significance of June 1st in my life. Now, another June 1st has passed and Candle #4 was lit. Amen. These candles mark the anniversary of the double mastectomy that began the journey to eradicate cancer from my body. Multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, daily medications, monthly injections, blood draws, infusions, regular scans and all kinds of therapies and complications (oh hello jugular vein DVT clot – thanks for the surprise visit) are all plot points on this cancer trek to somewhere I still don’t know the name of. “Survivorship-port”? “Thriver-ville”?
Lighting a candle is my way to note something definitive on the map: another year. Another year is quantifiable like the miles between two map dots or the elevation of a steep climb. Taking a moment to look back helps me feel a sense of accomplishment for all those many steps. Anyone who has gone through cancer knows the days that mark the silent yet personally significant “cancerversaries”, but in truth, I think most everyone have silent anniversaries. There is a space between these silent anniversaries that can be so lonely, silent and maybe even dark and arriving to the next anniversary can feel daunting.
As I light my candles each year, I think I’m also trying to shine the light for anyone else who may feel lost as they travel between those spaces of silent anniversaries and may want to give up before the next day slowly unfolds. If that is you, please keep going. It matters. Tomorrow you might go a bit further and before you know it, you will have something to celebrate. Celebrate whatever makes sense for you and mark those milestones. My wish is that you light every candle you get the chance to…eat the cake and dance when you hear your favorite song and if you want to share the picture or write about your experience, this space is for you.
Mugging up is a way to connect, share our stories, and celebrate each other, wherever we are on our journey. In the next year, is there a milestone or anniversary you want to acknowledge, remember or even celebrate? If you want to be a guest blogger and share about a personally significant anniversary, please reach out and we will make plans to get your story on this blog and share in the glow of your candles.
Until next time,
~Mug Up Mermaid
PS – My mom already bought me Candle #5. I look forward to lighting that candle and maybe even tossing some glitter up into the sky. Who knows, maybe you will join me?