This week, on Saturday, to be exact, is the one year anniversary of Moira's diagnosis. May 22, a date that will forever be etched into my mind, as well as hers. I was on a long, 30+ mile bike ride. She called me and told me the news when I was still a long way from home. I rode back furiously, with tears literally streaming down my face.
We have been through hell and back, like many families touched by cancer. Today, Leo is healthy and maturing more and more daily, I am getting in shape for the first time in years, and Moira is nearly recovered. I say nearly because I just can't put my finger on whether or not you can ever really put a punctuation mark on cancer treatment. It seems like here and there little things creep up, small frustrations or realizations that are a result of the cancer. Another hard fact is that Moira still admits to me that she feels like cancer could return anytime, as well. Technically, she is supposed to be just as statistically safe from breast cancer (now that she has had her rigorous treatment) as the average woman on the street, but I know she doesn't always feel that way. I can't imagine....it was hard enough for me, but must be surreal for Moira...to think that a tough bugger like cancer could return anytime. I pray it doesn't, and I know it won't.
There are good things, too, but we aren't exactly in that camp of cancer survivors who love to say that “cancer was a blessing." More power to them, but to us, it wasn't a blessing - it sucked. Of course, we did get some positives out of the experiences surrounding cancer, and witnessed some little miracles along the way. We made new fast friends, I am working on forming a new non-profit (with local cancer hero Phil Brabbs), Moira came out of everything stronger than ever, and we have done some good for others and ourselves. Just last weekend I raced my bike and on foot at the Chelsea Heart and Sole Race, and took 2nd place overall in the combined 13.4 mile bike/5k run "duathlon." This time last year I was about 55 pounds heavier and constantly depressed. I still have tough days, given the stresses and rigors of being a new dad and the spouse of someone creaming cancer, but on the whole these personal victories have taken me a long way and I can honestly say I am changed man. Was it because of cancer? Well, unfortunately cancer was the kick in the pants that I needed, but it was US, not cancer, that changed our lives. Moira chose not to lie down and accept it, and I was inspired by her actions.
So how do you mark an auspicious occasion like a one-year cancer anniversary? Well, for us it is a remarkable coincidence that the Susan Komen Detroit Race for the Cure is on Saturday morning...one year to the day from the diagnosis. Moira and I are running together. For once, I don't care about the finishing time; I only care about crossing the finish line with Moira...together.