Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Banana Pancakes

June 4 is National Cancer Survivor Day. I ask myself, what does it mean to me now - almost 3 years post-cancer treatment and continued remission to be a SURVIVOR? To finish treatment, to hear those two words "cancer free", no evidence of disesase. To be a cancer survivor has different meaning to me on different days. It changes all the time.

 On the day when I am singing at the top of my lungs at a Jack Johnson concert with the love of my life and our best friends, the sunset, open air concert on June 4, National Cancer Survivor day, being a survivor means, I am brought back to my when my kids were babies. Jack Johnson, Curious George CD, playing on a weekend morning, on an afternoon where I worked part-time and we slept for three hours everyday. I dream back of sleepovers at the Lago house, champagne breakfasts with Jack Johnson, staying another night and never wanting to come home and go back to work.  Banana pancakes. Wanting to sleep in and pretend that we didn't have any worries or anywhere to go or be. That song will always stay with me. That care-free feeling we had before cancer changed our lives.

On the day when the oncologist at the Juravinski Centre in Hamilton informed me that I was in remission and the PET scan showed no evidence of disease, being a survivor meant tremendous relief. The month of November that year was the most stressful few weeks that I have ever experienced in my life, waiting for those results.

On the day where I returned to work for the first time in 18 months, being a survivor meant feeling an enormous sense of accomplishment that I was returning to a career that I love and a new role as an Itinerant Developmental Support Teacher, being a survivor felt like a new beginning.

On the day where my daughter tells me she has a lump on her neck, which turned out to be mononucleosis, being a survivor meant having a wave of fear go through me that flashed me back to when I first felt the hard, round olive size lump on my neck. The lump that rolled around, was painful to touch and felt like a marble. Being a survivor that day, was the worry of something happening to one of my children.

On the day where I interviewed and was offered the position for my current role as Special Education Consultant, being a survivor meant realizing a dream and goal that I had been working for. It was a job that I had watched be posted while I was off on sick leave and was unable to apply for. A position that I often wondered when I was in the darkest days of treatment, will I ever return to work? What if I will never get that opportunity?

On the day when I come home from work after a long 12 hour day, emails to answer, my body tired, work stress overcoming me, being a survivor means, a realization that I need to find a better balance, a reminder that there is more to life than our work and careers. A reminder to put away the computer and phone and take care of myself and my family.

On the day where I am sitting on the dock at the cottage, watching our friends and kids jump off the dock at sunset, celebrating MOTY weekend with my best friends, a clink of a glass, a kayak ride, a feeling that "life is pretty damn good", being a survivor means a gratefulness that I am able to enjoy the sweet things in life once again.

"Banana Pancakes"

Can't you see that it's just raining?
Ain't no need to go outside...

But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep you
From doing what you're supposed to.
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside

But just maybe, like a ukulele
Momma made a baby
Really don't mind the practice
'cause you're my little lady
Lady, lady, love me
'cause I love to lay here lazy
We could close the curtains
Pretend like there's no world outside

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful writing, Michelle. Keep on celebrating life, dear friend! ❤