August 6th will always hold a special place for me. Each year, this day marks another year that I’ve been cancer free. 13 years today.
Sometimes it seems like yesterday that I was in Roswell going through treatment. I was 21 and didn’t really fit anywhere. The adult wing was full of 80 year old people moaning and groaning in their pain. The nurses would offer me a place in the pediatric wing where the video games and such were. I couldn’t bear to see the bald children in that situation and tolerated the moaning. Thinking back, those kids were stronger and more understanding of what was going on with their bodies than any adult gave them credit for.
For years I didn’t want anyone to know. It may have been embarrassment or just the fact that I was trying to forget about the whole thing. At some point, I don’ t remember exactly when, I started to talk about it more. It’s still not something I just bring up in conversation but I’m more apt to share my experience. It’s been great to speak with other survivors and to be a sounding board for those currently coping.
August 6th isn’t a national holiday and my calendar isn’t marked with any sort of reminder. It isn’t a day for gifts but it’s like an important birthday…a date I won’t forget.
Tonight, I will go to bed knowing that I am as healthy as the next guy and I look forward to quietly celebrating each and every future August 6th.