Back when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, some of the other school secretaries pitched in and bought me a large, creamy white orchid, which was delivered to my home with a card signed by them all.
This was impressive because school secretaries don't actually work together - there is only one per school, and we see each other once a year at district meetings, if that. We do email each other occasionally - where do you buy this, how did you solve that? We are in an exclusive club, but all alone in the clubhouse. So, somebody really went out of their way to do this, which was very thoughtful.
It was also crazy how fast word about my cancer traveled through the district. Stories like mine jump from school to school faster than Charlie Sheen can appear on a new radio show. I'd just been diagnosed when the plant arrived at my doorstep.
Anyway, my lovely orchid earned a spot in the center of my coffee table. The blooms lasted through my mastectomy and recovery, and I got many hours of enjoyment out of them.
Now one thing you need to know about me is I'm a plant killer. My thumb is so black that light disappears around it. So, when the blooms fell off and died, I figured that was it for the plant. It still had some green on it so it wasn't ready for the garbage yet, but I knew it wouldn't be long. I moved it into the kitchen and forgot about it. I went back to work, finished my chemo, continued on with my year's worth of infusions.
December 2nd was my last day of herceptin, and I felt great relief, as you can imagine. I went home, loaded some dishes in the dishwasher and looked up.
I saw buds on my orchid. One almost bursting open.
Not only had I not killed it, but it seemed to be thriving.
As I reached out to touch a fresh petal, I realized that I was given the plant immediately after diagnosis and it bloomed again on my very last day of treatment. It was a nice symbol: the orchid was beginning fresh, and so was I.
Sometimes, life throws some neat coincidences your way. All you have to do is pay attention.
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I live with metastatic breast cancer. .
I was diagnosed 2009 with Stage 2 Her2+ breast cancer. Mastectomy followed, 6 rounds of chemo and a year of herceptin. A few months after I finished, cancer was found in my liver-incurable. I've done chemo after chemo, has my liver partially removed and did cyber knife radiation. Like all metsters, I'll be on treatment until I die.
I'm a former High School Secretary, wife, and mother of two great sons.
To read my entire cancer story, go to www.butdoctorihatepink.com and find the post called "What the heck is that?" on September 2, 2009, or look at the top of the blog and click on "chronological posts". (Some issues with the feed on that but it will get you started). If you are a blogger who can give me a link, I'd appreciate it very much. To email me, click on my profile and you'll find a email addy. I answer every email from a cancer patient. Also like my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Facebook. I'm butdoctorihatepink on Instagram and @butdocihatepink on Twitter. Like me while you can!