5 Years and Counting

Dates can be tricky. There are some dates that stick with you during your entire life such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and memorable moments. You look forward to the celebrations that may transpire or to the little getaways that have been planned to commemorate the occasions. June has always been an awesome month for me, school always let out, my family always went to the beach, and tennis season was in full swing. All those fun feelings changed 5 years ago.

Since then, June has triggered lots of emotions with me and it usually takes me by surprise. While planning Memorial Day fun, I usually try not to look forward in my calendar too far because I never know what June will bring.  For me, June 18th, 2006  is a date that I will remember forever as the day I found out I had cancer.

Every year I have this gnawing in my gut that just won’t go away when June hits. I  don’t even remember hardly anything that was said that day; I just remember the cancer part. The rest was a blur.  I went through surgery and opted out of chemo since my doctor didn’t think it was necessary for my type of cancer. I just remember missing my family trip, not being able to play tennis, and just feeling completely horrible.

The first year out was filled with anxiety and TONS of hypochondrial moments. I thought every little bruise, headache, and sickness was cancer related. I never relaxed for a moment. Every passing year has gotten slightly better on the anxiety scale and I haven’t dreaded June as much as that first year. But for some reason this year the emotions hit hard. This year has been filled with drastic life changes for me. I started a new job, I bought my first “new to me car”, I graduated with my masters degree,  I have been faced with some pretty tough family situations, and I have my 5 year anniversary of being cancer free coming up.

Since being diagnosed, I have wanted to get to the 5 year mark to celebrate. I wanted to put all the bad feelings in the past and to toast life.  Now it’s finally here and I am questioning every bruise and every time I feel exhausted and it’s frustrating. I have my scan in a little over a week and couldn’t be more thrilled and more terrified than I am right now. As always, my emotions will be up and down and left and right. I can’t make sense of them but there is one think I do know; I have a HUGE support system that I can rely on. That support system gets me through the tough times and they also help me celebrate the good.

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About Ashley Portrey

Volunteer Coordinator, AmeriCorps member, tennis player, Thanatologist, volunteer, and bargain shopper. Loves anything green, red skittles, tennis, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Personal Cancer Stories, UCF and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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