Shredding memories

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 I spent the last few days getting things ready for the shredders.

No love letters but definitely memories and reminiscing.

 But in the way that you do —you read pages occasionally, and there they were…all the bills, EOBs, and such from 2009.

My ever increasing insurance dues were there, as were all the scans done prior to chemo, the chemo with every single thing they did (blood tests), everything they put through the iv (taxotere, carboplatin, herceptin, benedryl, steroids, other drugs) listed, every drug every steroid and every dose of nebulas taken by mouth or shot. The bill for the MRI that saved my life, the bill from insurance for that (long story—paid cash but they tried to charge me anyway). The oncotype —determination of high risk. And yeah it was higher than I wanted. Heck, any positive test for cancer is higher than you want.

The mastectomy bill for the surgery and hospital stay. Thank God for insurance and good credit—thank me too, as I kept both in good standing.

And yes, it all came rushing back. All of it.

If I look back over the past 13 years I think I’ve cried for maybe 2 hours total, in all that time. Today I had a few tears to shed. 

I am not ashamed to say it. I am not ashamed to say it. Will I convince myself if I repeat it again?

Back then there was not much time for crying.

I had a life to save and a husband and two kids and a dog that needed me. I had no time for what if’s and why me’s. That was a good thing.

But I am wise enough to know that sometimes you just have to let it all out and that is also a good thing.

Then one of my nearest and dearests called me. In the midst of the bills and the EOBs and the bonfire I wanted to have. Getting ready for shredding memories. She told me it was okay to cry and that I deserved it. So I did and then I got angry.

Angry that my innocence was taken away, that my kid’s innocence was taken away. That there was a risk I could die early in their lives was a reality I hid from them. Was I successful? I think so. But there was no doubt that mom was sick, that my hair fell out, that I was too tired, that I could disappear for weeks at a time…due to first the mastectomy, then an infection, then pneumonia.

But here we are.

They are 25 and almost 21 and I am 13 years out and every day is a blessing. Every Single Day is a gift. Knowing them and getting to be here for them is the best part of my life.

And though the dog is gone, he is out of the pain of his last few months. There is a new dog who loves us.

And my husband is still the greatest gift I have ever gotten because I get to have this life. This one life.

And I get to share it with him.

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