The Peacock Perspective

This  has been a week of notables – those dates that get bookmarked into life for better or worse. From my three year wedding anniversary (May 29th), to two years since finding that blasted bump (May 31st) and coming up to the date of diagnosis (June 6th), date of mastectomy, husband’s birthday, my birthday (turning 30) and pushing forward across the summer. We talk a lot about these markers here in the blogosphere . . . and to be honest, the good and the bad have this way of mixing together in associations – a pain in the ass mentality I’m trying to kick but have yet to master.

[Our wedding anniversary in particular is a bit tricky since I was diagnosed so shortly after my first wedding anniversary . . . one day we were celebrating on the Isle of Wight and I was a little worried about this bump in my breast, the next week (or so) I was being told it was cancer and the breast was going to be removed. Sigh.]

But yesterday evening was a particular day to be noted in this past week.

Let me tell you why: it involved another wedding.

Not mine of course, but a friend who dates back to my high school days of debating and hanging about in the corridor between classes. Nearly everyone of that old crowd was there, it was this huge party with great food, good outfits (Is it really possible that we all look this good ten years after highschool? Apparetly!), open bar, and music galore. The groom was handsome in his black tuxedo, the bride was stunning in her short & playful gown that shaped her like the ultimate hour glass  (plus those stunning fuchsia heels). They were so happy. They are so in love.

And that’s why I got married in the first place – it had nothing to do with cancer. It was because we were so happy, and so darn tootin’ in love. It was because we were going to stick together through better or worse and give that solidity to our commitment that somehow comes from a marriage.

We’re still so happy, still so darn tooin’ in love. We are sticking together through thick and thin, we are solid in our commitment and know it will see us through the transitions.

And that’s all darn good stuff. My wedding anniversary shouldn’t be tainted with cancer fears and hospital flashbacks. It should be dosed with certainties that Zsolt and I are a team, we make it together, and I’m really lucky to have someone who is determined to grow old with me. It should be a day to celebrate this awesome advantage we have in the fight against bad health, low income, displacement. I’m talking about LOVE here, people.

A good girlfriend of mine was in town for the wedding. She was amazing when I was diagnosed & went through treatment – doing those little things that matter like asking how I was, writing an occasional message, following my blog. . . (For me, I do not forget the people who made an effort during those times. Starting with a simple, ‘how are you’  to writing letters/emails, paying visits, keeping company . . . they are heroic in my mind because each of their efforts rescued a little piece of my sanity.)

Anyhow, she is a good friend. As the evening rolled on (open bar!) and the music played and we shifted from the dance floor to the lobby to the parking lot (why, I don’t know . . . apparently someone was dropping off beer), to the lobby to the dance floor, to the sidelines . . . we all loosened up and had the chance to get in some lovely bonding.

This is what she said to me – she told me that I’d kinda inspired her, like if I could get through all that crap, she could take on her own challenges too. She reckons we ought to live our prefered lives because it doesn’t go on forever, and so long as we hurt no one else we ought to do what makes us happy. (As you can see she’s a smart cookie.) For her, that happiness is an incredible peacock tattoo that covers her back from shoulder to bum – she loves it completely, and one part of her (just one part, because she’s a strong woman to start and certainly doesn’t need my help in summoning determination) pulled a little courage from my story. From this story here on Bumpyboobs.

“If you can go through that, I could handle this” and so she did something that brings her deep joy.

Isn’t that amazing? Yeah, it’s freaking amazing.

You know what? Here is another date to remember: May 31st 2010, the day Bumpyboobs came into existence. Sure, it was because of hard things like fear . . . but it was also about comfort, sharing, and finding strength.

Bumpyboobs is a good thing. It’s not just about cancer. It’s about pushing to love and live as much life as possible.

So while the end of May and start of June are littered with difficult dates . . . it’s also a time of wonderful accomplishments, starting first with my marriage, followed by this blog (contributing in part to that AMAZING tattoo on her back), and rolling over toward our birthdays where we celebrate being alive.

Yesterday’s wedding helped me realize a lot (in between the dancing and tinging of glasses for the bride & groom to kiss), and I really appreciate my friend opening up in that way – saying things that are often left unsaid simply because they are too emotional.

It was good. The whole thing was good. And today,  apart from the post-party exhaustion, I feel really freaking good.

 

10 thoughts on “The Peacock Perspective

  1. Congratulations, Catherine, on all those milestones. I’m thrilled that you feel so freaking good. Keep writing! It’s extremely therapeutic. I can testify to that.

    • Oh, that’s for sure! Therapeutic to the max – I often wash out a lot of bad feelings just by typing those feelings onto the key board. Somehow, it always changes my mind to better things by the end of the post.

  2. Good for you Catherine!!! I’m guessing it was Kev’s wedding-I was wondering if that would be a great Trinity get together! I’m glad you had such a great time at the wedding and that such good things came from it!
    Yes the dates of diagnosis and surgery will always be memorable to you, but I think it’s lovely you’re choosing to focus on your wedding anniversary instead and remember you have such a wonderful partner that helped you get through all this and will be by your side for anything else you may face.
    By the way, 30 is not too bad :) Having good friends and family helps to inspire us all and your strength is definitely something that has inspired many. I often use you as a great example when talking to my patients at the hospital after their breast surgeries. Once you’re past the bad days, enjoy the good ones to their fullest!!!

  3. Oh, how funny, I just published my post about anniversaries and come to visit and find you in a much similar mode today. Cheers to celebrating being alive and to love!

  4. Catherine,
    Love this post! You’re so right, we do (or at least I do) often blog about all these intertwined dates of various milestones and memories – some of them pleasant and many of them not… I consider writing to be serious therapy. What about you?

    Plus, my daughter just got married and this post about a wedding suits me perfectly today since my mind is still in wedding mode!

    So glad you are feeling freaking good. Happy birthday. Happy anniversary. And yes, you do inspire!! Thanks for writing about all the stuff life sends your way…

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