Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where are You, Christmas

Two years ago today, I received a phone call that no one wants, especially at Christmas time. Sitting in my car in a store parking lot, unemployed, exhausted, and afraid, I listened to the doctor who had done my first biopsy tell me that I did have breast cancer after all, and I needed another biopsy on the other breast, based on the MRI that I'd had. I went home and cried, and 800 miles away, my sister woke from a sound sleep after her night shift and called me. The holiday crumbled around me, but I got through it and the months of treatments that followed.

Now, after a "clean" checkup yesterday, I can enjoy this Christmas.

No trying to keep the kids from overhearing things. No crying in mass, looking down from the choir loft at a friend holding her grandson.

The lyrics of this song really get to me. It's the arc from despair to "getting it", summed up in one neat little package. The devastation and shock I felt was eased by the friends and family who gathered around me to take care of me and "love me through it" (Can. Not. Listen. To. That. Song. Cannot.)

It was a long bumpy road after that phone call two years ago, and I try to leave most of it in the past, but I'm still mentally processing things here and there.

(as an example, yesterday I finally met someone who had helped me put together my team of superhero doctors. She's a colleague of my brother in law, and I spoke to her several times two years ago, but never face to face. She got me in with the best surgeon in the area, and my two oncologists that I adored and felt complete confidence in. And so, on meeting her? I burst into tears and hugged her. She rolled with it though. )

I will be the first to admit that I was kind of a pain in the ass "before", prone to selfishness, drama and whining, and I like to believe/ hope that chemo killed off at least a little bit of my worst character traits, in addition to some rogue cells that were growing out of control.

What I took away from 2010, leaving behind the suckage of the memories of certain individual events as much as possible, was a strong appreciation for the every day, for the beauty of ordinary things and moments, and most of all for the people who are love me and are kind to me. Every checkup, despite being a stressful and frightening flashback-filled time, renews the gratitude and the personal goal to be a better, more loving and giving human being. And what better time of year than now for that?

Merry Christmas!!

Where are you Christmas

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love

use this link if the one above doesn't work....


Johnny Virgil said...

Congrats and Merry Christmas Carly. We need to do lunch one of these days....

The Velveteen said...

Congrats Carly! So happy to hear the news. I wish you continued health and happiness in the MANY years to come.