Some might say that this morning is ‘dreary.’ There’s rain and wind and gray that’s hung around since yesterday. The ground is soggy, the clouds lay in a thick blanket across the sky, and my body says I should retire into a day-long nap.
And I love it.
Why? Fall has blown in. In this part of the world, the end of summer is often signaled by a storm in bolts and crashes; it plows through and leaves behind a sweet, wet crispness. The moment I first feel that chill is my favorite. Right now, my windows are open. I welcome the cool air in; it pairs well with a warm mug of Zen.
Anticipation. Excitement. Vibrance. My soul tingles as we venture into September. Flannel, hoodies, and cardigans. Berets, scarves, and boots. Pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple. Bursts of red, orange, and yellow. These are all some of my favorite things. And tea. Steamy, aromatic tea. Especially when I’m writing, a cup of this sweet warmth is soothing; it lets the words in my head glide out and onto pages. Autumn makes writing easy; my senses are in high gear, gladly absorbing every. single. second. So, naturally, that means I’m in my happy place.
I’ve decided that fall is a season of renewal for me. This seems to be reiterated with each passing year. When I was younger, it meant a new school grade, with fresh notebooks, pencils, and shoes. It meant my birthday was coming (the best humans are born in September, you know…) When college came, fall meant growing up, new places and people, moving into a new dorm or apartment. As an adult and a teacher, fall again meant new kids, new plans, new possibilities. Then, quite literally, we were given new life as our season of healing post-cancer began with autumn.
This fall, we’re entering another season of newness: two years post D-day. It’s been TWO YEARS since we were diagnosed. This Saturday marks the second anniversary of M’s transplant day, Day 0 — his Re-Birthday. The 30th brings me my next birthday, marking my 28th year of life on Earth. We are both well.
These are the days that, from the beginning, our doctors told us to hope for. Significant, mostly, because the two-year milestone is the point where the chances of recurrence and GvHD drop significantly for M; it’s the appointment that our team told us to shoot for. After it, we could breathe a little easier. This appointment was the one we’d been looking forward to since April 11, 2012. THIS appointment is the one we talked about in the middle of treatment over and over, hoping and praying and knowing that when it arrived, we wouldn’t be sick anymore. These are those days. These are the days we talked about. These days, we are concerned with work and finances and potty-training our new puppy, but not leukemia, not follicular carcinoma.
Yes, I had a scare this summer. Yes, the ultrasound showed a leftover staple (or ten…) in my neck. Yes, it’s all apparently very normal and not alarming (to the doctors…I went a little bonkers.)
I’m done with all that. I am exhausted with worrying. I am tired of living in the shadow of cancer. I don’t want to anymore. We have transitioned. We are those survivor people. We are entering another season of renewal. Breathing can come easier now.
Our days are here; they’ve arrived. I can snuggle under my afghan on my own couch, with a candle burning and a pup at my feet. I can relax.
We are welcoming autumn.
What do you need to leave behind? Enter this season anew.