One year. A short reflection, a birthday.

November 30th, 2012

I know I owe this blog a reflection post, and I’ve written it exactly five separate times over the course of two months. But I don’t feel like being super personal on this blog lately, so I’ve decided keep this somewhat short. This guy turned a year older Wednesday, a very different person than he was exactly one year ago today. I would like to embarrass myself by admitting that this season of Parenthood, which deals with a character having breast cancer, is bringing up so many old wounds that I can barely even type this sentence without crying. The show can be so melodramatic and brings out many eye rolls from me at times (probably why I love it so much), but I feel like it’s one of the first times I’ve seen cancer so accurately depicted on TV before, how unbelievably sick chemo makes you and how no one quite understands how hard and awful it is to be even at 50% capacity of yourself. And how it’s not just hard on the person who is sick, but the person taking care of them. It changed me at the core to try to be a better person to the people around me. We drove by the hospital the other day, something we never do, and our hands found each other without speaking a word; it hurt to even be in its presence.

I feel bad because I’ve been so buried with work lately that I’ve been a ridiculously neglectful partner, even having to postpone his birthday dinner for another day. But he is a man of simple pleasures, and I think an evening to himself to play video games without me nagging him to pay attention to me was probably the best birthday evening of all.

A year ago feels like a bad dream, so far behind us that I admit that I recently lost sight of how grateful I am. Scars and consequences pop up from time to time, you don’t leave chemo completely unscathed like it’s no big deal, but I need to wake up to each morning of normalcy and thank every inch of this universe that I get to move forward with him by my side, healthy.

24 Responses to “One year. A short reflection, a birthday.”

  1. Jo Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I found this really powerful, Kate. It had me in tears. I know from personal experience how after a period of time has passed it can be easy to forget exactly how it can affect you when you see physical reminders of where bad/tough things happened, as you mention when you saw the hospital. I hope you guys are ok.

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  2. Melissa Righero Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Oh Kate. Reflection is so important. I hate when people say never look back, because you have to in order to know who you are today. You went through something that most people would have not stuck around for. Hell I know most blood members that wouldn’t stick around for that kind of event. It’s hard to remember but I think (and this only telling from over the web) it’s bonded you two in ways most people can’t understand. I’m proud of you.

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  3. Emily Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Oh Kate, this is lovely. So glad your man is safe and healthy and looking forward to moving forward in life with you. Your post brought me to tears, and the Eleanor Roosevelt quote from your 2011 post made me want to punch the air and hug every one of my strong, inspiring female friends. So thanks
    x x

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  4. Trude Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Happy birthday to him and cancer-freeness to both of you. I’m still in awe that you guys were able to deal with something of this magnitude at our age. Big hugs!

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  5. Beth Van Velsor Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    It’s good to get weepy sometimes. Thank you for sharing your experiences with “the big c.” It really resonated with me, especially the last paragraph. I was diagnosed with Stage III Melanoma back in 2010 (at age 28). Suddenly having cancer thrust upon you at such a young age was so shocking and scary, that after all the surgeries and immunotherapy I just kind of forced it from my mind in order to get back to “normal.” Even though I try to forget it for the most part, it’s those momentary reminders (like driving by the hospital or sitting in your oncologist’s waiting room) that not only bring back all the fear and anxiety, but also the positives, like remembering you have a brave and loving partner to help you through it. I love mine more than ever, and I’m sure yours feels the same way!

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  6. rox Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    brought me to tears. I appreciate how incredibly candid you (and Will) have been on your blog. as a reader, it’s wonderful to finally see you two at this phase, in what has been a difficult journey. cheers to the healthy years & all of the good that comes with it!

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  7. Trude Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    So I just saw this biopsy-versary comic over on xkcd and thought you and Will might enjoy: http://xkcd.com/1141/

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  8. Mary Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    This is wonderful and inspiring. Best of luck, health and happiness to the both of you.

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  9. janis Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    my dad had cancer a few years ago, so the parenthood episodes are getting to me as well. i weep every single time…

    in my situation, it was my mom taking care of my dad and i didn’t do very much (except perhaps be moody)… i can’t imagine what it would be like to be the primary caregiver. hats off to you, kate miss.

    i’m so thankful that things worked out for you! sending will healthy vibes for the coming year!

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  10. Bill Steinman Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Beautifully written, Kate. You two are so tough and courageous. I love you both. Bill

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  11. indreams Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    i’m so, so happy for you both!! one year is a great milestone, and to have temporarily forgotten it shows how resilient you both are, not how neglectful…so keep being reminded when you are reminded, and keep forgetting when you are healing yourselves. it’s the only way to truly live life!

    (also, i agree: the alone-with-video-games is probably the best gift ever, haha – might have to try that with my boyfriend!)

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  12. Inge Says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 4:04 am

    This is so painfully beautifully written, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard this must’ve been for the both of you and how happy you must be to have him.

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  13. Heather Says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I cried reading this. Beautiful, Kate. I’m so happy that you and your man are healthy!

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  14. Moorea Seal Says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Such a beautiful reflection Kate. God, it’s just so impossible to predict what sort of dramatic turns our lives will take. They will stretch us to our core, will rip our hearts out and leave us so weak. But it is so beautiful having moments like these where we can look back, and though our past is never really over especially with things as deep and cancer, I am just so grateful and thankful to the universe and to humanity, to you for all of the effort you must have poured forth for the person that you love to keep him going in such a traumatic and difficult time. You are able to reflect and able to still have that person you fought for by your side, alive and able. I’m so happy for you, though a year ago must have been so incredibly painful and staining in its greif, I am so thankful your love is still here and in a better state than just a year ago. May the year ahead hold so much greatness for you both, ease and peace, happiness and gratefulness, warmth and lightness. Lots of love. <3 Moorea

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  15. carrieolshan Says:

    December 2nd, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Beautiful piece, Kate. Having lost many family members to cancer, it is always such an amazing gift to watch someone triumph over such an ugly disease. Happy Birthday Will!

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  16. Jenna Says:

    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Beautiful reflection Kate – and all that needs to be said really. I feel you on the not wanting to be personal on the blog front, so thanks for sharing this. Onward and happy birthday!

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  17. eliza Says:

    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    there’s never a bad time to remember to be grateful for the good things you have. i wish you two all the luck moving forward, and hope for his continued good health.

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  18. evie Says:

    December 3rd, 2012 at 4:04 am

    beautiful words of reflection. i have tears in my eyes. heres to waking up knowing we are grateful x

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  19. The Belvedere- Alyssa Says:

    December 4th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    What beautiful words. Reminds us all to be grateful for what we have. Happy you guys are doing so much better- cheers to another year of happiness.

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  20. Gaia Says:

    December 4th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I’m so happy for you both. I feel the same way about Parenthood (totally a guilty pleasure!)– it reminds me of my husband’s cancer and getting through that. And now the print I have from Will makes me smile.

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  21. Jane Says:

    December 5th, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Blessings & love to you & Will. May you both continue on your path with the love & compassion that you have for each other…it’s truly a gift.

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  22. oceane Says:

    December 5th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I never write comments. I just want to let you know that your words make me happy, for you both, and a great start for this new day.
    Thanks you for this from France!

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  23. MissNatalie // Canoe Says:

    December 7th, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Thank you for sharing so much of this experience with us, Kate. Reflection is important because it makes us so grateful for what we have and reminds us how much we can endure. Sending you both love and tacos from Austin.

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  24. Claire Says:

    December 9th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Heartbreaking and inspiring words.

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