Many of us are surprised by the importance and power of anniversaries. Not infrequently, I hear from women who are feeling especially distressed and can't figure out what stimulated the strong feelings. As we talk, they remember that they are in the midst of an important anniversary, the marker of diagnosis or completing treatment or some other significant piece of their cancer experience.
In addition to the power of anniversary reactions, there is also often the wish to mark an important date. At least for me, it never feels celebratory, but it most certainly feels important. The note below is from a woman who recently passed the five year anniversary of her diagnosis. She and I corresponded a bit re what would feel right for her, and you will see that she planned a perfect day. What waas ideal for her might not be right at all for you, but I encourage you to think about what suits you as you honor all that you have survived.
I wanted to let you know what I decided to do yesterday to mark the 5-year anniversary of my diagnosis. I thought about a lot of things--going away somewhere, planting a tree, going out to dinner, etc., but ultimately I decided that what I want more than anything else is just to have my normal everyday life. So I spent the day working, driving the kids to their various activities, listening to them bicker, cleaning up the kitchen a thousand times, making dinner, etc. And all day I appreciated the fact that I was alive and that everything was normal. It was the best thing I could have done.
Then at around 5 p.m., which was the time that I got the call five years ago, I lit five candles and my husband and I had a glass of champagne.
So it all worked out just right. That said, I'm glad it's over. What a weird day--it felt like a combination of my birthday and friday the 13th.
What have you done about anniversaries?
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