Pretty soon I will be leaving to go on a cruise.. We are sailing outof New York  Harbor. A compromise was reached in our home. We will stop in Orlando, so the kids can do the theme park thing and then, down to the Bahamas for two days so mom and dad can relax. Everyone wins. Everyone is happy.

That is what brings me here tonight. Happiness. I have been gradually realizing that I am actually happy. I am living without being in a constant state of anxiety and fear. I am finally, for the first time in a really long time, able to be happy without trying so hard.

It is truly a process for me to really begin to believe that I might be at a point in my life where I am done with treatments, with surgeries, weekly doctor appointments, dressing changes, antibiotics. I am starting to live a “normal” life. And, my friends, “normal” makes me happy.

I have more energy. This is based on physiological and mental reasons. I am finally healing from my last surgery. That was in October. It has been four months. The effects of the anesthesia are almost gone (it really does seem to take months for them to go away).

Usually, four months out from a surgery, I am already gearing up for another. This is where the mental part comes in. It takes an incredible amount of energy to get mentally prepared for a surgery. To know that there is risk. That you are going under and there is a possibility, albeit a small one, that you won’t wake up. I, in particular, was also feeling like my luck could run out with each subsequent surgery. That there would be some sort of complication while I was under or that my body would simply give out.

As a matter of fact, there was a time after one of my bigger surgeries that I began to get hives where ever I was touched. Then, the hives itched. It was pretty awful. It was like having mosquito bites all over my body. And, it looked awful. Big red welts all over. I went to the allergist. She ran the edge of a post it note over my arm and immediately a huge red welt appeared. The condition is called “dermatographism” (or something like that). I was put on an allergy medication, along with a steroid and it was brought under control. All kinds of tests were run to see what I was “allergic” to.

We were told that I was not allergic to anything. My body was trying to “protect itself” from all of the “abuse” it had been through. It was tired and sick of being cut and poked and pried. Pretty amazing.

My energy is back because my body and mind are both happy to be done. For so long my whole life has revolved around cancer. What made it even more painful was the fact that the cancer was gone from the beginning and the reason I had to go through this whole long, drawn out ordeal was because of a mistake made by a doctor who neglected me and abandoned me when I needed him most.  So, instead of being done in 2004 when my chemo and radiation ended, I am just finally finishing up now.

I am also sleeping better at night. I am feeling a sense of peace that has eluded me for years now. My attitude is having a ripple effect. I have noticed that my kids seem happier and more well-behaved. Even the dog seems calmer (and he’s a boxer!). Anxiety within a family really does affect all of it’s members.

So, I will not be able to go on the Hulk Rollercoaster at Universal Studios or take scuba lessons at Atlantis. My boobs may look a little off kilter in my bathing suit and my arms will most certainly be killing me at the end of each day but, I will be so happy.

I am happy that I am alive. I am happy that I survived.

As that ship leaves port, I plan on embarking on a new chapter in my life. Where happiness takes precedence over all other emotions.

Wish me luck.