Monday morning I found myself in Zurich, as an unexpected but pleasant detour on my Europe trip. It was the day that the full force of jet lag hit me, so I was walking around in more than a bit of a mental fog. Fortunately as I breakfasted with a local friend (@chanson), she showed me the sights without my having to think too deeply about where we were headed…
And for lunch I met with a friend that I hadn’t seen since I was 14–someone who knew me when I was diagnosed with cancer, lost my leg, and underwent chemotherapy. I asked him what he remembered about that time because my memories are so dim and fragmented. We talked a bit about what it was like as I lost my hair and became sicker and sicker.
“it was just so sad, we were all so sad,” he said.
Then he recalled a clear memory of seeing me in the hallway at school one day, when someone was carrying me because I was too weak to walk. He said that even though I had to be carried around the school, I was happy.
“You were always happy,” he affirmed. And then the conversation moved on to a different topic.
It wasn’t until later that evening, long after I’d moved on from Zurich and was on the next leg of my trip through the Alps, that I remembered that May 21st, that Monday that I met up with my friends, was the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. 28 years ago. 1984.
Lots of tough things have happened since then…many long dark nights and many days filled with fear. But I’m still happy and expect that I always will be.
You are so great Jana. I have been really enjoying the twitter stream of photos on your vacation. A thread of happiness and determination shows in all of your blog posts.