Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Difference a Year Makes

I've been thinking lately about the difference time makes.  In my case, the time in question is only a year.  A year ago this time I was freaking out with the news that I could have lymphoma after my doctor found enlarged lymph nodes.  I remember so clearly sitting in my son's room with him on my lap, reading his night night story and pausing to take the call.  I had to send him downstairs to my dad because I didn't want him to see my crying.  I called the three people in my life who I thought could pull me through that moment: my mom, my sister and my man. 

Talking to my mom and sister pulled me together enough to put my son to bed and call his dad (who had recently cussed my butt out for not sharing some other medical news until I had all the information..."Don't you ever carry that kinda shit on your own.  You don't keep that stuff to yourself anymore."  He immediately gave me the "it'll be okay, babe, don't worry" speech that I had heard all night.  I knew they were right but my brain split in two anyway.  One side telling me to listen to my mom, sister,and man; while the other began to list the things that I didn't want to miss...99% having to do with my son.

I talked to two other people that night: my dad and my god sister/amazingest doctor!  My dad is a prostate cancer survivor and immediately went into "how you're gonna get through this mode", how to fight if the worse should happen and how to manage until I knew.  Strangely it was helpful because it gave me sense of power at a time when I felt utterly powerless.  My god sister did the same from a medical perspective, more than my own frigging doctor who had interrupted my time with my son to drop a cancer bomb in my lap!

I did everything that my god sister told me and within a few weeks I was being seen by an fabulous general surgeon, who she recommended--did I mention she's the awesomest? and one day before Thanksgiving I had a lympectomy.  With everything that happened during that time, do you know what stuck with me the most other than not taking calls from your doctor at 8:30 p.m.?  Most of the complications that could happen with my surgery, recovery and avenues to battle cancer were weight related.  Infection, healing, courses of treatment--all of these were greatly impacted by my weight.

I'm blessed that I healed without problem and that my body was not filled with cancer for that matter.  I'm blessed that when I went for my 6 month follow up with my general surgeon I was able to tell him that I was 50 pounds lighter.  I'm even more blessed that when I go back for my follow up, follow up appointment, which will be 6 months after the first follow up that I will have surpassed his hope of being down another 50...I'll be down another 75+. 

My biggest blessing is that having time, even a small amount, means it's never too late to make a difference.

So, what I wanna know is what difference has a year made in you're life?


  1. I am beginning to think that you should compile these posts and try to get them published. I'm thinking Essence; sending them to Michelle Obama for her obesity campaign, Oprah (not that she doesn't have enough of her own weight drama)and maybe others...Think about it...

  2. Oh, like the chunkier version of Carrie Bradshaw? lol

  3. Riddi, you continue to inspire and amaze me lil's sister. I am so proud of you as I type and cry this comment out. My mother is dealing with weight struggles as I mentioned to you at our last sighting, lol. I have continued to share your process, progress, and developing self with her. She is considering the surgery route and I am praying that she consider other options. Riddi, you courage, strength, determination, and committment to your process is a model of self love that many can learn from...I love you, love you, love you, love you...and am so very proud of you. I can't even see for being a water bag right now. BTW, I agree with Mama Fasaha, publish this journey. Just my .02 cents, Ohenewaa