Okay, clearly I need a little blogging jumpstart here. I decided I am going to follow Reverb 10 this December. This website provides a series of writing prompts, one each day in December. Perfect.

So, here is the first prompt (yes, these will lag behind one day all month because while I can commit to doing this all month, I recognize I need to give myself a little time to write!):

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

My word for 2010, to me, is obvious. It is strength. Since I spent the first half of 2010 battling breast cancer, the chosen weapon being 8 rounds of chemotherapy, strength seems pretty defining.

Now for the hard part. What do I want to be my defining word in 2011? I had an interesting talk with my surgeon yesterday. She reminded me that now, post-treatment, can be the hardest time for cancer patients emotionally. We are “better,” and everyone around us starts to move on. To forget. But for those of us whose scars still feel fresh, daily reminders of the battle, moving on can be hard.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not wallowing. I am a big fan of moving on, turning the page, beginning a new chapter. But I absolutely related to what Dr. Madrigrano said. So I spent some time yesterday thinking about that. Trying to resolve the gap between wanting to move on and needing to remember. And that is where I found my word for 2011. Peace.

I want to reflect on 2011 feeling at peace with myself. I want to be comfortable with who I am and how I look. I want my cancer chapter to be tucked away where it belongs, as a significant experience, but part of my past story, not my present one. This doesn’t mean ignoring it. I still have medicine to take and doctors to see. I have a surgery or two waiting to happen next year. These are part of my new reality, but they are maintenance tools, not battle gear.