These are the two most Important people in my life. They are my daughter Christina and my husband Chris. They are a very important part of what I want to say today.
I know that I am deviating way off course with this topic today, but hang in there. Breast Cancer is on my mind today. It is due to a FB conversation I had earlier. I am a Breast Cancer survivor of 15 years.
The conversation was essentially about survival rates. I am very lucky. I was under 45 years old when I was diagnosed and I had no metastasis (spreading to other areas). I tested for the breast cancer gene and I did not carry it. My worries about passing it on to my daughter were gone. I had what my doctors called a random cancer.
So, here I am 15 years later and I’m writing this because it is important to all women but especially survivors.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT!
I know that is often easier said then done, but try anyway. Again, I was lucky. My tumor was large and had attached itself to my chest wall. Even my surgeon was surprised it hadn’t reached my lymph nodes. She even told my husband it didn’t look good.
My first mastectomy was on January 30, 1999. It was a radical since they had to go into my chest wall to get all the cancer out. A few years after that, I had the other breast removed, which was not as common 10 years ago as it is now. There were many reasons I did this, not least of which was that breast cancer has a high possibility of re-occurring even many years later.
I say all this as background to what I want to say. The fear of cancer coming back is always there floating around in the back of my mind somewhere. I don’t let it become bigger than my joys at daily living. I was not always so optimistic. I had some bad years there. The cancer had made me very sick. I had lost my hair. I was left with chronic fatigue associated with fibromyalgia, as well as arthritis. Chemotherapy, because mine was so aggressive, was absolutely worse than the cancer and the most difficult thing I have ever gone through.
Now, 15 years later, I choose to live in the moment. To be present, as my daughter says. Some days are better than others. I know I am fortunate in having a strong support system in my husband and daughter, who even now take care of me when the effects of fibromyalgia are overwhelming. I am able to wake each day and do what I love. Write.
I always thought I would write but life seemed to get in the way. I was not always patient and often angry that life interfered with my plans. And truthfully, the inspiration was not as strong as it is now. But the time came when I could say to myself, now is your time. Do what you love. Live in the moment. No matter what others say, do what you need to do to make your life as valuable to you as you can.
I don’t mean this in a selfish way. There are always times when others come first. I do mean that you must make every day count. This is how I live now and I know how lucky I am to be able to have the time and support to do what I love.
Find that place and that time in your daily lives to be true to you, to do whatever makes you feel whole and happy and peaceful. It doesn’t matter how much time you give it. What matters are the lasting results.
Well, I hope I haven’t used too many clichés.
Thanks again to all my readers. I value your readership, comments and likes.