Archive for February 19th, 2013

We know all the sayings:

  • Every day is a chance to start fresh.
  • Every day is a new beginning.
  • Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
  • Make every day count.

We hear them, but how often do they resonate? We take days for granted, as if they are a guarantee. We either waste days by rushing through them at the speed of light but not necessarily absorbing or accomplishing any one thing (yup, me) or by simply doing nothing. “After all, tomorrow is another day,” my cousin and I love to quote Scarlett O’Hara.

But today I realized tomorrow may never come. Today I learned of three cancer deaths. None personally close to me, but they all hit home. Particularly looking at pictures of two of the three, both in their late thirties, smiling petite brunettes who had – you guessed it – breast cancer. That could so easily be me. And the third, an older gentleman, but unexpected, sudden cancer-related. It can happen any time, to any one. I am lucky that I am still here.

But for how long? It seems more and more common for people to have a recurrence or develop a new cancer. My fellow breast cancer survivor Janie was lamenting the other day how so many people feel the need to constantly share these stories lately: “I wish some people could understand that telling a cancer survivor that they know someone that had breast cancer too and was a survivor for 5 years then they had a recurrence, lung cancer, liver cancer, brain cancer etc…… and they didn’t survive it…Is sooo incredibly sad!!!! It Breaks my Heart!!!! Also on another note sooooo incredibly stressful as that is our Biggest fear…… We are all Survivors!!!! Whether we just started our fight, are in the middle of our fight, have finished our fight or those who are now Angels watching over us.. We understand what its like to fear what might happen next but we also know what its like to appreciate every minute as life is so very precious!”

She’s right. It’s my biggest fear. (Well, my biggest ‘me’ fear – I worry about my son every time he goes out the door!) I wouldn’t have cut both my breasts off, gone through 24 weeks of chemo, six weeks of radiation and now five years of Tamoxifin and soon reconstructive surgery if I thought I had a choice. I will fight as long as I have to, as hard as I have to, to have more days here with my loved ones.

I am not trying to depress anyone, or bring them down from their optimistic perch – I am usually right there with you. I will never stop planning for the future, never stop looking forward to tomorrow and probably never stop quoting Scarlett. But what I will do is take just a few moments more each day to cherish life. To be thankful for each moment I do have. To make sure that the people around me know I appreciate and love them. I want to make every day, every moment, every breath, count.

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