Posts Tagged ‘wish’

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.

Read Full Post »

It is officially the new year. 2013. I couldn’t be happier to say goodbye to 2012, easily the worst year of my life. But in really looking at it, I don’t think it was necessarily 2012 – I think it may have  been 38. You see, 2012 really seemed more like a continuation of 2011. It just flowed over, so that 2012 was like 2011 Part 2. At work we were in the midst of intense preparation for our planned shutdown all winter, and then personally I was looking forward to an early January first date – so all those things continued from 2011 into 2012, making it kind of one big year.

Then I turned 38 in February – and I thought things would be different. Oh, and different they were! I was starting to see someone whose life is as crazy as mine (recipe for disaster), we spent Valentine’s night in the hospital, and then, of course, in March I found the lump. Pretty much all downhill from there. So that means (to me) 38 was to blame, not 2012.

Don’t get me wrong, 2013 feels incredible – there is a hope in the air that wasn’t there before. An excitement that you can feel. Things will be better! So many people had a bad year – I’ve never seen so many people clamoring for a fresh start – that this is good for everyone! And in one month I will turn 39. I will be done with radiation. I’ll have my left breast re-expanded so I can be even again, and THAT will be my real fresh start!

And 39 is my number, always has been. My birthday is on the 9th, I’ve always liked things in threes, always prefered odd numbers to even, and 1939 was a fabulous year: they made Gone With the Wind AND The Wizard of Oz, two of my favorite movies. I’ve always looked forward to being 39 (strange, I know), and now even more so.

2013/39 is going to be the year of ME. Sounds rather selfish, I know, but I need it. How can I be any good for anyone else if I’m not happy with me? So I’m going to get healthy – in mind, body and spirit. No extreme diets, joining a new gym or setting unrealistic resolutions. Simply getting back to eating better, running and finding a way to get a good night’s sleep. Growing my hair, eyelashes and eye brows. Losing the chemo weight. Of course I have other goals in mind, relating to work, volunteering, travel, relationships – but they really aren’t achievable unless I’m healthy and happy, so that has to come first.

So that is my wish for all of you, my dear friends and family: good health and happiness. Every day is a new opportunity for a fresh start, whether it’s January 1, your birthday, the first of the month or just a Monday – you can seize any day to start over and become the person you want to be. Happy 2013 – make it the year of you!

Silly, spiky hair after my first run of the new year - but at least it's hair!

Silly, spiky hair after my first run of the new year – but at least it’s hair!

Read Full Post »

My first radiation was fairly uneventful, which I consider a very good thing. I’m praying the next 24 will be just as anti-climactic. But what I observed while at Dana-Farber made me happy. I saw a woman who (apologies for judging a book by its cover) appeared to not be very well off be given a small tube of lotion that I paid $25 for without blinking. You could tell by watching and a bit of eavesdropping that she was incredibly thankful. I don’t know, maybe her insurance paid for it, maybe someone else, who knows – but what I do know is that Dana-Farber makes sure you have what you need, whether you can afford it or not.

So what do I want for Christmas? Well, to be honest, my first wish is for it to be last February, turning 38, with long brown hair, 25 pounds lighter, feeling like I’m on top of the world and ignorant of most things cancer. But since I don’t have a magic wand or fairy Godmother, that would be a waste of a wish. And I hate wasting something as special as a wish. This is what I want for Christmas:

I honestly don’t want anything more than this for Christmas. So if you insist on getting me something, please have it be a card saying you made a donation to support something like this – or wherever you want to help those who really need it. And if there isn’t something specific you want to contribute to, fundraising continues for the 2012 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk until December 31, so even if you already sponsored me, you’re welcome to do so again (I promise this will be the last time I solicit support for the 2012 walk… 😉 ) or visit my brand new Jimmy Fund donation page here. Seriously, supporting the place that has made this horrid year a little bit easier is my only Christmas wish. I can’t help thinking the same thing I thought last year when I was making donations for presents in honor of Mirany (and you can donate in her honor here) – what could we possibly need more than our health?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »