Monday, May 19, 2014

26 Years, 56 Years

Today is a special day on my calendar.  It is the day between the 26th anniversary of my first mastectomy and my 56th birthday. I think back to 26 years ago when I turned 30 while in the hospital, recovering from what would be my first of two breast cancer experiences and three total cancer experiences. Everything felt so uncertain and unsettling on that birthday. Young people didn't get cancer, in my 30-year-old perspective. Today, sadly, I know differently. At that time, however, it felt like a very lonely place to be diagnosed as a young adult cancer patient. My friends were marrying, having families, seeing their children off to kindergarten, growing their careers, building homes, and here I was in the hospital, trying to figure out what it would mean to be a cancer survivor. Two and a half decades later, I see the world with different, more mature eyes. Each day is, as my mother would remind me, a day that the Lord has made. Each year I can blow out birthday candles is a blessing. Each moment when I can experience joy and love and peace is a moment to savor, for such precious moments can be taken away only too quickly. So, on this in-between day, I celebrate Life and am grateful for all I've been given.

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