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Archive for December, 2009

I guess now it is technically Christmas. My children, husband, mother and I went to church, looked at lights on the way home, got in pjs, read “‘Twas the night…” and put them to bed. My daughter actually fell asleep before my son, he must have been more wound up than I thought.

Their presents are under the tree (or set up as the case may be) and Santa has been here already. I’m the only one still awake and I’m listening to the rain, at least I think it is the rain, and feeling so unbelievably grateful to be here that I can’t stand it. I have no doubt that I will have a wonderful Christmas and it will have nothing to do with presents. I know I have at least one under the tree because I put it there when it arrived but I wouldn’t care if my name wasn’t on a single package. I have already gotten cookies, cards, and hugs and the hugs are the most precious gifts I can get because it means I’m here to get them.

My Christmas present this year is that I get to be present for Christmas this year and I intend to be present in every moment I am in. I get to play with a 3 story Barbie Dream Townhouse complete with Jacuzzi with my daughter and show my son how to work his SmartCycle and how to put on his Buzz Lightyear wings and I get to see them both just enjoy Christmas and Santa and toys and to be kids. Not kids whose Mom has cancur. I get to see my husband open a present he has been requesting for years. I get to see smiles and hear laughter and hold my children. I am happy for all of that, I just cannot wait for this one pesky little issue to go away but as much as I like to make light of the situation, it is pretty serious.

My plan is to have many more Christmas’ with my children but what is that phrase… “We make plans and God laughs.” None of us knows what the future is going to bring but it has a whole new feel to me this year and I’m sure it does for my family too. I love life and I love my family and I hate cansur. There was a beautiful article on the Enquirer site about a woman who battled breast cansir for 8 years, she died just a few days ago at age 43. Eight years isn’t enough for me, I’m sure it wasn’t enough for her and her family either.

Last year a man we know, a wonderful husband and father, had just been diagnosed with this disease. It was in his lung and had spread to his brain. I remember thinking about him and his wife and children last year and thanking God for my health and being grateful that we weren’t in that situation and asking him to allow Kevin to remain with his family. His daughter is the same age as mine and his son is just a little older than mine. The girls were on the same soccer team. We lost him in March, he was 35. Last year was his last Christmas, I doubt that was his plan either. It is amazing the difference a year makes, this year I am the one that people are praying for and people are thanking God that they aren’t in my situation and I don’t blame them. Kevin, I know there are a lot of people who are missing you tonight and throughout this season.

God – please watch over them and the families and friends of all those who are dealing with losses like that and bring them peace this season. Help us find a cure. And please bring peace and strength and healing to me and my fellow warriors and the people who love and care about us. Amen.

Please, all those who love me and those who don’t but have stumbled across this, count your blessings even when they seem difficult to see, enjoy your life even when it is hard, and make sure that the people you love – know it. Have a Merry Christmas, don’t forget what it is truly about and I sincerely hope that 2010 is a better year for every one of us than 2009 was.

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A long silence

It has been awhile since I posted. I have had a lot on my brain and just haven’t been sure I want to share it all with the world. I’ve tried to organize some of it in my head but maybe putting it down on paper so to speak will help,  so please forgive the ramblings of a woman trying to muddle through a minefield.

This whole thing has been very much like the first year after you lose someone you love, lots of firsts – first birthdays, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first kid’s birthday, all of those things and inevitably at some point the “What ifs…” invade. What if I’m not here next year, what if this is my last (birthday, Christmas etc.). Now I know that my current situation doesn’t lend itself to that scenario and I don’t intend to allow it to happen but those thoughts show up. They are passing thoughts but they are there.

Thanksgiving was big. Christmas has been bigger. I had the mastectomy, a double on December 8th and have been recovering since then, so as if I didn’t have enough to do for Christmas I ended up a week and a half behind too. I’m reasonably caught up but it has really been a job, recovering from surgery, trying to get it all done and having it all colored with this crazy disease. I’m thankful for a lot of things, that I’m here with my family is top of the list. That my kids are doing as well as they are, that the chemo worked. I’m also really emotional. Not that Hallmark can’t make you cry on a good day but even something as simple as buying cards this year has been different.

I was at a party last weekend, their aunt, very much older although I hesitate to say elderly aunt who knows me but who I’m not sure remembered me started to tell me how glad she was to wake up every morning and how if you don’t have your health you really don’t have anything. I managed to hold it together until I got away but I’m reasonably sure I understand exactly what she is talking about. My oldest dearest friend Trish and I were talking about being grateful and how we always were grateful for what we had but never understood how fortunate we were until we lost those things, both of us have taken pretty dramatic health blows in the last year and we just turned 40.

I commented to someone else in an email that I feel like my life has turned into some chick flick designed to make you cry. I plan to write it so that it makes you cheer.

There are survivors who say that cansir is a gift, I’m not there. A gift implies it is something you would give away and while I would gladly give this away there isn’t anyone I know I would give it to. It has altered my perspective on things permanently and hopefully in a generally positive way but I still would rather not have it.

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