He was wearing his Susan G. Komen T-shirt.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the shirt. It was from our celebration a couple of weeks ago.
It read: September, 2016. Survivor.
Suddenly I was lost in time. It was 25 years ago. I was a young mom in a sterile hospital room. A team of doctors had just left, and we were stunned by their news.
Richard slid down the wall, his head in his hands, weeping. I sat in the bed stunned, my left side wrapped in gauze. A tube in my side.
We found something, they said.
They had already found a large tumor. It was cancerous. Then they found malignant lymph nodes. Now they found a suspicious shadow on the MRI.
Every time the doctors came in to the hospital room, the team got larger. We quickly realized that more doctors meant more bad news.
We started with one doctor.
This time there were five.
They told us that my odds weren’t great – even with chemo, radiation, and two surgeries. My odds of surviving five years, even with treatment, was 10%.
The thought that I might be here 25 years later wasn’t even a dream.
In the beginning, I lived as if I held my breath. I was afraid that the next day might not come. I watched over my babies like they were sheer gold.
I watched my husband, loving him with all my heart.
Over time, I started to breathe again. The lessons started to emerge.
Twenty-five years later they are a part of me.
Here’s the crazy part. I wouldn’t want to go through that battle again, but I’m thankful for it.
Here’s what cancer taught me about living
Life is fragile. Don’t take one day or one person for granted.
Wrinkles are a gift.
Birthdays — no matter how many candles are on the cake — are amazing.
Dreams shouldn’t be delayed until tomorrow.
Real friends are the ones that you see face-to-face, especially in the hard places.
The things that matter aren’t what we have, but who we love.
Be nice to people that you care about.
Faith is a Rock that can’t be moved by our circumstances.
Now that I’ve shared what cancer taught me, I’d love to invite you to share in my 25th year celebration. Here’s some pics just for you.
Thanks for sharing in this celebration.
Will you do me a favor?
Read through these lessons one more time. Live them today. Don’t wait for something tragic to be your teacher. Live them right now.
Which life lesson do you want to begin living today?
How will it change you?