Oh, to be 18 again and know what I know now…

Our paper ran a story this morning about Cassie Bustos, a student attending the local university who had breast cancer at 18. EIGHTEEN, people! I can’t even imagine! I don’t want to imagine. I don’t want to imagine being Cassie. Hell, I don’t even want to imagine being her mother and I’m probably closer to her age.

Eighteen should be about college and cars and dating and friends and petty dramas. Eighteen should be about discovering who you are or more importantly, are not. Eighteen should be a time for enlightenment, for developing your political and social views. Eighteen should be when you forge friendships through common experience that will last throughout your lifetime.

What eighteen most assuredly should not be is sitting in a chemotherapy chair with an IV drip or having a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer. Eighteen certainly should not be facing your own mortality at the dawn of your life. Eighteen should not be facing a life of dating and sexual encounters, inherently fraught with insecurities, with the added baggage of reconstruction scars.

But to be eighteen with the knowledge that life is transitory and precious… that the small stuff is exactly that, smallHmmmmm…

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