Celebrating Today

Today I am celebrating.  Celebrating in every sense of the word, really.  Five years ago this afternoon I received a phone call at work that changed my life path forever.  Cancer. I can honestly say that “why me” never crossed my mind… more “of course me” or “better me…” Don’t ask me why that is because I can’t tell you.  What I can tell you is that from that moment on, I looked at my family and my life in a far, far different way.

In spite of cancer… because of cancer, I celebrate today.  I celebrate my departure from the living-for-tomorrow path I was on.  The always planning for someday and when instead of enjoying today.  This is a very hard concept for me.  Today seems so transient while yesterday and tomorrow are constants to be counted on.  There’s always a certain amount of detachment that comes with living in the past and future.  Detachment is not a luxury afforded the cancer patient.

A controversial subject in the cancer community is whether a cancer diagnosis is a blessing or not.  I stop short of saying it is a blessing but it certainly has brought the many, many blessings in my life to my attention. For that reason as well, I celebrate today.  I have always been a firm believer in “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” and “all things work for the good of those who believe in Him.”   Cancer hasn’t changed that belief.  I think that somehow, if cancer takes me, it will be of benefit to my husband and boys.  I pray that isn’t in His plan.  And I celebrate that I have had five more years with them beyond that horrible day.

I also celebrate my victory.  Victory over a cancer that kills with no compulsion. Victory over time that tries to run out too fast.  Victory over the negativity and angst that comes hand-in-hand with the promise of death.  Victory in reclaiming my life.

So I celebrate and remember this day, the anniversary of my diagnosis with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, as one would D Day.  I remember and mourn all that was lost to me that day: naivety, invincibility (heh!), youth…  But I celebrate so much more.

Please celebrate with me and look through my eyes at your life and loved ones.


4 Responses

  1. STELLA! . I’ve always been in awe of your “world view,” but the fact that you didn’t ask, “Why me,” but instead said “Better me,” says something deeper about the kind of person you are. I think you’re plain amazing.

    Love to you and your family this Christmas.


  2. Thinking of you today, as we head up to San Jose to say goodbye to my cousin who is reaching the end of his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed 4 yrs, 11 mos, and 2 weeks ago – they told him he could expect 4-5 years, and he’s feeling like he “got his money’s worth” out of those years.

    I’m so thankful that you have thrived and been victorious, and that we have reconnected…

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