A Four Year Perspective
Yesterday, I received this lovely note from a woman whom I knew around the time of her diagnosis and treatment four years ago. I was most appreciative of her words and of being included in her gratitude. Her perspective will be encouraging and reassuring for any of you who are in the terrible early days of breast cancer.
July 5, 2005 my doctor broke the news to me that I had breast cancer. Suddenly, the summer I had planned ahead of me was taken from me and my life became one of medical appointments and finding ways to get my body to fight back against this stealthy invader. Four years later, I count my many blessings for my health, my life, and my body's perseverance.
My largest source of gratitude from fighting off the big C is my appreciation of the amazing people I have in my life. And that is why I write to you today. It was your strength, your friendship, your love, your prayers and your sense of humor that got me through the treatment and placed me on solid ground at the other end.
You might have held my hand during chemo, or visited me when I couldn't leave home. Maybe you sent me encouraging emails, or a care package, or made sure I laughed when we spoke on the phone. When you knew I couldn't go somewhere with you, you brought me something back as a remembrance. Maybe you passed along a book for me to read that had given you insight through past challenges. You might have shared your own similar path with me to encourage me to keep a positive attitude. Maybe you complimented me on my scarves or hats to make me feel better about my baldness. You might have helped me accomplish something that I could no longer do unassisted. Some of you sought each other out and conspired to do nice things for me as a team. And you created a gossipy network (in the best sense of the word!) to convey news to each other so as not to bother me. Some gave me gifts of music, funny videos, tea, foot massages, special foods, and stuffed animals. And you accepted my thanks for all of these thing with such generosity of spirit that I knew I was a part of something very deep and very privileged.
All of these things, and so much more, did not go unnoticed. Human beings can be so damn wonderful to each other when given the chance, eh? For all of the treasured memories I have of your support of me through my most difficult of journeys, I thank you again with the added perspective of four years of LIFE!