October 8, 2011 Careflash Blog entry:
My grandmother died at 56. I am 56.
I didn’t know Steve Jobs, although I do blame him, personally for all the “auto correct”, mistakes I don’t catch in my text messages! I did know my Grandmother in a way that only a 10-year-old knows, I loved everything about her, and I still do! She was magical!
My cousin was just here for a week, she has piercing blue eyes like my mother only softer, happier, friendlier eyes. One evening she looked at me and said “dancing on the streets of gold” and I said “or this” and she said “exactly” with her smile and blue eyes sparkling just a bit. Can she control the sparkle I wondered?
“Dancing on the streets of gold” I said.
She said “I hear you”
It”s nice to be heard and listened too in those moments but none of us know what tomorrow will bring. She is back home now and she has a new fridge. One day the fridge is working the next it is not and replaced with a new one. That is just how life goes.
I had a call from a woman just diagnosed with Breast Cancer and she said I’ll always have Breast Cancer, there is no cure! And I said that’s true, you will always have Breast Cancer but you wont necessarily die from Breast Cancer, they are able to keep us around a bit longer and in some cases quite a bit longer. She wants to know how much time she has, I want to know how much time I have, but its Stage 3 and so …. These words are hard to settle in your mind especially when you live a healthily life and have plans for the future as we all do. 56 is not an age to die, nobody plans to die at 56. I am not planning on dying at 56 but then neither did Steve Jobs or Grandma.
6 months later, April 11, 2012
Today, I saw my Medical Oncologist, it was a good news day! All my blood tests are *normal* Yay! I am experiencing bone and muscle pain from the Letrozole and I may have to switch to another estrogen inhibitor but otherwise I am done!
“What now?” I asked Dr. D.
“You, go live your life; you must have a complete physical every 6 months. Do you know when you were examined last?”
“Yes, you examined me in January”
Dr D checks his file, “Yes, I did, in January so you don’t need to see me till summer, I’ll be away all summer.”
“Me too!” I chime in, hopeful. “I have an appointment to see you in September, not sure why.”
“Yes, I’ll see you in 6 months, I’ll be away for the summer so I’ll see you in September. You are coming in for a check up on the study, let’s just do it all at the same time.”
With that I am free! Free! Free of the Cancer Clinic, free of the parking lot, free of the weight I have been carrying all year. Free!
Dr D looks at me, “Ruth, there are no guarantees” he says.
“Okay” I think …
“We expect you to go and live life for a long while.”
Freedom, I feel completely free in this moment! I am still dealing with mental fatigue and bone pain but I don’t care, not in this moment, not after thinking of all I have been through! I am happy, happy to be alive, and free!
I am not completely free, I still need to check in with Dr. W my Radiation Oncologist next week. Then if the side effects from the Letrozole don’t settle down, I’ll need to see Dr. D. but that is so minor, so minor to all that I have been through!
Praise the Lord!
I wonder what will be next in my life … I wonder … and I wonder when will I be “dancing on the streets of gold?”
There is a difference between living life for a long while and living a long life but I’ll leave that in God’s hands. Joyful for today!
I am thankful and I am praying for peace, in my life and yours!