Friday, October 1, 2010

Breast Cancer and Really Living

Welcome to the party! It’s going to be a big one, because I’m celebrating ten years of living cancer free. I’m pictured here with my Relay for Life Survivor Ribbon and a pin for each of my ten years.
It’s been a long road since my diagnosis in 2000. Along the way, I’ve had many tests to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread or reoccurred--multiple bone scans, cat scans, MRI’s, blood tests, mammograms, x-rays, ultra sounds, surgical biopsies, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy and probably some other tests I can’t remember. I also couldn’t possibly tell you how many doctors I’ve had to see. I’ve lost one breast and a large part of the other, and yet…I’m still here living this life God has given me.

I hear a lot of talk about what we would do if we only had thirty days to live. Well, I’ve been living that way for ten years. Every day, I try to squeeze as much as I can out of it. That doesn’t mean I climb Mt. Everest, or tour the world every other month. No, if I had thirty days to live, I’d hug my kids, kiss my husband, pet my kitties and puppy, spend time with my extended family and friends, cook meals, and wash the dirty clothes(well, maybe a little less clothes washing). I’d pray, write, play the piano, watercolor and worship with other believers just like I’m doing. My chest bears many scars, but I have a husband who thinks I’m beautiful; and though life continues to hold many challenges, its filled with wonder as well.

Jesus knew his time was short, but he lived a rather ordinary (albeit perfect) life for the first thirty years. When you think about it, though, life itself is never ordinary. The gift God has given us of living and breathing on this planet is so completely extraordinary, we should pray for an ever increasing awareness of this gift he’s lavished upon us. The prophet Isaiah wrote in 58:11, “And the Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” I want to be a spring whose waters never fail, a person who effervesces the grace of God—who really lives every day.

By God’s mercy, my cancer was caught very early, and I’m still here telling the story. Get your mammogram, or make sure the woman you love gets hers. I’ve just had mine. When you see those pink ribbons, remember to pray for the almost two million breast cancer survivors in the United States, that they would live their lives to the fullest, and especially pray healing and hope for those who are just being diagnosed. And join me here for Breast Cancer Awareness Month as I share, remember, give thanks…and really live.

Tomorrow, join me at “One Ringing Bell” for Dancing Lessons.

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