Happily Ever After

18 Feb

It has been a good week – a candlelit dinner with friends, my first hockey game, a beautiful sunrise, gently falling snow, lunch with my oldest son at our favorite Mexican restaurant, an abundant stash of Valentine chocolate… The list goes on.

So much to be thankful for. So much worth living for. Life is good, isn’t it?

But every once in a while, I still wake up in the middle of the night. In the darkness, I can feel the cold shadow of cancer looming over me. It haunts me with thoughts of recurrence. It tells me that I will never live long enough to see my children grow up. It threatens to take away my joy.

I don’t let it haunt me for long. I know exactly what I need to do to make those thoughts go away. You see, I have a list. I know it by heart. And when I wake up in the middle of the night, I start reciting that list in my mind.

Deloris. Janet. Edee …

I started this list soon after I was diagnosed. It was much shorter then. Now, the names of nearly thirty women, who I know personally, are on my list. All of these wonderful women have survived breast cancer.

It’s like a magnificent parade of survivors that I call up in my mind. As I say the names of each of these women, I am reminded of their stories, their courage, their faith. For some of these women, it has been 30 or 40 years since their diagnosis. I love thinking about them! All of these women give me comfort and hope. They remind me that I have a future, and that even with cancer, it is possible to live happily ever after.

This past week, when I awoke in the middle of the night, I decided the time had come to add another name to the list.

Mine.

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5 Responses to “Happily Ever After”

  1. writergirldreams February 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Will you add my name to? 🙂 wgd

  2. writergirldreams February 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Six comments, uh huh, cause I missed you, and realized I was reading but not commenting! My brain just ain’t working right! Chemo brain? Menopausal brain? Fiddy two year old Lady brain? I keep doing that thing when you think you’ve done something but realize you just thought about it so much, you thought you did it! I’m always here, listening and learning and looking for you, even when I forget to say “I’m here Jill! I’m here!”

    Deloris, Janet, Edee, Jill, Debbie. From your mouth to God’s ear. Hear Our Prayer Lord.

  3. Janet Lea February 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    I have a clipping saved from years ago about a SS teacher in heaven who wondered if she had made a difference in any of the children’s lives she had taught. An angel helped her see all the grown ups with the children’s faces she recognized & there were so many. She never realized the good she had done.
    You will never know (but I hope many will tell you now)how much your sharing has helped them. I just know they feel a kinship with you even though you’ve never met. Thanks,

  4. Donna Myers February 22, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    And I, for one (and I know there’s many, many more) am glad that you’re alive! You have been an inspiration and an encourager through some uncertain days. I can’t wait to read your book again!

    • Barbara April 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      I am a 11 year stage 2 surviver. there is life after cancer. God bless you

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