I have been hesitating to blog because I wasn't quite sure I could get my feelings down in print.
Christmas has always been a special time for Len and I. We have always enjoyed the time together with our kids...shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping, entertaining...DECORATING!! Any one who has ever been to our home, knows we enjoy decorating and baking!! We always have a house full of food and people!! It's the way we like it!
Christmas 2010 was a little different for us...we had to tell our children and our family that I had cancer. I decided to wait till after the holiday to begin any treatment. We knew it was going to be a long haul and if it was going to be my last holiday I was determined to make lasting memories. It was a difficult Christmas to say the least but there were so many things to be happy about! Rob surprised me and came home, my granddaughter was having her first Christmas, Deana was learning how to bake all my cookies...and we tried to ignore the BIG, UGLY elephant in the room!
January 3rd, 2011 was when I began the toughest battle I have faced so far in my life. I went from my friend Dr. Sandy White's office, to University Radiology...to the surgeon the next day. And so the BATTLE began. Four months of brutal chemo which brought with it blood clots, lung infections, severe immune suppression and moments that I thought I just couldn't take anymore of this "cure"!! Then 3 surgeries in 6 weeks...to find that the cancer had spread to my chest wall and was STILL in my lymph nodes! So then 2 months of daily radiation therapy! Just when the end of treatment was in sight, I lost my only brother suddenly at 59 years old! When we were all so consumed with the thoughts that I might die...my brother was gone! Christmas 2011...not exactly what we had hoped for. My brother was gone, my Aunt Jackie was not getting any better fighting her battle with cancer...I was alive...but somehow just barely!
Christmas 2012...Many things have changed this year...and perhaps for the New Year I will recap some of those moments...but for now I want to share this Christmas with you! The blessings are many in spite of the things that cancer has brought to our lives. I was able to shop, bake, cook, decorate...all the things I LOVE to do! I was determined not to be stressed and I wasn't!! It was the best Christmas in a very long time! I have said it before, You must look at cancer as a gift! If you don't, you only take away from it the devestation and not the blessing...and therefore "it" wins even if you survive!! I will beat cancer one way or another...I will not let it take the time I have left...one day, one year or 100 years. I will do the things I love to do, will carry out our traditions, make the memories that will last forever, enjoy my children, grandchildren, family and friends! I will recognize what is important to me and to my family. I will not put off till tomorrow or next week or next year the things I want to do, the things I want to say...the memories I want to make! I will do my best to accept the "gift of cancer" I was given! So, as I have said SO many times before...with the celibration of Christmas and the coming New Year...Live each day like you are dying. Laugh, enjoy, don't clean the house instead of
doing what you love...the mess will still be there. Do what you must but never miss a chance to love your life, your family, your friends the things that give you joy! So, Love deeper, speak sweeter, give forgiveness you've been denying...if you get the chance, live like you were dying! I will continue this until my dying breath and live each day as if it is my last. And Please remember...if you get the chance..."love someone through it"...and ease the burden for a family battling this ugly disease...the only we can...day by day!
Merry Christmas!! Thank you to everyone of you that shares our blog, post a comment, "likes" our pages or follows us on twitter...it's because of you that our foundation finds it's way into the light!