Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27 - Late

One of my very best and favorite childhood friends posted this picture on her Facebook profile tonight. It spoke volumes to me.

I love the vibrant colors. I love the encouragement to be grateful, to appreciate every good thing, to live life. Every day.

Today was a physical therapy day.

Which you know means that my arm/shoulder is killing me now. (Seriously, you should hear my shoulder blade crackle as I lift my right arm above my head. The good news is that my shoulder appears to be in working order. Now, I'm working on the muscles along, under and across my shoulder blade. We're hoping that my next PT appt will be my last PT appt. How awesome would that be?!)

Also, if you're any kind of a regular reader, you know that a PT day is an MD Anderson day. And as much as I don't love the sensation of having Lee pull my arm out of my socket and across my body to stretch my tendons out, I do so love that I have the opportunity to go to physical therapy. I'm so grateful that there are ways to fix broken and tired bodies. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have had to get treatment in such a beautiful facility, with such excellent staff.

I am so grateful for my own poor health. It may not be perfect scenario, but it's sure not worst scenario, either.

I made two new friends at MD today, while we were waiting for the receptionist to finish her paperwork so she could check us in. (The cute and little one who walked with a cane complimented me on my purse. You know that endeared me to her, right off!) My two new friends are both in their sixties. One of them is a breast cancer survivor, 16 years out. (I can hardly wait 15 years and 10 months so I can say the same thing!) Her step-daughter and two grandchildren have died of complications of fibroid tumors. She has a granddaughter, not two years old, who has a tumor growing behind her eye. They aren't sure yet if it will kill her. ... I cannot imagine what that sweet woman is going through. My other new friend is dying. Her cancer started in her throat. They thought they got it all, but it metastasized to her colon and then spread to her lungs and now it's in her brain. I just wanted to hug her, because she is happy. She is a kindred spirit, because she noticed my purse and commented on the patent leather. I love her. I love both of them. We talked before my treatment for a while, and then afterwards, I got out at the same time they did and we walked to the elevators and down to the parking lot together. And while we walked and talked, one of them said the most interesting thing...

They felt badly for me, because I am young.

I don't feel badly for me, because I am young. My body may be a lot slower than it was a few years ago. I may hurt in places that I shouldn't hurt, and I may have digestive issues that I never would have thought possible prior to 2010, but I am young. I have time on my side, and of all the cancers in all the world to have, I happened to grow one of the very few malignant tumors that aren't likely to metastasize. Ever.

I am young. (Well, relatively. I mean, I did have a 20 year high school reunion this summer, but in the grand scheme of things, esp when I'm sitting in a cancer treatment center, I am young.) My body will heal faster than my 60, 50 or even 40 yr old counterparts will. Time is on my side, in that there may be a cure in my lifetime. (Bring on the stem cell research!) I am so blessed.

I am so blessed, in that I have always had skilled and dedicated doctors on my side. I am so blessed, in that I have had opportunities, through surgeries and treatments, to meet people whose journeys are different (and, I think, much more difficult) than my own.

I am so grateful for my new friends - for so very many cancer patients I have met along the way - because they give me perspective that I would not have had without them.

People, life is good. Even when in it is hard, and/or when The Plan seems like crap, life is good. There are good people, and good things all around us. Enjoy them. Every day.