I write this post about a good friend of mine. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought it aggressively and was given a clean bill of health. She looked great and felt even better. Recently, her cancer returned. She is a single mom with a son. When she first got sick her son was about 13. He is now 17 and she is still living for him. She writes a journal just about every other day detailing what she is going through. She remains upbeat, more because I suspect, she is trying to be strong for her friends. I wonder what she feels in her private time alone. Fighting cancer once should be enough. You’d like to think you get a get out of jail free card for that. Once a survivor, always a survivor, forever immune to any recurrence. But of course, things do not work that way. Cancer can recur at any time and often does.
You don’t get to choose your afflictions but you do get to choose how you will live with them. I am so inspired by my friend’s bravery. She is thanking everyone who shows her a kindness, keeping everyone who cares informed of her progress. She is showing us how to live with grace and dignity in spite of cancer.
Most days I write a post in my social media asking, “What’s great about your day?” Even on a day of chemo, I know my friend could find an answer to that question. She sees the gifts all around her. She lives, really lives. She doesn’t spend time feeling sorry for herself. She is showing anyone who notices how to be fully alive and present to the ever surrounding wonders of life. Thank you, Jill, for your courage and strength. I love you.