One year ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The last 365 days have been a huge eye opening, life reflecting, given-a-2nd-chance-at-life experience for me.
I cannot even begin to write about the things I have felt, compassion I have witnessed and patience I have learned.
A month ago, I read Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture." If I were to write a book, that would be it. Too bad Mr. Pausch beat me to the punch.
If you get the opportunity to read it, please do. Just a warning. He dies. Don't worry. I am not giving anything away by telling you. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Have a tissue nearby as you read it.
The first time I was to meet with my oncologist, I remember sitting in his waiting area. I picked up a cancer magazine and read a marvelous article on this Randy fellow. I was inspired then to read his words of wisdom. Unfortunately, everything caught up with me and I was't able to get to it until about 1 month ago.
I don't really know what I am trying to say that I haven't already said already. I know that when the news spread it was like the wild fires of California. I know so many prayers were said. So many people fasted and urged their beliefs of higher powers for me to heal.
Last December, I finally got the nerve to ask my doctor what my prognosis was when I was first diagnosed. He tried to persuade me into not wanting to know. It didn't work.
He finally crunched the number and came out with one devastating result. I was given a 6% chance of survival. I was a stage 3. I realize now the power of prayer - especially in numbers.
I know I have expressed my gratitude before, I really don't think I could ever say it enough. Here are my thank you's:
For all the people who donated diapers, wipes, formula and other baby needs.
For all the people that added my names to the prayer rolls at the many temples across the nation/world
For all the letters of empathy and love
For all the people who got down on there knees and prayed for me countless hours
For all the money that was donated and yard sales that helped us with our medical expenses
For the housecleaning that so many people did when I wasn't able to.
For all babysitting from friends, family, and the young women in our area.
For the young men coming to my house when I couldn't make it to church
For all the people that brought meals to me and fed my family
For all the people who visited me and cried with me
For the leaders of my church
For hair the hair on my head, eyelashes and eyebrows
For the remarkable Susan Doughmans Christin Olsons in the world (there are more but too many to mention).
For cancer support groups
For all the pink bracelets and pink objects people bought or wore on my behalf
For all the hats, wigs and scarves I was able to wear
For my family
For Doctors that eagerly saved my life
For my dear friend, Karen Esplin
For my beautiful sweet children
And, last but certainly not least, my wonderful, magnificent husband, Josh. I love him more than life. I couldn't have gone through this without him. I know he probably won't read this but I thought I would publicly thank him anyway.
Here is to a wonderful (yes wonderful) last year and to many many more years to come...