Lucky is not something I have been especially feeling lately. We have stumbled over a few roadblocks and things haven’t been going very smoothly. I’ve definitely slipped into a rut. It is very easy to feel sorry for yourself – and much harder to pick yourself up. I try my best to emulate the old adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, but it can be difficult to be the strong one. Sometimes, I want someone else to pick me up. Fortunately, the positive, strong side of me knows that eventually things will turn around. I hang my hat on the theory that everything happens for a reason and I have only been given challenges that I can overcome. Unfortunately, this is not true for everyone.
Social media has become a great way for us to keep in touch with people who we don’t get to physically connect with often. Whether we live near or far, we are all busy and struggle to find time to spend with everyone we would like to catch up with. This has made it is necessity to reach out via news feeds and photo sharing. I love seeing all of the August posts filled with back to school photos and end of the summer beach happiness. These posts lift my spirits at a time when I am watching our first baby prepare for 7th grade and our last baby heading toward what he excitedly refers to as “big school” (and I breathe a sigh of relief that it is only pre-school). Days like this make me realize how fast life moves and how luck I am to share each and every day with my soul mate and best friend. Cancer did not beat us and for that I am eternally grateful.
At last count, I could count 11 cancer survivors in our extended circle of friends and family – and that’s without really thinking about it. I’m sure, I could come up with a few more who have been in remission long enough that I rarely use the term survivor to identify them any longer. The number alone is a shocking revelation of how significantly “the big C” has changed my life and my friends.
Social media has also become a way for us to share sad news with our extended network of friends without having to do so face-to-face. It gives us the ability to prepare the delivery and we can avoid saying the wrong thing or reacting in a way that the person is not prepared for. Lately, that has happened to us far too often. Of the 11 people that we do, and always will, consider survivors, four of them have recently received the news that they are no longer in remission.
In addition to feeling horribly for their families – I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through – these diagnoses scare the living daylights out of me. I know my husband saw the oncologist in the spring and continues to be in remission, but this provides me with the reality check that there are no guarantees in life. All of a sudden, the memories that I have suppressed of holding hands during chemotherapy sessions and long nights in the ER have come flooding back. The fear that every day would be the last has crept back into my sub-conscious. I see the moments of fear in the eyes of my husband that he is going to be next and that’s when I remember that I need to be strong. I have 3 very important people counting on me.
In the grand scheme of things, we are only here on Earth for a short time. We need to make the most of it. Take the life that you have been given and run with it. Hug your family and friends and be good to one another. Make memories that will last more than your lifetime – they will be your legacy.