I was reminded by a picture from a couple months after my mastectomy in 2008, when my hair was just growing into a very butch looking buzz cut- we traveled to Michigan for our annual summer adventure. I remember hiking, kayaking, laughing with our 6 month old new baby and my new “rack” feeling blessed beyond measure to have beaten cancer (minus a couple more reconstruction surgeries). It was a summer of celebration and reconnecting with friends and family to tell the story of my cancer fight. I had beaten it. I felt so strong and proud. My whole life was in front of me. A new baby, a little idea about an organization I might start, an amazing husband who stood by me through it all, friends and family and most of all HOPE for the future! Then the following 6 years of summer adventures – happiness, joy, physical accomplishment, delicious meals, family, friends! Days overflowing with laughter, bug bites, snuggles by the campfire and most of all HOPE for the future.
Now, this summer. I am so thankful to be here, in “MI Happy place.” We are having a great summer- like every year… Kayaking, climbing sand dunes, fishing, beach campfires, family reunions. So much is the same. Yet, everything is different.
I wish I could just enjoy the moments and laughter with the confidence that this is one summer in a long line of summers to come together. That jay and I will walk the beach holding hands 20 years from now and that I will see our boys as men. I know it’s not guaranteed for anyone, but it’s especially hard for me. I just can’t help but wonder when will this feeling good end, when will I face toxic treatments that keep me from doing the things I love and when will I run out of treatments… It’s all so surreal in the midst of the happiness I feel most of the day. Yet, it’s our reality now. This balance between just having fun and treasuring the moment because you don’t know how many more we will have together. It’s an odd way of living. But I’m figuring it out. Most of all- we are living life to the fullest. Squeezing every bit out of each sweet summer day in our yellow cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan. Life is good.
Life is so, so good.