This evening I was cruising around on WordPress, reading blog posts by other writers. I stumbled across a post that especially caught my attention, titled The Cancer Book. It’s written by the wife of a cancer patient. Her personal anger and emotional fragility are all too familiar to me.
I’ve walked that same path alongside loved ones battling cancer. And, I found myself providing comfort to my husband as he walked that path beside me while I myself battled cancer.
That was almost 10 years ago now…but the journey is as fresh in my mind as if it were just yesterday. After reading her post, which detailed the anguish of having to purchase a notebook to help her keep all cancer-related paperwork together, I decided to leave a reader comment. I told her what I tell everyone who asks about my own cancer journey; keep your eye on the horizon and take it just one day at a time. Don’t stress over the weeks/months ahead. Just keep your eye on the horizon, stay steady and take it day by day. Only one day at a time.
Here On Earth With You is a poem I wrote early in my cancer journey, when it became clear that the best chance I had for survival was not going to be the 8 weeks of radiation I’d been told would follow the initial surgery. In my wildest dreams, I’d never expected to face the kind of battle strategics that cancer served up. Too many trips to surgery in a matter of weeks, and then the final surgery was a drastic one. It left me with no choice but to be reminded, on a daily basis, that my life was in exchange for body parts.
For me, it’s been easy to keep it in perspective. It’s just body parts. Living isn’t about body parts, it’s about HEALTH.
I hope the blogger who wrote about her cancer book can soon write about the joy of celebrating with her husband over his renewed health. Life is so unpredictable, but here on earth is where I hope he will remain for decades to come.
The sunshine’s warmth upon my skin on a brisk autumn day
brings good feelings to my heart,
for I know it’s nature’s way.
The sobering news of malignancy brings clarity to mind
for appreciation of battle,
of facing moments in time.
The smile on my children’s faces, no matter what their age
and the way their warmth envelops me
in every single stage.
Their laughter and their triumphs, their special little ways
that make me feel so blessed
with each passing day.
The joys I share in marriage, our love endures the years.
The support we share for each other,
no matter what the fears.
The way he looks so pensive, lost in thoughts of distress–
The way I reassure him,
our tomorrows will be the best.
I step up, front and center, to see how the facts unfold
and I face what lies before me,
choosing what the future holds.
Decisions hard to fathom, in order to pursue
a lifetime of more love,
here on earth with you.