Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Lucky Me!!! I'm 53! Living with melanoma and HOPE!!!

There is no sarcasm in the title.  None.  I have known unfortunate souls who bemoaned growing older, some when they were much younger than I am today!  I am not one of those!  Can aging result in loss of strength and ability?  Sure, you don't see many Olympians or Super Bowl stars on the field over the age of 30! Certain diseases and conditions are present ONLY in the elderly.  I am not one to believe that a mind set can change everything.  I don't buy the idea that you can think yourself young if you are old, cancer free if you are not!  I do contend that a positive attitude makes anything a lot more manageable!!!  Besides, getting older beats the hell out of the alternative!!!

So, yeah....Lucky me, I'm 53!!!

I will never consider myself lucky to have melanoma.  But, I AM lucky to have responded well to the interventions I have been fortunate to attain.

I am lucky I have grown children, who are bright and strong and healthy...who are working hard in love and life.  Learning that things are not always easy.  Standing tall for themselves and for others. Demonstrating a generosity of spirit to those around them.  Making a difference.  Living lives that make me proud to call them my friends.

I am lucky to be able to offer help and health to the children and families I work with daily.  Even more blessed to share laughs, fist bumps and slobbery kisses with my toddlers as well as shy admissions of future plans from teens I've had the honor to watch grow.

I am lucky to be in the position to provide basic, understandable information about melanoma to those in need, while, perhaps, offering a bit of hope in the process.

I am lucky to be able to maintain my running and other exercise endeavors.  Grateful to have a sweet daughter willing to invite me to join her in a weekly "barre" workout.  (If it doesn't kill us, Roo....we're going to be awesome!!!!)

I am lucky to have been able to spend this summer tackling and completing fun sewing projects. Baby Boy Brewer's afghan made it into his mom's arms before he did!  My 3 garments for the Summer of Basics Make-Along were completed before the August deadline.  I managed to keep Ruthie's special top a secret AND got it done in time for her special day!!

Dental checks, car tags, yard work, household projects, annual continuing education requirements for my licensure...have been recently checked off the to-do list.  Yes, I count the ability to take care of the mundane - lucky!!!!

I am lucky to have read the Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway this summer. Yes, it took a couple of months...which is a bit uncharacteristic of me.  The stories were not terribly complicated or long, but the emotional scale took me a minute to ponder, digest, and deal with. This 'short' story, most often attributed to Hemingway, is an example of what I mean ~   "For sale:  baby shoes, never worn."

I am lucky to have had the time and energy to work extra for a fellow provider who needed to be off.

I am lucky to have been able to contribute my small part, with my one voice, to speak out for those who cannot, in the battle to attain, continue, and improve healthcare for all.

I am lucky to have been able to enjoy nature and friendship with my best bud, on ever so many walks over the years, but the beauty we recently shared in Shenandoah was particularly poignant.

I am lucky to have my now annual scans scheduled for the end of this month, ostensibly approved by the wise and wonderful folks at Blue Cross Blue Shield, who have often balked at covering my care, but have had no trouble whatsoever cashing my premium payments monthly since I was 18 years old.

I am lucky to be looking forward to ringing in 29 years with my B at the end of this month!

I am lucky to have managed to find a way, gathered the strength, foolishly believed enough....I don't really continue to create and enjoy small plans and hope for my future.  It has not been easy, as I wrote in this post Looking Forward, from 2010.  There I mentioned I have always told myself and my kids, "Live each day as though there will be no other, and you will have no regrets."  As such, I keep working on my own possibilities.

I am lucky to have dear ones, "...who keep ever burning before my vagrant steps, the kindly light of hope."

Hope - that enigmatic force that allows us to believe that tomorrow can be better, that our words and actions can make a difference, that while all things may not be perfect, there can be joy and beauty for us - still.

Ruthie, shared this with me a bit ago....

"Your opponents would love you to believe that it's hopeless, that you have no power, that there's no reason to act, that you can't win.  Hope is a gift you don't have to surrender, a power you don't have to throw away."                  ~  Rebecca Solnit, from:  Hope in the Dark.

Yes, lucky indeed to be 53!  Living with hope today...looking forward to what's next. - c