by Cathy Scibelli
Today I’m celebrating the good news I received–my MRI was “normal,” making me officially a two-year breast cancer survivor. The two year mark is an arbitrary one, but nonetheless it’s certainly comforting when they tell you that your odds of surviving long term just increased a few notches.
So how to celebrate? The first reaction to news like this is always to feel as if I want to dance on the moon and shout the news from the mountaintops.
Everyone I mention my good news to tells me things like “You should go out to a fancy dinner,” or “why don’t you take a really special vacation?” or “buy yourself something great.” But an odd thing happens after you’ve been through a life-threatening battle with disease, or at least in my case it happened. The most ordinary things that I used to take for granted become the very things that feel special and celebratory.
It’s like winning the lottery to hear that you’ve just beaten the odds and been given the opportunity to enjoy the fall (my favorite season) without another doctor appointment or scary test until after Thanksgiving. Suddenly, I can feel “normal,” joining the rest of the world picking out my Halloween pumpkins and buying decorations, enjoying long walks in the cooler weather watching the fall foliage emerge. I can look forward to the Pumpkin Fest at my cousins’ Sugar Shack where I can get plenty of warm hugs and hot cider. Then I can come home to my cozy apartment, do some fall cleaning and redecorating, work on my blog and writing class, and continue participating in the women’s writing and breast cancer groups I’ve joined.
Don’t get me wrong, I do still have bigger goals on my Bucket List. One day I’d like to go out to San Francisco and see some of the sites my father told me stories about seeing when he was there while in the Army. I’d like to visit relatives in Tennessee and then attend the Story Circle conference in Texas next April. I think about one day moving to the country and buying a little place where we can have a garden.
But right now it just feels great to wake up in the morning and look forward to a “normal” day. Because when you feel as if every day is a gift and where you are in your life is a place surrounded by loving friends and family, that’s really all you need to have a celebration.
Cathy Scibelli is a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor whose life has been immensely enriched by joining Story Circle Network. She blogs at http://iconicmuse.blogspot.com