This summer has been suspenseful, to say the least. The possibility of recurrence is never far from mind, but in the absence of any evidence of cancer, I’ve been free to enjoy long summer days with abandon. When you’re braced for the worst, and the worst doesn’t happen, a person can experience an amazing lightness of spirit. It’s been almost five months since the last of three surgeries in January/February. That’s a nice, long run. It’s given me time to spend with people I care about, and to get places I’ve long wanted to visit. I feel blessed to have been given this reprieve.
Taking on challenges like these presents a problem, however: no one is prepared to believe you’re sick if you can do them. Of course, I’m not “sick” in the typical sense of the term, and what others think about my health doesn't really concern me. The last thing I want to do is fulfill expectations of what someone with stage-four melanoma should and shouldn’t be able to do. I’ve been on this journey with cancer for almost four years now and so far, the only physical effects I’ve had are related to treatment. It was two years ago that I spent a summer racked out while trying to make it through interferon. I hoped then for exactly the sort of life I’ve since been granted: appreciation of simple things, and the ability to enjoy God’s creation. I try not to forget how my prayers have been answered.
The episodic nature of my illness is clinically predictable and I’m optimistic I can continue to be “healthy,” regardless of whether or not my cancer progresses. I worry about a recurrence, but I also know that I can probably survive it. I’m in unfamiliar territory here. I don’t know what to make of it any more than my friends and family do. I accept the time I’ve had this summer as the gift that it is. And then I lace up my running shoes and head for the door.
Options Pregnancy Resource Centers, which I’ve served as a board member for almost 15 years. It’s an organization that does more good than will ever be known, and this should be a really fun event. You can make a donation at this site and help me raise $3000. I appreciate your support.