Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

On the cusp of a New Year, I'm at a turning point in my life. Act two, so to speak. The past twelve months have brought more joy in my life than I thought my heart could hold. The love of a child and husband that I never dreamt could be possible. And yet, it has also brought me the most trying challenge I have ever faced. I had cancer - breast cancer. And the operative word is had. On December 17 I had a mastectomy, on December 23 my CT scans and bone scans came back negative. Now though, I face a long road ahead of treatment to make sure it doesn't come back - starting with chemotherapy. Today I find out my schedule. And I'll be honest, it terrifies me. More than surgery did - I just wanted that over with; wanted the tumor gone. But chemo, and all it's side effects is a scary prospect.

When I was younger I thought that being brave was about being fearless. As I grew older and wiser, I've come to understand that it's the exact opposite. It is exactly about being fearful. Bravery is about going forward, despite being afraid. I think of this often as I face chemo and what will happen in the months ahead. And I think to myself, what's a few months of discomfort compared to a lifetime of happiness with Alyssa and Dennis? I have a feeling that will be my mantra for 2011.

The New Year is our chance - for each one of us - at a rebirth. A chance to start anew; clean slate. Like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life we get another chance to start fresh. In my case, I'm certain that I've gotten another chance. Going forward is my act two. And I won't waste a single moment of it. My resolutions are this: I will not waste a single moment by stressing, or dwelling on the negative. I will be constructive and positive in how I approach bumps in the road. I will laugh at every opportunity to do so; and I will cry if my heart tells me it needs to. I will love until my heart overflows and I will accept love from anyone who offers it. I will dance and sing and sigh, and revel at how beautiful it is to be alive. I will look around me and always think, indeed, it's a wonderful life!

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