At the time I wrote this, my dear friend Pauline was indeed trying to wage war on a deadly disease. She has recently passed and so I post this in Memory of Pauline, who battled courageously. Her spirit has been returned to nature and is free.
It is most often during my daily nature walks when I pray for my friend of 40 years as she is battling her third bout of cancer. I admire her courage immensely, and I love her dearly. I suspect that there is nothing that spurs one to put one’s life in perspective as quickly as a diagnosis of cancer. I was 58, my first grandchild was only 6 months old, my husband and I had just purchased our fifth-wheel recreational vehicle, and we were planning our retirement trip south for the upcoming winter when I received my news. I still vividly remember the apprehension which gripped me instantly.
After a routine mammogram, the radiologist had come to the waiting area and said, “I think I see something. Please come into my office and I shall do an ultrasound.” As she showed me the results of the tests, she again replied, “I think I see something unusual. Can you return on Tuesday morning after the long weekend for a cone biopsy?”
Thus, my life was changed. I was quickly scheduled for surgery, and two months later began thirty radiation treatments. I was a candidate for drug therapy, and one week after completing my five ‘boosts’ of electromagnetic radiation, I was started on Tamoxifin. I found the adjustment to the medication challenging, but I was determined to take every last pill for the duration of the five years. Truthfully, I was prepared to do whatever it would take to beat the big ‘C’; as I told my son, “I intend to be around when your son is 32.”
At the time, in relation to my lifelong dream of writing a novel, I had only just begun, still blithely unaware that I was, in fact, embarking upon a trilogy. I admit that I often wondered if I would finish, particularly when the number of pages continued on and on with no apparent ending in sight.
I am fortunate; I have now been cancer-free for over seven years and counting.