Tag Archive: survivor


Palin’s response to Couric’s direct line of questioning is very tactful, but her record is still frightening.  She is on record (see second video) stating she would support legislation to ban abortion in all cases including rape and incest.  

I really appreciated the incumbent governor’s end comments.  He’s also a Republican, but with a world-view on the issue.  As I’ve said before, I am strongly in support of choice for women, but I can respect the view the pro-life movement takes with exception to legislating that opinion.

I also take exception to an entirely pro-life person legislating cruel forms of areal hunting.  I guess life is only sacred if bundled in the human womb.  When I heard SNL’s Tina Fey remark on areal hunting, I thought it was just a reference to Palin’s hunting record in Alaska, but the joke was on me.

At least both presidential candidates Senators Barack Obama and John McCain voted against horse-slaughter.

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Today is the last day of my twenties; tomorrow I turn 30.  I used to dread growing old, but in life post-cancer, growing old is a goal.  I thought the urge to reminisce would catch me off guard last minute; threatening to enact some hint of regret, but instead I feel content and satisfied in reaching my thirties.  

I’m also very glad to be in Michigan at this time in my life.  Two years ago on my birthday we took a trip to Mackinac Island.  I looked out over the bow of the boat at rainbows forming in the freshwater spray.  The wind whipped through our hair and out over the straits of Mackinac, the iron bridge took on a soft look in the bright sunlight.  It was a moment so well-engrained that while my body was secretly host to a silent mutation, I dreamed of my good-byes to family.  Each time I said goodbye in dreams, I walked into the spray and knew then I was passing into a new realm, though at the time I didn’t even believe in Santa Clause.  I discovered the lump two days later and my life was forever changed.  

In a way, being up here feels like the closing of some loop.  Like I’ve been here before, but my path has changed.  Left untreated, NHL kills within two-years.  Most recurrences take place within the first two years into remission.  Whatever the significance, this experience has completed a two-year cycle.  At a time when I believed I would regret the turning of a decade, I am elated to put my twenties behind me; to embark full-throttle on a new adventure; to leap into the next phase of my life uninhibited; to count rainbows on the spray and to take on the softer look wisdom grants us as we age.

I found this delicious phrase on a Cafe’ Press bumper sticker raising money for breast cancer awareness.  It’s time to start brain-storming fund-raising ideas and today I’ve been looking into selling items online to raise $2400.  I’m looking for funny catch phrases like F$%& Cancer or Kick Cancer’s Butt: Been there, done that!  I’m hoping for bumper-stickers, mugs and t-shirts.  Feel free to share your catch-phrases and ideas!  

I’m considering goofy things like “Pet a beagle for a dollar” on the sidewalk, so really, no idea is too silly to post.

Gratitude

I was just re-reading some past entries and the encouraging comments readers made. It brought tears to my eyes to remember that battle, but more so to feel the love from friends, family and even strangers who are united in the same cause: To survive and beat this disease. The wisdom in the messages left by fellow bloggers was simple, yet profound: Snuggle your babies or do whatever reminds you of why your fighting so hard; take a break and let others help; take in each moment with gratitude; and my personal favorite, “FUCK CANCER.”

Not only did these words of comfort and advice resonate then, they resonate still. Your support crossed miles and is timeless. I am forever grateful for the courage our friends and family put forth, the research they did on their own to better understand blood cancers, the gentle hand in helping with our girls or preparing food to feed our family when Erick was working hard to step in where I left off. And my gratitude to my husband and children who did their best to make life “normal.” As I’ve often said, normal never felt so good!

There was a moment, after my first treatment, when I considered letting the disease take its course. The first treatment was horrible. I developed blisters inside my mouth and throat and was too weak to move or eat much. I hated myself for feeling so weak. Erick sat with me and tried to give me the next dose of Prednisone, but I told him “No more.” I was certain death would be a welcome reprieve to this misery. My husband persisted and we wrapped the pills in peanut butter and bread so they would go down easier. Reflecting on this moment, it was definitely my weakest, but with Erick’s help, it was also courageous. Everyone battling cancer learns early on that strength in this fight does not come from muscle, but from somewhere deeper. It emerges when we think we cannot move forward and carries us until we can stand on our own. We learn early on, we are stronger than we ever before imagined. And when we emerge outside our treatments, the challenges we face daily pale in comparison to our darker battles.

The things that stay with me today are not the difficulties of the treatments, but instead the kindness, the love and support; the greater journey that extends out before me.

With gratitude,  Samantha

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