You know how some days are etched in your memories. Days like JFK's assassination, the day Elvis died, Princess Diana's death, 9/11. You remember where you were, who you were with, how you reacted. I have those memories...well apart from Elvis...I don't remember that day.
I also have other days etched in my memory. Days where I remember moments of 'my' life. Happy moments. Major events like the day Bryan and I married, the day our children were born, the first night in the first house we bought, standing on the top of the Pyrenees - looking down and saying 'we must never forget this view'. Some not so major but nevertheless memorable - drinking wine and eating fish and chips on Waiheke beach while watching the sunset, meals with friends where the conversation was so good you didn't want the day to end.
Then there are the other days. The not so good moments I remember. The day the doctor in Portugal told me I had a carcinoma. It took a few moments before I realised he was telling me I had cancer. I wasn't too concerned. Yes it was a nuisance, and it would stuff up my new business plans, but I knew I could beat it.
Eighteen months later my oncologist in New Zealand telling me the cancer was back. This time I went into shock, I couldn't breathe, I moved toward the window to get air, laying down on the examination table before I passed out, Bryan looking at the scans, the oncologist explaining things. Leaving the hospital, Bryan and I both sobbing as we drove home.
More surgery and chemo.
Twelve months later and the cancer was back. It was easier this time. What do I need to do? Appointments made. More surgery, but YAY, no chemo.
Nine months later - It's back...and this time there's nothing we can do. I surprised myself with how calm I was. I looked at the scans, I said f**k for each tumor the oncologist pointed to. We discussed 'how long' ............9 - 12 months if I was lucky. I apologised for my language. Then we got in the car and drove home. There were no tears, just decisions. We were driving over the Auckland Harbour bridge when we made the decision to return home to Australia. Within 4 weeks we were happily living in Queensland .
It's been three years since that day...and I've exceeded the 9 -12 months expected. New drugs, new treatments and I'm still here.
Which is why organisations like LiveSTRONG are so important to the cancer world. It is why I support LiveSTRONG Day with my Taste of Yellow event. It is through the LiveSTRONG presence, governments and corporations are made aware of cancer issues, not just in the US, but worldwide. Thanks to organisations like LiveSTRONG there are new treatments, new drugs, more research.
Thanks to the people behind those organisations I may get to measure my time in years not months. Most of all, thanks to those organisations, we will one day have a cure for cancer.
It's not to late to join A Taste Of Yellow Heart Series. Read all you need to know to join. I'll accept entries throughout next week at atasteofyellowATgmailDOTcom