Friday, June 25, 2004

Four Years (Almost)

It is almost four years since my breast cancer surgery. We did the surgery on our daughter's birthday, since it already had been a day with a wonderful blessing. Now, I have ongoing monitoring and tests, and so far, am doing great. But, that is not to say that each time I have a test or a scan (like today), you wonder if that is the time that your life will once again be in upheaval. But, honestly, you get through stuff you didn't ever figure you could.
What did I learn through my cancer experience? Well, was it a gift as many people suggested? Maybe, in a weird way. I think I am different than before. I am generally nicer to people I encounter in the day (stores, DMV, banks, etc.) and try to be more upbeat. I am more open about things I like and more vocal about things I don't like. My priorities are shifted, focusing more on my husband and daughter. I try to be a more supportive person to people going through difficult times. And yes, I try to appreciate the gift of each day, and my cactus flowers serve to remind me of the short time we all are given.
The biggest change is my interest in my religion. I started studying Hebrew to read a prayer at my daughter's Bat Mitzvah, hoping that I would be here to participate in that event. As a result of an inspiring teacher/Rabbi, I have developed an interest in learning more and having an Adult Bat Mitzvah. By doing that, I am showing my appreciation for the life I have been given after cancer. I don't know how else one really expresses that thankfulness, except for being a better person and doing my part in making the world better for everyone.