A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crash Landing

I couldn't help but notice that after US Air 1549 recently crash-landed on the Hudson--and everyone on board survived--one passenger responded by praying and thanking God. Another passenger went to a hotel lobby and ordered a martini.

I can understand how they both felt. After getting news yesterday that my follow-up MRI was normal (i.e., no sign of cancer growing in my bone marrow!), I was torn between praise & thanksgiving...and heading to a bar. I did say a prayer of thanksgiving...and then took my dog for a walk.

Not since my first diagnosis of cancer--when everything was an unknown about my chances for survival--have I felt this close to death. When cancer hits the bone, that's bad news. I thought I had come through so much last year, with all the surgery and my close call in beating ovarian cancer. And, then, to find a mysterious mark on my leg in December--that's when I realized I could never fully escape cancer hovering over me. It's a fact of my life forever.

So many thoughts coursed through me during this month-long waiting period for the 2nd MRI to see if the area had changed, signifying if there was cancer. I thought about my short time on earth and how scary facing death is. I thought about how 50 years have flown by...and how I can never recapture the years I took for granted. I thought about how I wanted every day and every relationship to matter. I even found myself angry at people in my life who are acting petty right now. What a ridiculous waste of time.

Somehow, my latest potential bout with cancer has made me more serious about the time I have left. And although I escaped bad news this go-around, I know that as a human being, I will eventually face my end on earth.

But until then, I'm going to keep praying...and have a martini.