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ONE: HOW TO LIVE

May, 2019 after a clear scan

7th essay written


Now I must decide how I choose to live. And how I want to spend this gift I call time. Here are a few ideas.


Hanging out with people I love. Taking a lot of long car rides. Inspiring others to be happy. Living in a way that makes my heart feel as full as it can. Lots of hugs, kisses, walks through my neighborhood park. I saw my friend's son yesterday for the first time in awhile; I want to be there for her while he grows and maybe someday hear him call me “Aunt Mary”.


There is so much I can love about every day.


We ended up getting my June scans done early. I wasn’t sure if I would explain that part because the whole “ days until scans” thing I’ve been doing was pretty dramatic, but I’m gonna be honest and say that I wasn’t strong enough to wait the two weeks it would take to know. It was weird though, because I got them done on Friday didn’t expect anything back until Monday, and then ended up getting the good news an HOUR after going in. The only time I’ve ever heard that fast was on my diagnosis day. Divine intervention? You can form your own opinions on that.


I’ll be honest, one big reason I started writing all of this was in case the scans turned up bad and I no longer had the time to say everything I wanted to say. But the writing turned into liberation I’ve never felt before. It lead to some things I’ve never said, maybe never even realized, until I was here at my computer, writing as though the world would wait for me to be finished. I found myself craving it when I was out, trying to catch hold of a line or a topic that I needed to put down later. Even now I feel adrenaline in my fingertips.


Is this one way I want to spend my time?


I view time differently now than I have before. I don’t believe it’s going to be as limited as I’d imagined. Is that okay to say? That I’m not just hoping I’ll live, I’m believing it? After three years of being cancer free, it’s hitting me that there is more than just this day, just this summer, just these months until the next scan. Life and everything I want from it is expanding.


I wish I could explain in words what I want, but the best I can do is sum it up in feelings. Somebody back in March said almost those exact words to me; that he knew the feeling he wanted for his life, the tone it had to set. And I understood what he meant because I think I crave the same feeling. It’s the one I get on a perfect drive home on the highway, the one that makes goosebumps rise on my neck while the wind rushes through my hair; I want that feeling every night, I want to wake up searching for clarity in every day, longing for more and then actually taking the steps towards GETTING more. I want to gain in every way I can with everything I do, whether I’m collecting knowledge, or friendships, or freedom, it doesn’t matter, I want a never-ending cycle of soaking life in for all that I know it could be. I want to constantly be finding new ways to fall in love with the day ahead.

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