I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42. I found the lump at home on a Sunday evening, Dec. 4, 2000. Two days later I had my first surgery. The following week, after a second surgery and more testing, I found out I would need chemotherapy and radiation.
At that clinic appointment my husband, Joel, and I received a call from our oldest son, Jason, telling us they were in labor to have their baby. So, we picked up our two boys from their schools and headed to Madison for the delivery of our first granddaughter. What a roller coaster of a day.
It was a bittersweet day and in many ways the whole year was that way. Our youngest son, Travis, just started kindergarten. Our middle son, Jojo, started middle school and our 18-year-old daughter, Tara, had just started college. My 62-year-old mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness just before my diagnosis.
In the past nine years I have been blessed to be here to see my daughter marry, hold two more grandchildren, go to more graduations, and also be with my mother and father when they passed away.
Life is so precious, can be too short and needs to be cherished each moment. Having cancer does teach us lessons; we just have to make sure to learn them.