Today was a fun day….cool coincidence; my 8 year anniversary of being cancer-free (eight years ago today I had my cytoreduction surgery in which all cancerous tumors were removed) coincided with the annual cancer-survivor luncheon hosted by Cancer Health Treatment Centers, the local oncology practice where I received my IV chemotherapy and follow-up after my surgery and peritoneal chemotherapy in New York.
The luncheon is held annually at a very nice hall with great entertainment and guest speakers. It is attended by at least 250 survivors and their guests. The program lists all of our names, our primary cancers and our years of survival. I love reading over the names and especially love reading of long term survivors of difficult cancers, like ovarian, pancreatic and lung cancer. For the past 8 years I have been the only appendiceal cancer survivor listed.
My daughter, who was 11 when I was diagnosed, attended with me…she is home from college for the summer and 19 now. My youngest daughter will leave for college also in August, she is now 18. She is attending her senior prom tonight.
I remember when I was diagnosed I just wanted to live long enough to see my kids graduate from high school. I made it! I’ve lived long enough to raise my kids to adulthood. People ask me sometimes if I have now set my goal at seeing them graduate from college or married, if I have set my goal at living long enough to possibly meet grandchildren…but I haven’t. If I get those years, they will be bonus years. I already got what I asked for, and if that was all it would be enough for me. Asking for more would be like asking to win a multi-million dollar lottery twice. I’ve known of many who have not made it this far, I’m grateful for the time I’ve been given. I’m very grateful to have had the last eight years to spend with my husband and kids.