Today is wonderful.

Six years ago today I was diagnosed with stage 4 appendiceal cancer. It was assumed I was terminally ill when I was diagnosed.

I was thinking today of things I’ve experienced in the last 6 years. I remember how hard I fought. I remember refusing to let cancer take me over, I remember fighting for all I was worth. I remember training for a bicycle century while I was on chemo. One day I pedaled against the wind when it was 40 degrees and pouring down rain. I refused to let cancer and chemo control me, conquer me, make me weak. I was tough, I was going to fight, I was angry, I was afraid. Bicycling was my stress reliever. Six months after I finished chemo I did my first ever bicycle century, 100 miles in a day. I did it again 3 months later.

But I am alive. I’ve seen my kids finish grade school, finish Jr. High, survive adolescence and become high schoolers. I’ve been here for their first boyfriends, first kisses, first dances, first dates. In a few days my youngest will be behind the wheel of a car, my eldest drives everywhere now and will graduate next year. I’ve been with my husband 6 more years, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary this year. My husband weathered the cancer storm that I’ve seen destroy many relationships, he’s my hero.

I went into a store last night while my daughter waited in the car. When I came back she told me she had worried about me, she said she worries about me a lot now. I didn’t come back as soon as she expected me to. She wondered if I’d been taken, if something might have happened to me, if I was gone. Before she used to have frequent dreams that I had died. Maybe that was still a remnant of our desperation 6 years ago.

We don’t take anything for granted anymore. Not a single day.