I can choose to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me. – Suzanne Summers, Cancer Survivor
One of the biggest questions in life is not about whether you should put the past behind you, but WHEN you should put your past behind you. We sometimes hold on to things too long and miss the opportunity to enjoy new things for fear of not showing support or thoughts for those events and people that have marked your life forever.
Today was just one of those sobering days. The fact that it is two days before the 11th anniversary of 9/11 as well as the 13th birthday of our son only made it slightly more complicated for my family. Most importantly for us, 9/9 marked the four year anniversary of my wife’s battle with cancer. Cancerversary is a name given to the day of your surgery to remove cancer from your body. While five years is the true date to really start to believe you are in remission, we have truly chosen to move on from cancer in our life. We dwelled on the battle for the last few years, but once my wife started being removed from a few drugs this year we felt like moving on and getting on with our lives would be the best.
Ironically, just a few weeks ago we ran into my wife’s oncologist at my cousin’s wedding (my cousin works for her). I realized that even she (the oncologist) tries to stay away from the personal side of cancer when she’s out of the clinic. It was the first time our children met her and I noticed how she just tried to keep her distance. I’m sure she’s seen so many happy stories go bad that the pain can get personal and interfere with her ability to stay even-keeled. Well I just don’t think we can ever run from cancer. It is all around us. Coincidentally for my wife, the Komen Race for the Cure run fell on this day. My wife and daughter ran. It is such a sisterhood. As each survivor runs across the finish line, you notice the applause is so heartwarming for people you don’t even know.
Seeing my wife after the race, her face was glowing. I think we realized that we can’t walk away from cancer. We can move on, but it will always be a part of our lives. Unbeknownst to my wife, my daughter, son and I had a nice little chat about how special the day is and how lucky we are that their mother is still with us. We talked about not making it a big deal, but I could see how special that day was for my kids. Later on my daughter pulled me aside and said that she was glad to be running alongside her mom. I’m sure my wife was just as happy for the same reason.
For me, I played on the par 3 course I grew up on. I’ve played it 100s of times in my life and finally broke a milestone score!
My son and I also celebrated Orange weekend….watching the Giants stretch their lead over the rival Dodgers.
And finally we watched my daughter and her team launch their soccer season with a fierce 3-0 shutout.