“So this is not one of those “preprinted” cancer messages. This is a real life story with a happy ending.
My daughter, Chelsey was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer at 15. The same disease my mother died very quickly from. For all of you mothers and fathers imagine being at Riley Hospital and having the Doctor tell you your child has a 2% chance of living thru this. My world crashed that day and every day for 2 years as she struggled with the numerous surgeries and being hospitalized every two weeks for chemo. Through it all she stayed positive and never once thought she was not going to make it. I struggled to make sure she had the best doctors in the United States as I prayed daily to God to give me the strength to be strong for her. God heard my prayers, and all those prayer chains around the world praying for her. We had so many good friends helping us, from the Nanny bringing her favorite drink when she was too sick to eat to Linda Palmer giving her back rubs. So today we celebrate her 10 Year Cancer Free Anniversary and I still talk to God daily and thank him for letting me keep her in my life. Chelsey you have so much more to give and do and I can’t wait to be around for all of it. I love you more than life itself.” ~Deb
This beautiful quote was the facebook status of my friend Chelsey’s mom. The stunning girl in the picture is Chelsey. When I read this yesterday it made me stop. I couldn’t help but cry when I read it. It was so raw. So vulnerable. So true.
All day yesterday I had Chelsey on my mind. Ten years of being cancer free? She is such a miracle. How blessed am I to know her? I love being around Chelsey because she is not only unbelievably kind but she loves the feeling of being alive. She loves love. She wants more than anything to be a mom. She likes doing the little things, like being around a campfire in the fall. What do you do when someone tells you have a 2% chance of living? What do you do when you become that 2%?
Growing up I always felt this: you never know. You don’t know when you’ll have your last moment. Your last breath. Your last kiss. Life is such an adventure. I see that Peter Pan quote that dying would be such an adventure, but I believe to truly LIVE is the adventure. How many can say they lived and loved with all they had? My biggest fear is to merely exist. I want to experience, feel, participate and be a part of life. I want to push myself. Push past my fears. I want to love. I want to feel. I want to feel it all: sad, happy, I want it all. I want to hike and be outside. I want to create. I want to build dreams. I want to believe in possibilities. I want to breathe.
We have but a moment in this physical body, how do we want to live and love? What do we want to create? What is our passion? What is our purpose? Thank you Chelsey and thank you Deb for reminding me how great it is to be living. Thank you for being a part of my story, a part of the adventure. I love you more than my words can ever express.