"The news is not good," were the few words she uttered. "It's ovarian cancer..."
I felt the air being sucked out of my soul. I can't actually say that my life flashed before me, though, although it does sound dramatic and reasonable. But I remember feeling a sudden need to be held. God, as usual, was on the job for I had opted to go alone to the doctor's, thinking she would be telling me something minor was untoward and I was stepping kicking and screaming into menopause.
Gilles was the first person to know about my cancer. He is always the first to know. Thirty four years later - and he still has my back.
I recall the sick feeling as we prepared to tell Amanda and Trevor. All I could think of was my beautiful family and how I suddenly felt as if I was being ripped away from my babies.
Lest I start revisiting that moment, I will recall with jubilant joy, how God has taught me well through my cancer journey, and over these four years of remission.
I, admittedly, do struggle with cancer guilt. I don't know if that is an oddity or whether it would be classified in the big psychology tome as a 'normal' response to surviving a terminal disease. Today I learned that a woman who is not so blessed, lucky, fortunate (what do we call it?) is slowly succumbing to cancer. I will be seeing her this weekend as we host our big fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope. She wants to join us (as she has done for the past four years) and she wants to scrapbook and laugh and relax with 99 other rootin' tootin' cowgals for the cause. We are overjoyed that she is coming but I cannot help battling the guilt of living while she is dying.
But we will show her a wonderful, Wild West good time and we will help her rejoice in the moment - that's another thing I learned on my journey - life is fleeting so now is the time to celebrate.