Tuesday, October 31, 2006

3 Words

Cancer sucks. That's all there is to it. No matter what side you are on, it's painful. Everything about cancer is painful, emotional, and horrible. Does a Survivor come out stronger on the otherside? Most times, yes, but it is a pretty awful way to gain strength.

I just spent a weekend with about 700 Survivors and Advocates of cancer at the LIVESTRONG Summit. It was an emotional and incredible weekend...awesome keynote speakers, fantastic roundtable discussions, and wonderful friends. I was able to meet many other yound adult Surviviors, and 3 other Thycans! All 4 of us were diagnosed around the same age and were not a normal case. It was so comforting to meet these lovely women, we all feel as though we are friends for life. I am pretty sure every delegate left the Summit feeling super-empowered and ready to take on this war against cancer, the biggest terrorist of all.

My empowerment practically came to a screaching halt when I returned a phone call from my doctor on the way home from the airport. I heard those 3 heart stopping words once again, "You have cancer." After a little "woe is me" time, I am on the warpath and ready to go. I've got a CT scan to see if it is just this one lymph node involved or more. Surgery is mid-November, and yes, my husband is coming home.

There's no way after the being at the Summit I can sit back and let this happen to me (not that I did that before). I am involved, I will not let this disease rule my life. As I heard so many times at the Summit:

Unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Few...the Proud...the Marines

Flags of Our Fathers starts today in theaters. It's being called Saving Private Ryan for the Marine Corps. I think it would have been neat if it would have been released on 10 November, the Marine Corps' 231st birthday. Then again most Marines will be out celebrating with other Marines that day.

All around the world, Marines celebrate their birthday on 10 November. The Marines Ian is with in Afghanistan will be getting together for a little party. A friend of ours, Scott, is at another base in Afghanistan, and he is going to come down to where Ian's base to celebrate. When the
cake is cut, the first piece is given to the guest of honor and the second is given to the oldest Marine present and his/her birthday and enlisted date at stated. That Marine then passes the third piece of cake to the youngest Marine present and his/her birthday and enlisted date is stated. This ceremony is performed no matter where the Marines are. At the ball 2 years ago, I spoke with one of Ian's now retired Master Gunnery Sergeants who shared a story about celebrating in a tent with the pound cake from an MRE used for the cake ceremony.

The Birthday Ball always has lots of pageantry which is a spine-tingling sight in addition to a room full of Marines in the dress blues complete with ribbons and medals. This is the first year since we've lived here that we won't be going to the ball, but Ian will be celebrating over there. What will I be doing? Most likely playing with Jack and sprucing up the house for Ian's arrival shortly thereafter! Not a bad compromise I'd say!