It is already mid July of 2010 and about half a year from where I started; getting tested, diagnosed, having meetings with doctors, surgery, recovery in rehab, and treatments. I have done so much in so very little time. And yet the road still seems so long ahead of me.
Independence Day just came and went. People in my neighborhood got together for the 4th of July weekend with family and friends to celebrate with backyard barbecues, fireworks, watermelon, and games like water balloon tosses. We had a barbecue in my backyard as well. Ann, my roommate, spearheaded this event. I was only glad that I had an appetite for food!
My thoughts pertaining to Independence Day were more centered on what kind of independence I would have next year in 2011 right around the 4th of July. Would I have freedom from chemo, freedom from hospitals, freedom from crutches or a cane? I gave very little thought to the real reason, and the history behind this holiday. I felt a little bit selfish, but it did not make me feel unpatriotic by the least bit. I love my country and my freedom and everyone who ever came before me that helped make it possible.
I was recently thinking about breaking my femur, having an incredible surgery to replace it, learning how to walk on it, and day by day making more progress. With time and healing I should be able to walk just as normal as I once did. And then the thought crossed my mind that there are others who didn’t get the same outcome as I did. I feel so blessed all the time to have my leg. It was the very first question I asked my doctor upon learning the news; would I lose my leg? This is the kind of cancer that in years past (and not too long ago actually) they would simply amputate the area that was cancerous. They only do this in very rare cases nowadays. There are others who have lost limbs, but not due to illness or disease, but in the line of duty. Soldiers... American soldiers now and in years past have had the possibility of coming home without an arm or a leg, if they even come home at all.
When I contemplate about the things that others have done for my country, or me I realize that what I’m going through is not that hard in comparison. Many people have trials that I cannot even fathom. I’m strong, and will make it through this. I have help from family, friends, neighbors, church members, and loved ones.
Every time I think about my right leg and the new equipment therein, I am amazed. How grateful I am for miracles. Modern medicine has made it possible for someone to be literally cut open from their hip to their knee for an 8-hour surgery. I am grateful for the education of my doctors and nurses who administer to me. I am thankful I still have 2 legs. I am looking forward to my independence from these temporary side effects that I have currently. Life is precious! So I will set out to enjoy all backyard barbecues, parties, and holidays. I will treasure my time spent with family and friends, and even remember this experience and other trials I know will come...and be grateful for my life and life's events. For I know that this too shall pass.