Sunday, March 25, 2012

Five Year Cancer-versary

Today was a big day...... on so many levels.
Today's our wedding anniversary. Happy 18th honey.

So we made it an adventure day. We packed up our TwinZees and headed east to an Air show and from there to the beach. That's a BIG day with three year olds!
GeeGee wearing Mr. T's green-glasses, at his insistence (honestly.)

We gathered up my brother to take in all the sights and act as our official family photographer.
It's an airplane taking off!!!!

PRETTY AWESOME to have a new generation of pointing finger in pictures!
(Please forward photo to Uncle Dale for little T's official family pointing shot.)

We went on from the planes and their loop-ti-loopin' to go
TO THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

children in ocean

Guess what?
They liked it!!! They really liked it!!!

My amazing survivor 'scarf' filled with individual ribbons of support from fans
Irony of all ironies --  today is also the day that I 'celebrate' as the anniversary of my becoming a cancer survivor. Today is FIVE years since my surgery for my first diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Five years is a big deal in the land of cancer. Since I've been diagnosed a second time in that five years -- I have a variety of 'dates' associated with this component of my life..... and that cancer-ver-sary concept can get kinda complicated. 

Saying that the observation of cancer milestones is 'bittersweet' is a gigantic under-statement. Emotions run in every possible direction. All at the same time!

Reflection is a good thing.
Sunrise and sunsets are good. 
One foot in front of the other.
Roller coaster + tilt-o-whirl.
Counting your blessings:

By stacking all of those individual days into a big pile it becomes five years -- if you're on the 'happy' end of the cancer spectrum -- that is. I have had that great good fortune. I have reached my five year milestone. I have reason to celebrate. I have reason to be jubilant. I have reason to be smiling. I also have reason to be reflective. Not everyone is as fortunate as I am. There are brilliant individuals that science fails.

pink tulips, breast cancer, hope
I'm an incredibly fortunate person.......... to have had these five years.The twins are less than a month from their fourth birthday -- that's a pretty big Daily Double!!! Being a super-part of their world for these recent days is heart-humbling.  I'm the poster-child for: 'early diagnosis saves lives.' Saving lives is a glorious goal. Finding the CURE is the prayer on everyone's heart. Finding the CURE is why we light each candle.

cathedral candles, Hope photograph, breast cancer

Days at the beach. Days with family. Days making a splash. That's what surviving is all about.

                                    Milestone days.

Saint and faithandfifty: Door County 'bucket-list' adventure, northern WI

Saint comes to Chicago to be "my people" at a conference

It's a day like today that I think of my sistah-hood..... of the many facing decisions and milestones on a whole different level. I think of my cancer-mentor who saw me through my second diagnosis and its various complications. I think of my dear sweet angel, Saint, who laughs with me through the hiccups of the day from her perch in heaven. Our families became bonded over the years -- golfing, laughing and rollicking in the good times. LUV this picture. Landmark. Classic. Good times. Memories.

Wilson family at Wilson's: bucket-list RV camping trip of hilarity

In my many travels I have been fortunate to meet a variety of my surviving sisterhood.

Great Googala-moogala it's us in Lousiaiana -- what a LUV!

The two Debbie-mommy-suriviors, enjoying the Carolina beach

Columbus Komen walk, GO TEAM JANUARY!!!!!

Michigan grannies sharing a brunch + new milestone

Breast cancer survivor, hope, breast cancer walk t-shirt

Mini-Gathering outside of Washington DC: House-keeping bunnies!!

My number one cheerleader from Utah -- survivors meet at national conferences!

dozens of pink roses, breast cancer survivors, survivor walk

I end my reflections as I began.
Thinking about anniversaries. Thinking about the support of moving forward.

I have had the great good fortune of two 'early' diagnosis -- which is the best news possible.
Beyond that gift, I have had a super hero holding me up the whole entire time.
Every day.
Getting my ducks in a row.
My own SUPER HERO..... making every day an adventure!

Here's to the next five years. Here's to finding the CURE. Here's to prayers for those who go on without their loved ones. Here's to prayers for those in the midst of the fight. Here's to HOPE. Here's to each day as it presents itself. Milestones. Munchkins....... and many more.

                                                                                  -- Debbie --

Thanks to everyone involved at BCO for being there over the whole five year journey. So delighted to get to meet many of you in person.... those hugs go a VERY long way toward healing. 

Strength and courage. 
Strength and courage. 
Strength and courage.


  1. Congrats on five years! So glad you had a fun day out with the kiddos!!

    1. Thank you Heather. Having a fun day with the kiddos is the best possible 'medicine' available. I am so appreciative of your support though your leaving a comment. Thank you.


  2. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This is such a big day and so important that you share (and done so beautifully). We are on the road to five years with my son, but we are getting there :) You have reminded me of all that is possible xxx

    1. My heart is indeed humbled when I think of parents required to walk this road on behalf of their children. I am cheering for you as you reach each new milestone with every additional sunrise. Life on Planet Earth is imperfect -- I don't need to tell you that.

      Consider yourself hugged. Fight the good fight. Relish the opportunities each chuckle-turning-into-genuine laughter affords.


  3. Congratulations to you! Your family is precious! What a lovely post! The roses are beautiful, as are the women pictured!!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

    1. The women pictured are indeed beautiful -- on so many levels. Our bonding together is the 'silver lining' that comes from such challenges. Laura, I am especially grateful for comments on this post. Thank you so much for taking the time, for introducing yourself and for the encouragement and support.


  4. Congratulations on this wonderful cancer-versary! I cannot begin to imagine the roller coaster of emotions that you have gone through in the last five years. Life is definitely precious!

    Lil' Country Kindergarten

    1. Life is precious beyond measure. All of those 'platitudes' regarding the savoring of every moment ring truer and truer as I am granted every additional milestone...... a daughter's wedding, the births of new grand-children to love, the new professional projects that emerge.

      Marlana you have chosen the truest analogy: roller coaster. It is a crazy ride indeed. Thank you so much for your supportive comment. I am so grateful to my fellow blogging-buddies as well.


  5. Congratulations, Debbie, on both anniversaries!! What a roller coaster you have been on. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures. You are blessed!
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. I am blessed indeed, Lori. These last five years have been nothing short of incredible. I pinch myself every now and again. Thank you for joining in my celebration of life.


  6. congratulations on your cancer-free-versary!!!! i'm walking my SIXTH 3-Day in cleveland in august...i will add your name to my roster of women :)

    ps- WILSONS!!! i'll be there getting a cone with a jellybean in JUNE!!!

    1. I can't wait to meet you at Wilson's and celebrate in style!!! Cue the "It's a Small World" theme music. Such a glorious gift -- our connections and over-lappings.

      Yes. Please add my name to your roster. I'm so grateful for everyone who 'walks-the-walk' on behalf of everyone who suffers.


    2. will you be there in June? I fly to MKE on June 11 and home on the 15th. small world indeed!


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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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