I love our library here in Oak Bluffs! Have I mentioned that; I know about a hundred times. I walked to the library yesterday, it's only 1/8 of a mile from my place. I thought of myself being like a New Yorker and walking every where, except I'm on an island where it is quite and I can still walk every where. On my walk I saw a beautiful periwinkle hydrangea, took a picture of it and sent it to my mom telling her I was sending her flowers. She text back telling me it made her day.
I love to go browse the shelf with new books. One of my Bingo spots is to read a book with a blue cover. I found a book with a blue cover among the new books called Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman. When I picked it I didn't know that it was written by someone who had breast cancer 15 years ago. She starts out saying that she was writing this book because she wished there would have been a book like this when she was diagnosed. It is only 83 pages and I read it in probably less than an hour, but it is chalk full of good stuff. When I finished the book I was glad that I've put forth all of the principles in the book in my life even before I was diagnosed with cancer. She starts out saying, "There is always a before and after. My advice, travel light. Choose only what you ned most to see you through." The titles of each chapter sum up her book: Choose Your Heros, Choose To Enjoy Yourself, Choose Your Friends, Choose Whose Advice You Take, Choose How You Spend Your Time, Choose to Plan the Future, Choose to Love Who You Are, Choose to Accept Sorrow, Choose to Dream, Choose Something New, Choose to Give Into Yourself, Choose to Make Things Beautiful, Choose to Forgive, Choose to Claim Your Past, Choose to Share, Choose Love, Choose the Evidence.
I love the last 2 paragraphs. Her oncologist told her that "cancer didn't have to be my entire novel. It was just a chapter...Your sorrow will become smaller, like a star in the daylight that you can't even see. It's there, shining but there is also a vast expanse of blue sky. All the same, somethings stay with you forever. You are a different person now. You know it and I know it. You're not the same. You're a survivor. Congratulations."
And so it is with me, cancer isn't my story, it is just a chapter. One that I admit I'm fearful of having again, especially because I have been having some of the same back pain I had when I was diagnosed. BUT, I'm stronger than I was before and if it comes back I'll deal with it. For now I look forward to the future, spending time with the man that I love and living life to the fullest!