Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Significance of June 2, 2013...Survivors

Not every marriage celebrates 57 years of wedded surviving. My parents, George and Bettie, will mark this milestone tomorrow, June 2, 2013. I know people have the tendency to think in terms of "wedded bliss," but after 57 years I might as well be honest. It hasn't all been blissful. But it has been doable and survivable. They have shared rearing my brother and I to adulthood. Seen him get through his crack addiction, and seen me get through two melanoma surgeries and maintain at stage 3b for almost five years. They've survived deaths of siblings, parents, and nieces and nephews.

Mama looked at Daddy the other day when we were talking about their anniversary and said, "When you said 'I do,' you did." That sums it up pretty accurately. And she put oomph behind her "I dos" as well. They did what they had to do. They did much they wanted to do. They muddled through other stuff. They've been human. They've been superhuman. They're both 82 right now and as Dr. Seuss would say, "They're in good shape for the shape they're in." Mighty good shape.

After 57 years, I can say with absolute certainty that they're going to make it!

Speaking of me and NED holding hands for almost five years now as stage 3b melanoma has had to watch...tomorrow is National Cancer Survivors Day. Until I knew this, I had not dared, or dreamed, to think of myself as a "cancer survivor." Especially not as a "melanoma survivor" since there is no cure. But as I near the halfway mark of my ten year stat, I don't feel like a patient anymore. I feel like a survivor and I like that. I need that.

I know the disease I live with. I know it can rear its ugly head any time and I can be dead by this time next year. I know. But right now, NED and I are tight and mel is keeping quiet. And because I made the decisions that were right for me, I'm physically in a good place right now. Oh, my emotions and attirude can be like that of any of us with melanoma, but physically I better now than I've been in a long while. I, too, am in good shape for the shape I'm in.

After almost 5 years with NED I can say I've been blessed, and whether I continue to make it or not, I'm a survivor.

At some point, because I'm human, melanoma or something else, will try to change that. But I'll always outlast melanoma or whatever ultimately takes me away from this earth. It may cause my death. It will not follow me into Life.

I'll always survive.

And I'll always be grateful.

charis