Her words weren't written for me, but they might well have been.
"Heck NO, I never felt like giving up and I NEVER asked "why me"!!! I want to live to be 100." she said, one cancer fighter to another who had posted on one of the sarcoma boards I sometimes read. "... Chemo sucks but if I can do it anyone can. Sorry I don't know about your type of sarcoma but someone makes those statistics and I am one of those people. There less than 20 people in the world with my type so there is very little research on mine. ... What have you got to lose? Life is full of ups and downs...this is just one of those downs. YOU can not change anything that has happened up to this point... Stop crying and start getting active in getting yourself well and healthy! Don't mean to be harsh but unless you are 90 and have one foot in the grave already....you have no reason to give up."
Well, yeah, it did sound kind of harsh. (I firmly believe it's OK to cry about cancer sometimes!) But audacious, too — she's dares to believe she's going to make up the small statistic of people who actually beat this thing. And I thought, if she can believe it, so can I.
Lately I've been feeling very ferocious about claiming my need to live my life without worrying about dying. Maybe it was the tumors shrinking. Maybe it was the Mayo Clinic doctors telling me they might be able to push me a long way. Maybe it's my excitement about our vacation to the West Coast this month. Maybe it was the kick in the pants this woman's post gave me to face my life with gusto and act as if I'm going to live to be 100. To believe it!
Sometimes my desire to live, to hold onto this world, hits me full force, like it did this morning when I was driving across the Mississippi River with Daniel on the way to the mall, and the chilly air winked with sunshine, and K.D. Lang's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was playing on the CD player, and I turned around to see how Daniel was liking the song, and we held each others' gaze just long enough until I needed to watch the road again, and tears came to my eyes because I love this life, this music, this autumn, my family, so much.