Happy Valentine's Day!

This Valentine's Day is extra special as our hearts are brimmed with happiness and our lives are filled with love. I recognize the courage and beauty it takes to live with cancer together.

You believe there is all the time in the world to make plans, to dream, to live your life. Then a series of unexpected three word sentences bring life changing clarity.You have cancer. It is terminal. Options are few.You are mortal.Time is short.

Life changes. Treatment begins and days are lived from scan \to scan, results to options, and options to choices as each breath takes on new meaning. Everyone reacts differently. For me, time has become precious during these years of living with stage 4 colon cancer. I have learned to cherish moments that I may have otherwise taken for granted. Valentine's Day is one such incredible day.

In the whispers of the night, I listen to Ronnie's breathing. I move closer and snuggle, savoring his warmth and finding comfort in his presence. This will be our 16th Valentine's Day spent together since my diagnosis. I realize how lucky I am to be his wife and to know his unconditional love. He's walked with me through more sickness than health and some may argue more bad times than good; though that is left to perception. Through baldness, nausea, weight gain, neuropathy, griping and complaining; the shadow of stage 4 colon cancer has made our relationship closer and stronger.

In so many ways, my catastrophic illness has "simply" become part of the norm. So Ronnie's unexpected health issues this past year took us by storm, bringing back the freshness of three word sentences. First a slight stroke brought diet changes and enforced healthy habits. Next an accident that caused a massive infection made us even more conscious of the tender passing of time. As we dealt with new issues, including surgery then I.V. antibiotics every few hours, made me more thankful for his patience and dedication in standing by my side.

This Valentine's Day is extra special as our hearts are brimmed with happiness and our lives are filled with love. I recognize the courage and beauty it takes to live with cancer together. I'm savoring the day, taking the time to make it memorable and realizing that each second is an incredible, magical gift. We know that in spite of all the obstacles, we have all the time that is left in our world to plan, to dream, to hope, and to live our lives. Pretty amazing!