Three months of life...Is it worth it?


I woke up today and stretched out, snuggled back under my covers, and listened for the baby monitor and for the sounds of Chloe's first morning words. This is week number 5 without chemo and a glorious vacation from the hospital. Normal activities that take up my Tuesday have been replaced with the little things that bring great joy to life... lazy mornings with the baby, texts with the college crew, lunch with friends and even Ronnie...hours in the barn brushing the horses, leisurely walks among the falling leaves. The world is ablaze with the color of fall and just as the season is rejuvenating I feel that I am, too. The break will soon end but with it will come the appreciation of the month and a half of memories that I've just enjoyed...and the knowledge that the continuation of treatment will allow for more memories around the next corner.During my chemo vacation I've had the opportunity to attend several oncology the Lunch and Learns that YES hosted. One session in particular stopped me in my tracks but it wasn't the efficacy of the protocol or the information present but instead the words of the oncologist which basically stated, "Three months - why bother?"I left the meeting and have reflected upon those words time and again. Yesterday, I wrote to the oncologist from my perspective and what three months have given me at different times. Three months can disappear in the blink of an eye or be stretched to create and enjoy occasions that would otherwise be missed.For instance, in late 2004 we planned my funeral. A week later we learned about microspheres, discovered it was an option, found new hope, dared to dream, was denied treatment by the insurance company, embraced the blessing of togetherness at Thanksgiving, celebrated Christmas, brought in a New Year, changed insurance companies, and received my dose of little magic beads. Those three months are a poignant example and a constant reminder of "why I bother!"From July through September of this year I experienced treatments that gave me this wonderful chemo break, that borrowed more time, and that has paved the way for even more options. During these months Karlie turned 20, I lived to see 43, Ronnie and I shared another anniversary and became "official" parents to Chloe, Katie enjoyed her 23rd birthday, Karlie moved into her dorm, and YES has grown like wildfire. An incredible three months!Why bother?! Time is precious, life is priceless...and every breath a gift! Suzanne Lindley has been living with metastatic colorectal cancer since 1998. She is the founder of YES, an organization for individuals living with metastatic liver tumors, and an advocate for C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition.

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