With every heartbeat

There are some Wednesdays when I sit through chemo wishing that I were somewhere else. Today is different. I know that I'm blessed to be here. I'm thankful for the ability to receive this treatment and to buy more time with family. My dreams take me far into the future. It has been a sobering week which makes me even more appreciative of this moment. I've lost two friends and my husband's cousin to cancer. I just heard that Steve Jobs died and another friend is in surgery as I type. He is fighting an infection that has spread to his brain.He had surgery to remove a brain lesion a few weeks ago and has been in rehab since. We talked on the phone yesterday and his stamina and determination warmed my heart. He is regaining the ability to use his hand again and was so happy to be able to actually squeeze it tight! It's a small improvement that in reality is a monumental milestone. We celebrated his accomplishment together, not knowing what the next few hours would hold. After hanging up, I shed tears of joy. Our conversation held emotion that I will never forget, and a friendship with his family that is dear. Hours later, I learned about the infection and his quick need for surgery. I'm thankful now that we had moment to share his triumph, and I am hopeful that soon we will be celebrating another. I also realize had the severity of the infection been known, our joy would have never occurred.So as my treatment drips, I appreciate the mystery that tomorrow holds. It gives me reason to appreciate the gift of now and to be present and grateful. Ronnie and I walked to the lake tonight and watched the clouds as they drifted in soft peaks; amazed at the sight of the setting sun as daylight turned to dusk. I realize every day what being a "breath away from death" has given to me...and am thankful for the hope that is held with every heartbeat. How fortunate I am to share this with a happy, healthy family and a life that is never less than full.May you feel the hope with every heartbeat,

SuzanneSuzanne 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.