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  • Anna

Nothing and Everything

What a week. The beginning of the week started with my routine scan to see if the tumors in my lungs had grown. High anxiety. A little over 24 hours later, I found out my cancer was still stable. Sheer Joy. 24 hour after that I had to travel for work. Stress. Then less than 24 hours after landing back in Detroit from my work trip I was given the opportunity to share my story at an International Women's Day celebration. Nervous/excited/honored. A whole gamut of emotions, a whole life, packed into one week. Now I'm just tired. Tired and joy-filled.

Time is an interesting thing. In the late Paul Kalanithi’s book When Breath Becomes Air he says, ‘I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but didn’t know when. But I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.’ Get it? Nothing changes yet everything changes so how are you going to spend your time? Close your eyes for a minute and think about your life today; your family, your friends, your job, your home, now take a deep breath and imagine yourself in an exam room with a doctor telling you that you have Stage 4 cancer, or you need a heart procedure, or you have MS, or whatever it may be. In a blink of an eye your life has changed it’s course to something you had not planned. Now open your eyes and exhale because you’ve been holding your breath. What would you do differently?

This is what I'm talking about when I say lipstick journey. It is the highs and lows, the mundane tasks of daily living, and all the joys and sorrows, blended together into a beautiful canvas.

What day is it?’ ‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh~A.A. Milne Today is my favorite day. I'm still here.

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