Eularee Smith
Writer & Educator

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Knock, Knock. Who's there? Cancer

I feel like a bad joke has been revisited upon me. Try as I might, I can't believe that after 24 years, Cancer thought it time to pay me a visit. 

Now Cancer and I go way back. I was 39, married with three children, the youngest was two years old. I was taking a shower when I found the lump and within an hour, I was in the doctor's office. By the end of the day, I had a biopsy and within a week, I had breast cancer. Two years, four surgeries including a mastectomy, chemo and radiation treatments later, I was riding white water on the McKenzie River in Oregon. I have been in remission for the past 24 years. Technically, like addicts are never cured, but in recovery, so cancer survivors are in perpetual remission.

This time it is ovarian cancer and after being cut from stem to stern and large masses removed from my body, I am being told that 99% of the cancer is gone. It is Stage 3 and I am looking at 6 months of chemo beginning next week. It seems only fair to me that those of us who have survived once, should not have some kind of get out of jail free card. A hand stamp, a tattoo, even a special handshake should grant us immunity. Not that I consider this second go around unfair, though my children disagree. Everyone has their share of obstacles on life's journey. Why not me? I think I have a pretty good attitude. I have a great cheering squad. Joshua may have blown down the walls of Jericho, but between my mother and the league of family and friends, the Gates of Heaven better brace for the avalanche of prayers about to ascend.

Undoubtedly, I will post with hopefully some kind of healthy, wealthy or wise insight into the journey that lies ahead. If you have a story to share, I am all ears. I am told that the chemo is SO much better than 24 years ago and I will do just fine. It would be great to be pleasantly surprised. I never thought chemo was something that would be a pleasant surprise. But there it is - SURPRISE! 

Next time I hear a knock at the door, I will look through the peephole first.

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