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Three Ways to Celebrate Being Cancer-Free

May 31, 2012
By Guest Blogger
|4Comments|


The day my sister, Jo, learned she had breast cancer was the scariest day of her life – and mine. Jo is more than just my sister; she is my best friend and confidant and has been by my side through thick and thin. The thought of losing her was impossible to comprehend. After months of intensive treatment and a mastectomy, she learned her cancer was in remission. When her doctor revealed the results of her tests, she called me, crying tears of relief and joy. On that day, we made a pact to celebrate life every chance we got. Here’s how we’re doing it.

Get out of town

Jo and I both have kids, careers, and all of the trappings that keep us stuck in one place. Vacations are few and far between. However, we have made a pact to visit a different city every month, even if it’s just for the weekend. We’re both west- coasters, so we especially want to check out the midwest and east coast. This month, for example, we are headed to Chicago. We have investigated affordable downtown Chicago hotels and found a few family-friendly attractions we can visit. My son, Reid, is super excited to be flying in an airplane, and I am excited to explore this area of the country with my sister and our kids. After this, we would like to go up to Vermont and stay at a bed and breakfast in a quaint mountain town. Where would you go?

Get an adrenaline rush

When I heard my sister tell me she had cancer, I felt fear unlike anything I could have imagined possible. During her months of treatment, my adrenaline levels remained high; upon hearing that she was in remission, I felt relief and exhaustion, as if I had finished a marathon and could sleep for a month.

Now, we’re going to get our adrenaline pumping again, but for a positive reason. Both of us are overly cautious and have never tried anything that would even remotely be considered daredevilish, but we decided to try at least three things on our respective bucket lists. This month, we’re going to look into skydiving, something that fills me full of terror at just the mere thought. Next up: base jumping. And after that, we’re each getting a tattoo, so we will always remember what it felt like to be fearless. What would you do?

Stop procrastinating

Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to d o but put off for “another day” when you “have time” to relax and do it? Well, now is as good a time as any to get on that. Nearly losing my sister taught me that “another day” may not come, and that we should live every day as if it’s our last. My sister is learning how to knit and how to speak French. I am quite the fitness buff, and I’ve always wanted to learn pole fitness. I have enrolled in classes and hope to one day become certified and teach it in my studio. Additionally, I am brushing up on my French-speaking skills alongside my sister. We plan to head over to France after we are both proficient and introduce our children (and ourselves) to the wonders of Paris. What hobby would you start?

For many, the word “cancer” is enough to fill them full of fear, and many people despair and feel that their lives are over. However, with proper treatment, you can overcome this, and go on to live a full life. Be strong, for yourself and for others, and celebrate your life, instead of fearing your death. Live every day as if it’s your last, and you will have a rich, full life indeed!

Nan Gibbons is a 30-something single mom raising 2 wonderful kids. Being a single mom makes her all the more dependent on her wonderful girlfriends, and she’s blessed to be able to share a bit of her life with the Crazy Sexy Life readers!

Photo credit: Aih



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4 responses to Three Ways to Celebrate Being Cancer-Free
  1. what an amazing post. love your refreshing and open take on the cancer process. my mum died from cancer when i was little and the one thing it taught me was that life, as everyone says, is precious. celebrate the good moments, learn from mistakes, forgive and never take anything for granted. I hope you and your sis enjoy the skydive!!! rather you than me…you have courage! :) xxx

  2. what an amazing post. love your refreshing and open take on the cancer process. my mum died from cancer when i was little and the one thing it taught me was that life, as everyone says, is precious. celebrate the good moments, learn from mistakes, forgive and never take anything for granted. I hope you and your sis enjoy the skydive!!! rather you than me…you have courage! :) xxx

  3. Mary said on May 31, 2012

    beautiful and well said!! so true!! thank you for this post.

  4. I’m hugely impressed with your activity and enthusiasm – life sounds good. I know that sweetness of freedom after treatment. Those moments of exploration and fun are the ones to be remembered. Have a great time, and thanks for the great list of ideas.

    Catherine
    FacingCancer.ca