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I went to visit my mom this past weekend. More than a year ago she had asked me to be the main speaker for a retreat for the women of her church (the church I grew up in). Right after she was diagnosed in January, she told me "I hope I can live long enough to make it to the retreat in October."

Well, it was this weekend, and we had a marvelous time. She feels good, is strong, and if you didn't know she was sick you wouldn't know she was sick.

We got the rare gift this weekend of enjoying some time together with each other and with friends. We sat on rocking chairs and looked out over the ocean and talked about books, memories, friends, family, but we didn't talk about cancer. We laughed, we went out to dinner and watched a football game together and it was like it was before we heard those awful words. It was, dare I say it? Normal.

Except that I am now profoundly grateful for this past weekend in a way I wouldn't have been a year ago. I cherished every minute of it and understand that the ability to experience the simple joy of life is a precious gift.

I'm declaring victory because of this weekend. I know we are not done with this fight yet, but we got to live life this weekend and that counts as the best victory we've had so far. I am very grateful.


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Susan, I was so happy to read your story. I know what you mean about time spent with your mom being even more special now. I know that I think of each day since my mom's diagnosis as a gift. I'm so glad your mom continues to do well. I know you'll have many more special times with her in the future and you'll continue to treasure every one. Shelley

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