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All We Have is Today
Dedicated to All Breast Cancer Survivors
Submitted by Barbara
The tests came back that morning, signalling yet another tick mark in the battle - a landmark, something to measure. Lab results - chemical markers - showed either the progress or the slowing of the cancer.
Jessica took the lab report in trembling fingers, smiled wanly and vaguely remembered hearing her physician, echoing his pleasure with the results, even though it was hard to hear above the roar of her thoughts.
She allowed herself the luxury of taking this one small victory in the overall battle for her life. Her husband's warm, comforting hands encircled hers in tenderness. "That's wonderful!" he exclaimed, "you're going to beat this."
The thoughts came flooding back - the day Jessica discovered a small lump and panicked. At the urging of her family physician, a biopsy was taken of the suspect lump. Confidence was high on the day of the biopsy, yet her hopes were dashed when the results showed the cancer had spread, and a more aggressive cancer treatment was ordered. For the next several months, Jessica and her husband, Neal, endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation in an effort to erradicate the wayward cells which were threatening her life.
Returning to the present, Jessica weakly returned her husband's gentle squeeze. "I'll take whatever I can get," she whispered with quiet determination.
To celebrate, Neal took his wife of 25 years out to dinner at their favorite Italian dinner the next evening. Once seated, Neal handed Jessica the menu. She set it down and said, "Honey, I'll get my usual lasagna."
Neal's blue eyes twinkled at her. "Why don't you pick something different tonight?"
Shrugging, Jessica opened her menu to scan the contents, and a piece of paper fell on the table. Curious, she picked up what seemed to be an evelope and gazed at it. Oddly enough, the envelope had her name written across it.
"Neal?" she asked in confusion.
"Open it," Neal urged.
Jessica tore open the envelope and discovered two airline tickets. Her eyes implored Neal for an answer.
"Hawaii!" Jessica gasped.
Neal moved closer to her. "You remember the wonderful time we had in Hawaii fifteen years ago?"
Jessica smiled in rememberance. "How could I forget?"
Neal struggled for the right words to make his point. "Jess, we've been through a battle, so to speak, and right now we're winning. We gotta take the victory while we can."
Her eyes misted over, and tears threatened to erupt. Resigned to her fate, Jessica nodded mutely in agreement.
Neal raised his wine glass in dedication to the woman he loved and toasted her bravery. "We may not have tomorrow. All we have is today."