Friday, September 11, 2015

An Attitude of Gratitude

I know a very special lady that I met at a local store that I've been shopping at for the last 10 years. She's been working there since she was in high school and I would estimate her to be about 30 to 34 years old.

About 18 months ago I found out she was being treated for breast cancer. Since that time we have had many wonderful conversations about the illness, healthcare and life in general. I have got to say that I have never, EVER, in my entire life met a person with a better attitude. The many times I have stepped into that shop and was met with a warm smile, I cannot even count.

Her prognosis is not terrific. She knew she had a lump long before she went to the hospital for the first biopsy. Not having insurance, her options were limited. The moment her Obama Care kicked in, her treatment went into hyper-speed. I've watched her handle the chemo, then radiation, the hair-loss (3 times) with such grace. I remember when, after the first round of chemo, her hair started to grow back in and she wore the cutest little short hairdo.  Short-lived, as the next round of chemo came quickly when the tumor did not respond as they had hoped. She bought herself a couple of sassy, adorable wigs that she rocks.

Her cancer is NOT curable but maintainable. Truthfully, I am not quite sure what that means but I prefer the word "cure".  Yesterday, as we talked about the double mastectomy that she opted for despite the doctor recommendation of a single, she asked if I wanted to see her scars. If I were honest, I would have said no, but I felt the need to honor her by acknowledging what she had been through and letting her know that I think that she is, honestly, one of the most beautiful women I have ever met. Not her choice in this life to battle breast cancer, but her optimism is her choice.

None of us really get to choose our paths....if you are sitting comfortably right now BEWARE. It's self delusion when we feel in control of our lives. I know that to be truth. Sure, we can choose one road over another but life has a way of knocking you on your ass and saying, "How bout we try this out and see what your really made of?".

What are you made of? I want to have her grateful attitude no matter the situation. I am not her but I can do my best to emulate an amazing woman!

"Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices." Robert Braathe

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