Vacation and Cancer Crusading

On September 16, 2015, my husband, Wayne, and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It’s significant because let’s face it. 20 years of marriage is a hard number to come by in our day and age.

I feel very fortunate to actually have almost 30 years total with Wayne, my husband, lover and best friend.

Best friend. Yes, he is. Which reminds me of a book I’m reading that a friend recommended, What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind.

The book is great and I’m enjoying learning about a whole new way of looking at things. I do believe if I can adopt some bits of French thinking, I’ll enjoy better mental health.

One thing I won’t adopt, however, is not wanting my husband to be my best friend. The French poo poo such “nonsense.” They believe it destroys intimacy that helps a couple maintain a strong sex life.

I’ve got news for any doubters on this: Nope. I’m not one to kiss and tell but I will say our BFFness doesn’t hinder our libidos anyway.

But what I’m trying to get at is that I feel very fortunate. I’m married to my best friend. I’ve had all these years with him. Even though six and half years ago that future wasn’t so guaranteed.

Vacation

Which is where vacation comes in.

We just got back from two weeks touring the British Isles. We started in London, caught a cruise out of Southampton, journeyed to Ireland, Scotland, and even France.

All in honor of our 20 years together.

It was the most ambitious cruise we’ve tackled yet. Just hoping Wayne could get away for two weeks was challenge enough. (He has the time. He gets four weeks of vacation. His schedule rarely allows for him to take it all though.)

It was an itinerary I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Ever since the cruise bug really started biting me hard a few years back. But not only was it a larger time commitment than we usually can afford, it was also a bit pricier than we usually care to shuck out.

But if there’s one thing cancer’s taught me: live life. No regrets. If you want to do something, don’t hold yourself back.

So I worked Wayne until he relented. Now he’s glad I did, because oh, the sites we saw this trip!

But also the people we met. We always meet nice people on our cruises. This cruise was no different. I’d like to talk about all of them in a separate post. There’s one in particular I want to mention here though.

Cancer Crusader

One of the excursions we took was to Loch Ness. We ended up talking with some people on the coach next to us after our stop at Culloden Moor.

It was a husband and wife, their adult daughter and her pre-teen daughter. The wife ended up sharing that she was a 20 year breast cancer survivor. Wayne and I immediately chimed in that I was a survivor too, although from lymphoma.

She ended up also sharing that even after 20 years, she gets nervous before check ups. I get quiet the week before mine. So does she. There was more she shared. More that helped me. Tears were shed. Hugs exchanged.

She saw me a couple of days later on the Lido Deck and said, “You’re going to be fine. You radiate so much light and joy and happiness, cancer can’t defeat you. Share it with others. Like I did with you. Let them know it can be overcome. That the fear is never going to go away, but it doesn’t have to dictate your life going forward. A lot of good can come from cancer. You’re living proof. Share it. Be a cancer crusader.”

It was one of those moments I took very much to heart. It seemed like a heaven-sent message. My soul reverberated upon hearing her words. I saw the glimmering path of my Life’s Destiny unfurl before me.

Even before we left on our trip I’ve had an idea of how I want to talk to others about cancer. Like make YouTube videos and such. Meeting her, hearing her words, added fuel to that fire.

I know what I want to do now, what I want to be: a Cancer Crusader. I want to offer sympathy, empathy, hope, and even humor to those facing one of the scariest foes anyone can. It’s going to be my new mission.

I always come back inspired to tackle new things after vacation, but this time? This time I hope my enthusiasm is as bright as the light my fellow cancer surviving cruiser saw in me.

New Mission In Life Mantra

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. ~Buddha

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