Yesterday I tuned into Today right when Willard Scott was doing his Smuckers birthday segment. I always get a kick out of watching it. I can remember back to when he used to do babies, but then they switched it and now you have to be at least 100 to try and get your birthday featured.
I always get a kick out of what they credit their secret to long life to. Some say things you might expect to help you live a long life. Such as, trying to be a good person, going to/serving in church, eating right, etc. Others say things like laughing a lot, gardening, eating what they want.
Some note that they’re still living independently. Others note that they lived independently until a certain age. Willard even mentions that for some over 100 they tried to get on the show before and he congratulates them for sticking around to do it this time.
But yesterday he featured a woman who was either 103 or 104 (sad, I’ve already forgotten) who was a three time cancer survivor. I was floored. And so inspired.
I want to say Willard has noted other cancer survivors who lived to 100 also, and some who even got it very late in life (like their 80s), but a multiple time cancer survivor?
I mean to tell you, that’s one tough cookie. Having watched my mom go through it twice, and finally succumbing to the lung cancer the second time, then just five months later dealing with my own lymphoma, mentally it’s taken its toll. Not every day, but definitely every week, I still have to deal with my emotional scars from it all.
I know if the cancer does come back, or shows up in one of the other forms I’ve been warned I’m at an increased risk of getting now due to my treatments, I’ll buckle down and deal with. But it would be hard. I think even harder than the first time because I’d know what to expect to some extent.
I think it was sort of a blessing not to know just how sick chemo was going to make me or the toll it would take on my body even after it was done. You can read all you want about other people’s experiences and know you’re going to feel “sick” but experiencing it…whew. Different story.
But then if you need surgery, or get sick during treatments and need to be hospitalized…there are so many things that can go wrong during treatment to delay your healing progress. Again, if it does all you can do is deal with it, but it weighs on your mind.
Yet, this woman survived Life, including three bouts with cancer, to live past 100. Wow.
That someone did gives me a hope and way of looking at the future I hadn’t had but have been desperately needing. So glad I happened to catch her birthday of all of them. I sure hope she had a happy one yesterday. She might not know it, but she ended up giving a gift while she was celebrating.