I just want to take my daughter shopping for makeup,
Applying powder to her porcelain skin.
I just want to read with my youngest one,
Snuggled up in bed together turning pages of a book.
I just want to grow old with my husband,
Continue to share our lives as we have for twenty-two years already now.
I just want to sit in the garden when we are old.
I just want to talk about the good old days.
I don’t want to read about mTOR inhibitors or side effects or months of disease-free progression.
I want to read beach fluff and skim through cheesy magazines.
I want to get a pedicure and have a nap in the chair.
I want choosing the color of my nail polish to be the toughest decision I have to make for a day.
I don’t want to read reports from the ASCO conference or tweets about new research findings.
I just want it to go away.
But it can’t.
I will never know another day of my life without metastatic cancer or chemo or treatment or dread.
But I will search for joy.
I will do what I can every day to find that joy,
And if I can’t find it I will make it.
This is my pledge,
This is my promise.
Some days it is hard to do.
Some days fear and sadness are too much.
Some days I do not know how I will do this with grace,
But I will try.
I must make the most of this time:
Helping others, educating, writing.
I know no other way to do this.
But it’s the hardest thing to do.
I cry, I give in to the emotions, but only for a few minutes.
No good can come from that.
I gather strength.
I go on living.
The bad days will come someday.
But that day is not today.
That time is not now.
And so I am a parent, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a writer, and everything else I have been until now.
That is who I am.
That is who I will continue to be.
For as long as I possibly can.