Friday, May 19, 2006
Wistful Anticipation
Saturday is quickly approaching and with it comes our highly anticipated Relay for Life event. I am excited and wistful and the mix of emotions continue to swirl in my mind. I am proud to report that our team of 50 has raised $11,450 (and still counting). The event committee is trying to tie up all the loose ends and it appears we will have a magnificent event that will raise lots of money to benefit cancer research and treatment. I have even solved the whole song choice issue for opening ceremonies. The high school band and a gymnastics demo team will lead the survivor/caretaker lap around the track. It is my hope this will lend a joyous and uplifting atmosphere. The excitement is building for a wonderful event and I know that this work is good work and the tiredness I will undoubtedly feel, will be one well deserved and hard earned.

It is also a time for me to connect with people who have been a significant part of this journey. I will see my first and perhaps favorite surgeon, my medical oncologist will be speaking, the oncology team will be adjacent to my team on the field, and I will be surrounded by friends and co-workers who stood by me through very rough days. It's all good, right? So why the range of emotions?

I can't help but think of the people who won't be here this year. I wonder about the three-year old girl I met last year and whether I will see her again. I still find myself wistfully remembering Jessica and the power of her words and life. I wonder how my friend Jim is doing with recovery from yesterday's surgery that removed the lower lobe of his lung. I understand that I will always be challenged by loss as long as I am involved in the ever expanding world of cancer. I also know that I will be blessed with grace by the people I meet, the stories I hear, and friends I make.

So I neatly place my friends in the warmest corner of my heart and I concentrate on the victories and look forward to seeing people like my little friend Shelby who has survived a brain tumor and all the other hundreds of survivors I will see who are thriving and creating community and doing something positive to fight this dreaded beast.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12