Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), aka Grade IV Astrocytom

Cancer.  What a scary word.  Personally, I have dodged that bullet successfully so far. 

At 61, I'm in relatively good health with the exception of aching joints.  Because of the lack of cartilage to cushion, the pain in both hips and my left shoulder has led me to have all three of those joints replaced.  My right knee is next.  Having joints replaced is a relatively easy procedure; like taking the car in to have the brakes replaced.  The ortho surgeons remove the defective parts and replace them with a new and improved man-made model.  After rehab, I was, and remain, better than ever and will be for a long time.

Cancer, on the other hand, is never pretty.  GBM is an especially aggressive primary brain cancer that because of its characteristics and location, is very difficult to treat. 

A very dear friend of 30 years has recently been diagnosed with GBM.  She is one of the strongest, most determined women I know.  If anyone can beat this, she can.  But, it's not going to be easy.  Her life will never be the same again.  She is being forced to learn a new "normal."   The immediate need for self-care and positive attitude amidst doctors, hospitals and pain management becomes priority one.  Friends, family, loved ones, indeed all relationships will now take a back seat to her relationship with herself.

This has got to be life's most difficult lesson to learn; especially for the control freaks among us, (And, yes, I am on that list.) - the lesson that we are not in control of what happens to us.  We can only control ourselves and how we face the challenges that life throws at us.

For me, the core that I am constantly attempting to strengthen; the core from with I try to operate is love and gratitude.  Love for the people in my life who mean the most to me and also for the strangers without my life crosses paths.  Gratitude for all that I have been given.

It is a never-ending process.  Some days I am better at it than other.  I keep picking myself back up and trying again,

Today I am grateful for…

…my relatively good health.

…the sun that is shining in a beautiful blue sky filled with white clouds.

…fabulous music – Annie Lennox’s newest album, Nostalgia.

…Bella curled up warm and cuddling right next to me.

…for Kate and Trevor.

…for Terri, Sarah ad Jessie.

…for Phyllis, Krystyna, Brenda, Cyndi.

…for long-time friends who are more family than family.

…for wonderful friends too numerous to count.

…for Ed, Dick, Ed, Don.  For Chuck.

…all the incredible people whose paths have crossed mine for even a little while.  You have made me who I am today.  I treasure you and the moments we have shared as together we created magical memories.

I am blessed.  You are too.