It's my other birthday! A new start - live love life

September 20, 2014  •  2 Comments

20 September is my 2nd birthday ­– this year marking 2 years of good health following my battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Lymphoma isn’t well-known to the general population, but interestingly it is one of the most common forms of cancer.  Since my experience with the big ‘C’, I’ve decided that life is too short and I’m going to make darned sure that I cherish and value every moment that I have, with the people that I love, hopefully for many many years to come.

My new birthday comes in Spring which symbolically represents re-birth and new beginnings. Today I celebrated this 2 year milestone by setting up a new vegetable garden with my children. Planting seedlings and watching them grow, watering them and tasting the sweetness of the tomatoes, basil, fresh lettuce and rocket... is something that we’ll enjoy as a family all Summer long.

People often ask me ‘how did you do it?’, ‘what gave you the strength to overcome such a huge challenge?’, ‘what keeps you going?’  There is no easy way to define how I felt and what helped me to win my battle and indeed, get on with living. Being a mother, I believe, brings out the best in us, helps us to find the strength we never knew we had. Having a strong support base from my husband, mother, family and friends was paramount to my survival and to making it as seamless an experience as possible for our children. Faced with the possibility of leaving this world and not seeing my children grow up brought about the most profound fear and with it came an overwhelming urge to get on with everything that needed to be done to fix this thing and never let it win! We do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

So today I am really grateful to have the opportunity to share this moment with my children. Our little bit of nature which we are responsible for and that we will enjoy. It’s true that survivors of any illness or accident see things a little differently. It’s something that can’t be explained but, unspoken, is shared among us. Just one look, eye to eye, and we know.

No problem can’t be solved. Daily dramas, misunderstandings and other events are seen as just that… daily. Something that is here one day and gone the next. So why worry. Why stress. Tomorrow is another day and has so much more to offer.

Stress, sadness, grief, anger are all emotions that will come and go. We feel them all the same, but at the end of the day we know, nothing is as important as having your health, loved ones by your side, food on your plate, running water, warmth and other basic needs. Nothing is as important as being alive.

Life’s little things are what need to be cherished and enjoyed. Each moment, if you take the time, can be viewed and enjoyed, no matter how trivial you may think it is. Watching my boys peering through the pool fence this afternoon while their dad cleaned out the pool ready for Summer, I experienced one of those moments.  Looking from the outside in, as if viewing through a filter to soften my view. I watched and smiled for a long while as my 4 year old gently touched his big brother’s hand and stroked his arm, looking up at him lovingly, his greatest hero, and without a thought, he leaned in closer to kiss his big brother’s arm. Just one moment in time. That is what life is about. That is why I’m still here. That is what motivates me.

live love life



Diana Photography
Thanks so much Maureen. <3
Just beautiful, what a great message. And happy 2nd birthday!
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