10 Days for 10 Years … Day 10!

Day 10
Well, my friends, you did it! You made it through 10 days and I can’t thank you enough.
There are so many sayings that could apply to my journey:
That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 
or
God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.
or
Shit happens.
or…
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good…
I have been changed.
Every day, no matter how bad things look, I have a gauge that they could be so much worse and I survived.
It’s an amazing thing being able to look back over the last 10 years.
The people who came into my life and touched it forever. 
The friends I’ve made.
The friends I’ve lost.
The people who were friends in the beginning, Dina and Rochelle, who became my sisters through blood transfusions and sass.
Most people don’t get to see the impact their existence has on the world until their gone…
I ‘ve been blessed I saw how many people fought to keep me here and the impact that has had on me is worth every drop of chemo, every tear shed, every moment of anxiety I ever felt.
If I could hope for just a few things that people can take away from the past 10 days is that:
1.       you are so much stronger than you ever give yourself credit.
2.       faith will see you through anything .
3.       Love never fails.
Mark and I are happily married.
I don’t deserve him.  Even 10 years looking back at the journals I realized how unhappy I was and Mark was the easiest person to blame.  I’ve also learned that the prince charming; the hot stud in the romance novels; the knight in shining armor I’d dreamed of for so long … I married him 13 years ago.  And, just like those novels, I almost lost him. 
Cancer free was one blessing.
I received three more when my system “came on line” (I love Dr. Chawla’s terminology.)
I carried to full term three little boys. 
Jacob is seven and starting second grade.
Dylann is five and a kindergartner
Logann will be three in August.
I look at them and pray they never have to experience cancer. I pray that only happiness and health follows them … just like any mother.  I tend to squeeze them a little tighter and always, always thank God for the blessing of having them.
My family is still a loud Italian family that meets for weekly family dinners.  I think we all just appreciate each other a little bit more.
I still see Dr. Chawla on a yearly basis.
I walk by the chemo room and see all the terror in the eyes of the first timers. I hope they see me and say one day that will be me.  I hope they know they are in amazing hands of a doctor whose compassion is matched only by his knowledge of sarcomas. 
When I leave after my check-ups he always pulls me in for a big bear hug and says, “I’m so proud of you.” Even 10 years later, I still need to hear those words.
After losing Kim, I had another Shawshank Redemption moment; not a moment from the movie but my own personal mantra: 
For every ounce of sadness I experience I will replace it with a pound of happiness.
I’d like to share some of those moments with you…
Thank you again for taking the time to follow our journey.
I know how precious time is and the fact that you were willing to spend 10 days with me humbles me.

4 Comments on “10 Days for 10 Years … Day 10!”

  1. Is it your goal in life to make me cry? Seriously, Kate just walked past my room and asked me what's wrong. She questioned my sanity when I told her the question should be what's right. I'm looking forward to watching all the blessing God has in store for you and yours, and I'm so proud to call you my friend!

  2. Just wow, Cali. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. What an amazing and inspirational life you lead. Thank you for being such an awesome friend and all around incredible woman. It moved me so much to see that in every picture, good times and tough, you smiled like it didn't matter. It's such a joy and honor to be a small part of your life. Love ya chica!

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