Sunday, December 6, 2015

#420 Appreciating Life

The Walt Disney Company

Thanks Jane.  Love the Disney escapades!

Written by Jane Tereba

I'm so lucky, I have had countless "best days of my life:" my wedding day, the birth of my three healthy, beautiful children....  But for purposes of Mary's blog, I chose to share my most recent best day: my family trip to Disney World.  Yep.  Disney.

We visited for a week, and spent 5 days exploring the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.  My husband and I took 2 of our 3 kids, Brandon (5) and Melanie (3), and my parents (70 somethings).  

In 2014, both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer.  My dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  My mom was diagnosed with a very early stage of lymphoma.  My dad underwent a successful surgery to remove the tumor that was found in his bladder.  He gets a treatment to keep the cancer from coming back every 3 months.  These treatments have made him very tired, and cause him a great deal of pain.  So much so, that he literally waited until the last minute (2 days prior to departure) to decide whether he felt good enough to go on our trip.  My mom's lymphoma was in such an early stage, that no treatment was recommended.  However, last week, she had a CT scan, and it was discovered that her lymph glands are growing, and the doctor recommended a protein treatment to try to shrink them.  The good news is that her red blood cell counts are still "normal," indicating that the lymphoma hasn't really progressed that far.

So, back to Disney...  I was beyond excited to share this experience as a parent, and as a child.  I was fortunate enough to have visited Disney at least 3 times with my parents when I was younger, and then several times as an adult.  But to get to experience this with my parents and my kids was something I was truly looking forward to.

The first day we were there - we didn't even go to the parks, we swam at the pool & went to a Mickey BBQ dinner.  My son said that night, on the way back from dinner "this is the best day of my life!"  I could only hug him and tell him... just wait until tomorrow!  

The next day we went to the Magic Kingdom, we got there early enough to see Mickey & Minnie & friends open the park.  The looks on my kids faces were absolutely priceless, as they watched Mickey & Minnie come in on the train, along with other favorites that included Mary Poppins. I held my Dad's hand as we walked through the front gate.   I held my mom's hand as we rode Peter Pan's flight (my favorite ride as a child).  I fought back tears all day long.  THIS was certainly one of the best days of my life.  

This trip would have been a jewel in my crown regardless of the cancer that has invaded our family.  An unfortunate truth seems to exist where one begins to appreciate life more, knowing that there is something that may end the lives of our loved ones sooner than later.  And that unfortunate truth made this one of the most special and best times of my life.

Thanks for reading #420 of 7777.

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