From my dear friend, Bonnie Stockman, as she faces her third recurrence of ovarian cancer, posted with her permission:
I'm going into my third lap. One is such, ah, a virgin the first time. So hopeful and optimistic for a cure even with less than charming odds. The second time is a denouement of sorts, but a thin thread of hope hangs in there - I've talked to a couple of people that had a recurrence many years ago and are here to tell about it. The third time... haven't run into anyone that's a long term survivor after the third time. The stats for treatment effectiveness are similarly less than cheerful. At this point, one term I saw used was "salvage chemo". Buys one time - and hopefully salvages some decent quality of life.
I will miss hearing what happens in all the stories, but I am reminded that the stories are endless and the beginnings before my time. I wonder about both ends of them, but all I have is my part right here in the middle of beginning and ending. It was for others to know the beginnings and it is for others to know the endings, if indeed there ever are any endings. Like the saying on the hippie school bus: "Now is all we have".
Indeed, we have now. And if we have been generous with our hearts, we have each other. Sometimes, we have each other even if we haven't, because life itself is full of gifts. Every day.
Open your eyes. Tell someone you love them. Listen when they love you back.