Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Time Flies By When You’re Cancer Free

It's hard to believe that the summer is almost over. I have had such a wonderful past few weeks...playing golf with friends like Meg and Vishal, going to nice dinners with good friends and family, and attending the annual Goodman summer get-away in Wildwood, New Jersey. I've included a picture of Dave and I with our nephews both last year and this year. We've all grown so much over the past year...them physically and and Dave and I emotionally. For the past 6 years, my mother and father have taken my nephews to the Jersey Shore for one week in August. It has become an annual tradition that Aunt Jen and Uncle Dave come to visit every time for the last few days. The weather is always beautiful and we always have such a wonderful time playing football and building castles in the sand, and going on rides on the boardwalk at night. This summer was no different, except that I found myself so grateful for begin able to make the trip. You see, I have been especially aware of the passage of time over the past few weeks since it was precisely at this time last year that I started my chemotherapy sessions. The first of my chemotherapy sessions began August 15th of last year, about 10 days before my parents were set to take my nephews to Wildwood Crest. At the time, there was a lot of debate about whether my family should "leave me" for a week to take Ben and Shaun on their vacation. Not only did I insist that they go on their annual vacation, but I pledged, that with my Dr.'s permssion, that I would be visiting, as Dave and I always did, for the final weekend. I remember waiting anxiously every day after my first chemo session to see how I felt that day...I was determined to feel good enough to go...and I did. However, I remember very vividly that I was constantly out of breath (a sign that my blood cell counts were dropping); that my mouth was getting sore (another sign that my counts were dropping), and that I was beginning to see the first signs of hair loss. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful weekend. It was very surreal for me to be in Wildwood again this year. I couldn't believe that a year had gone by, and how much I, and my entire family, have learned in the past year. I used to be too busy to appreciate many moments...I spent a lot of my life rushing from one activity to the next without reflecting in how great it was just to be able to "experience". When my nephews, Dave and I went on the boardwalk or played in the sand, I couldn't help but be so happy and grateful for the ability to be there. Wow, last year, we had no idea what the next year would hold. We had no idea if I would be well enough to join the family at the beach next year or if I would even be alive to join the family. I found myself smiling the entire time during those few days...and I'm sure that I will find myself doing that over the next 6 I "compare" last year to this year. It is remarkable how time can fly by so quickly...but also how much you can learn in such a short amount of time. I find myself waking up every day now thinking "what was happening to me last year at this time?" I am thrilled that the hospital visits, the shots, the side effects etc. are behind me...and I am also thrilled that the experience has taught me so many valuable life lessons...when you live in the moment, it is very easy to be completely happy.