a quarter of a century

On this day, 25 years ago, I was sitting in a hospital bed surrounded by family members as my doctors told me that my leg would have to be amputated due to the large cancerous tumor in my knee. I tell you...my life seemed over at that moment. Over.

I was 12 years old and had just had my first chemo treatment. I'd been vomiting repeatedly and knew that my hair would soon fall out. Two days before I'd had a biopsy of my knee to confirm the diagnosis of osteosarcoma. But even after I learned that it was cancer and learned that I would have months and months of high-dose chemotherapy, it had never occurred to me that I would lose my leg.

I'm usually been rather blue on the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. It's a hard time with many painful memories that resurface. But this year is totally different.

In case you hadn't heard the news already via FaceBook, I wanted all of you to know that I, or shall I say WE, met and exceeded the goal of raising $1000 for HandReach and for Huang Meihua's prosthetic legs. I'm crying right now as I type this. Big hot tears of joy. Sure, I've "lost" a few things over the years...but in the meantime I've gained the most amazing friends. Saying thank you is just not enough, but I'll say it anyways: Thank You! You are the best. You really are. Now go and have a wonderful weekend knowing that we just accomplished something absolutely amazing together.



[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Happy Birthday Jana. You're awesome

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jana!
Your post brings back memories of that time. You taught me so much!
I remember the first time I saw you after the surgery. I remember your wig. I remember getting your leg. I remember getting the new foot with the toenails painted. I remember going to physical therapy. I remember skiing and milkshakes. I remember sitting in Mrs. Van's office and going to your locker for snacks. Great memories of a great friendship that was fostered out of tragedy. Now look at you! Wow! You truly are an inspiration!
Many blessings,
Dee Dee

jana said...

Dee Dee:
Isn't it amazing that it hardly seems as though that happened 25 years ago and yet...it also feels like another life on another planet! I can hardly believe now that that happened to me! And back then, I could never have imagined just how wonderful my life is now. :)

Alli Easley said...

you seriously don't know how many ways you inspire me. Happy Birthday, pretty girl!