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.



Craig 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. :)

Allison Easley said...

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