Twelve years ago today was one of the most joy-filled days of my entire life. I married my love Marc Clinton at my home church in Buffalo, New York. My father officiated the ceremony that was attended by 400 of our closest friends and church family members. Our day was extraordinarily special, happy, and love-filled. It represented a union of love, family, and friendships that spanned the years.
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One year ago, God saw fit to have me go through a literal brick wall. I emerged on the other side, unscathed, to continue to fulfill my mission in the world. If God brought me through that, then surely this year as I face a figurative brick wall, I will again emerge unscathed.
This week, I’m going to talk about the meantime. As you know, the meantime can refer to the time being, the here and now, or the interval between two phases of one’s life, whatever those bookends are for you. It’s that period before something anticipated happens, or before a specified era ends. The meantime can be a space that is fallow or uncultivated if you allow it to be, or conversely, it can be a space where seeds are planted that bear fruit for you to harvest, fruit that will last.
Buffalo, New York was the setting of the first lap of my cancer race, and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute there held the baton during that lap, which lasted just under a year. Being a complete novice to the world of cancer, it was the doctors and nurses there who introduced me to its complicated terrain. The words of one physician in particular are still embedded within me to this day. He told me that as a result of my cancer diagnosis, I would now be receiving a plethora of advice and recommendations from numerous doctors. However, and these words were key, he stated that I did not have to do what any of them said. He let me know that this was my journey, and that I was ultimately in charge of making all the decisions pertaining to my treatment.
Cancer. What do you think of when you hear this word? When I was growing up, and even as a young adult, I never thought much about cancer at all. If I did think about it, it was because I’d heard about it in a movie, or on a television show, or somewhere far away. It had absolutely nothing to do with me or my life, or anyone close to me. On November 27, 2000, that forever changed when I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. I was 33 years old.