Yesterday, I reached my first major cancer milestone and rang the bell. The celebration bell! There were cheers throughout the room. Fellow patients on their own journey were lifted as they recognized that milestones will come. Nurses and doctors cheered because they understand the work that has happened the past four months of chemotherapy — the ups and downs that require determination, resilience, understanding, and hope. I felt a tug of emotion. Tears brimmed my eyes as I acknowledged the rich learning I have experienced. I couldn’t help but throw my fist in the air! I felt as if I had climbed my first mountain peak. As we left, the medical team handed us some sparkling cider with a note that read, “Utah Cancer Foundation is happy to celebrate this milestone with you! We join with the physicians and staff in recognizing your courage and determination.”
Milestones, courage, and determination lead to celebration
As we turn milestones into celebrations, we recognize the opportunity for personal sanctification that comes with deep learning. Rich, deep reflective moments that help us understand the importance of ringing the celebration bell! For some, reaching milestones demands the loud boom of celebration. The world will understand the progress that has been made. We dance, sing, and rejoice together! We create memorable moments that connect us to future accomplishments. Most often, my celebration bell is a sweet, tinkling sound. It is personal. It involves deep faith. It involves immediate recognition of those who travel this journey with me. Sweet sounds of celebration lift my eyes heavenward and spiral moments of faith with a clear vision of hope.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” ~Philippians 4:13
So here is my invitation — find a few minutes to celebrate a milestone. Hear the celebration bell ring in your mind. Lift your soul! Take this moment to reflect on your learning — don’t miss this opportunity. The journey may not be easy and may require you to stretch in ways you would not choose. Always acknowledge those who are by your side. Find courage, strength, and determination through your commitment to the next milestone. Look forward with faith and hope.
My next PET scan is scheduled on November 28. I can’t wait to recognize miracles in my life. We will meet with the medical team on November 30 to outline my year-long maintenance plan. I will continue with some of the chemotherapy drugs we have used as we focus on beating this cancer.
In the meantime, I commit to ringing the celebration bell as often as I can. Let’s learn and rejoice together!