Small town country girl. Born and raised in Newport, Washington by my loving parents Ervin and Joanne Richter. One brother—18 months younger. Lived 8 miles from town next to the Little Spokane River. Born in August 1952 in a hospital that is no longer there. Graduated in June 1970 from a high school that is no longer there. Weird.
Married. Met Steve Eberhard in 1980. Eighteen months later we married. Second marriages for us both. He is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Children. One beautiful daughter, Chanda, from first marriage. Steve has a son Justin.
Retired. Happy dance. Enough said.
It’s been a great ride with some bumps along the way. The biggest one for me was breast cancer at the age of 47. I was in great health, supremely happy and in the best shape of my adult life. Cancer does not care. Sentinel node biopsy. Lumpectomy. Radiation. Chemotherapy. People would ask me if I was losing my hair. I would say, “No. I have it at home in a baggie.”
Here we are 19 years later. Cancer. Again.
Writing about it. This blog is a way for me to document my journey and to take advantage of technology to share my ride with friends and family and anyone who might be interested. At first I found myself trying to reach out to almost everyone I thought would want to know. That’s a lot of everyones. There are dear friends I have known and have remained very close to for over 60 years. Everywhere Steve and I have lived we have made friends that we never lose touch with. Friendship. True friendship stands the test of time and separation and distance, it seems. It’s a precious gift of life that I treasure and hold near and dear to my heart.
The other benefit of sharing is the great wealth of information people share. Unsolicited but deeply appreciated suggestions or recommendations that come from personal experiences or those of others, offered from a place of love and concern.
Anyone who has faced any type of health crisis will probably say that the support and love and kindness and caring that comes flooding back from friends and family, and sometimes people you don’t even know, is healing. A love massage for the heart that radiates throughout and soothes what ails you. It helps you remain positive and believe you will survive and feel whole again. For me that is true.
I’m not mad that I have cancer. It’s just there. I don’t have any choice but to deal with it the best way I can, keep moving forward and try to maintain a positive attitude.
Do I cry? Am I scared? Yes. Yes. Hell, yes.
But I am also grateful. I have so much. Life has been good. Life is good.
Gratitude is one of the least articulate of emotions, especially when it is deep. —Felix Frankfurter