If you live in a remote village of Africa, the sound might have been a bit muted. But if you live anywhere within a 1,000 mile radius around Basel, Switzerland, you most certainly heard the over-the-top celebrating that happened at about 11:30 on Wednesday morning. I had entered the “klinik” 20 minutes earlier for my final radiation appointment, carrying with me five long-stemmed roses for my nurses and a plate of cinnamon rolls for my doctor. The sweetest of the nurses, when I emerged from the changing room with the gifts, smiled and asked, “What are we going to do from now on without our daily sunshine?” Sunshine? I’ve been called worse…! All things considered, I pretty much breezed through radiation and that, my friends, is an answer to your communal prayers. Thank you!
Thus ended this phase of my Cancer Adventure. This could have been a devastating journey, but it hasn’t been. Challenging? Yes. Painful, jarring and disorienting? Yes. But the road was paved with kindness, smoothed by answered prayer and redirected by Divine Design. The trauma was softened by faith and sublimated by gratitude. What might have been the worst months of my life were instead the most galvanizing months of my forty years of existence. I have learned, I have grown, and I hope that I have changed—deepened in compassion and broadened in spiritual understanding. My most fervent prayer today, as I contemplate the “new normal” of life after cancer, is that I will continue to seek, explore and lean on the One whose love redeems our pain.
After Wednesday’s big “Finale,” my friend Mari Ellen and I celebrated in a decidedly un-nutritionally-sound fashion! It started with a quick stop at “Paul’s,” my favorite French bakery.
It continued a few minutes later with a stop at another of my favorite dining establishments, this one a little more familiar to US readers! (By the way, if your name is Michelle Young and you live in Maugenhardt, please avert your eyes from the following photos!)
The next day was…hectic. After morning meetings, I took 11 singers to France, where we performed at the Christmas party of a large physical rehab center whose director is my friend, Fabienne. And since I was still in a celebratory mood, my carload of singers made a fairly predicatable stop on the way home…
Here’s some international perspective: buying one portion of fries and one drink for five students in Europe costs over 27 euros. That’s $38!! You’ve got to be rich to celebrate over here!
But it made them all…happy.