Don’t Call Me Lucky….Call Me Blessed

I’m sitting in my hotel room, full of gratitude and completely overwhelmed by my incredible life. Minutes before my mom went to heaven, as she lay dying from gastric cancer, caused by the hereditary cancer syndrome I also carry, she asked us to read her favorite Bible verse to her. Little did I know then, the truth of that one verse would become evident time and again in my life.

It reads “and we know that ALL things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose.”

I could write a book detailing the truth of that verse in my daily life.  Walter has been trying to get me to write that book for years.  For now, I will simply share a snippet of that truth.

I recently had a friend comment on the incredible trips I’ve taken in the last few years while speaking to medical providers about my hereditary cancer syndrome and my family.  She said something about how “lucky” I am.  I’m here to say “luck” had nothing to do with it.  What a joy to spend the day at the Michelangelo exhibit at the Met and return to our upgraded penthouse suite on the 65th floor of our hotel with stunning views.  Many would call that lucky.  I call it blessed by God.  This is part of the “ALL things work together for GOOD ” part of my mom’s favorite verse.

The “all things” of that verse includes some pretty awful stuff.  I was born with genetic mutations in two mismatch repair genes.  The genes that correct mistakes in cell replication.  The genes that when broken, mutated,  (mine are mutated ) give you a 90% lifetime risk of certain cancers.  The mutations that caused the cancers that claimed the lives of ten precious family members.  Because of those mutated genes, I have had over 40 colonoscopies and endoscopies, many surgeries, along with a multitude of annual “tests” to keep me cancer free, not to mention the surgical removal of my entire colon.  Not fun stuff including tragic deaths as young as 19, 31, 56…

Here’s the incredible part.  I am honored to travel the country using my family’s tragedy to influence medical providers to look for and identify other “mutants” (I always wanted to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle 🐢😉)  like me in order that no other family will have to endure 10 young cancer deaths before getting answers that will help them prevent cancers.  Because now (and since)  we KNOW we have this, we have had ZERO cancer deaths in my family.  I’ve personally had cancer stopped 6 times in the precancerous stage.

Me telling our story is me living out the truth of that Bible verse.  God works ALL things (my hereditary cancer syndrome, my family’s heartbreak) together for good (using our story to save the lives of others)!!

The whipped cream and cherry on top is…in the process of doing this incredible work to honor my family, I’ve had the immense privilege of traveling to beautiful places and experiencing wonderful things like today’s Michelangelo exhibit.  Today’s talks canceling, a snow day, allowed us a free day to spend at the museum. Talk about God working ALL things together for good!!!

So please, don’t call me lucky.  Please call me BLESSED!