Posted by: Suzan | August 7, 2010

Life Deserves a Celebration

I grew up in New Orleans where we make any excuse to celebrate. Of course, we’re known for our Mardi Gras revelry, yet we actually have week-end festivities to honor anything from oranges to crayfish. This is where I learned to celebrate LIFE.

 Today I am one year older. I’m on the other side of that hill now, yet I do not believe my summit is over. There is much more ahead of me and with each step I’ll make new discoveries. One thing I have learned is how important it is to stop from time to time to enjoy the view. Why rush through life? Savor the moments. No matter what is going on in our lives, we’re always at choice as to how we view the experiences.

 A few weeks ago a skin surgeon called to give me the results from my biopsy, ‘malignant melanoma.’ Fortunately I noticed it a few months ago and realized it was a ‘foreign’ entity. It itched, had discoloration, and an odd shape. I called my skin doctor, Dr. Leslie Mark, right away for an appointment. She gave me a full body check, which I do every year, though this time her gaze looked more serious. She said, “We’re going next door to the surgery room to remove this.”

She left the next day on vacation for a month. I thought about what could have happened if I had ignored this and had not insisted on getting in to see her before she left. Trusting our instincts and following through with these vital messages are so important. Sometimes it saves our lives.

 I have surgery scheduled on August 16 in the afternoon. They do a wide, deep excision to make sure all of the tumor is removed. It is on my right chest so I doubt I’ll be wearing a bikini again. My  doctor even recommended I not hang out in the sun any more. I’m at a great risk for a reoccurrence. She said, “You really should exercise indoors from now on.”

 I’m not a sunbather, though in my teens and 20’s I remember lathering up the baby oil before hours of ‘sun worship.’ Sunscreen didn’t exist in our household.

 Yet I do have an intense passion for nature and being outdoors as a camper and avid hiker. To continue celebrating life, I choose not to give up who I am. I may have on a higher SPF and a lot more of it, more clothes and a wide brim hat, though I cannot cage myself up. I must spend time outside.

 Thoughts of surgery and will they get all the cancer, etc. will also not stop me from enjoying every minute of my life. This week-end I’ll be immersed in a full on celebration with close friends and family. Then next week-end Jim and I will honor our 10th wedding anniversary by camping and hiking Marion Mountain in Idyllwild with some of the close friends and family from our Mount Whitney wedding party of 8-15-2000.

 So we all have a choice. Shall we cringe with pain and worry during life’s challenging times? I say rejoice in every moment we have because the time is ticking, and some day we will become a distant memory. My mentor and guru, Katy Guard, says to find enjoyment in all things in life, no matter the circumstances. As long as we are breathing there is so much to celebrate.


  1. Suzan you are an inspiration! You never cease to amaze us with your joie de vivre! Wishing you good health and happiness always. Hope your birthday and anniversary celebrations uplift and delight you.


    • Thank you Gina for your unending support. I so appreciate you!!


  2. I know you are having a “mountain” of a time today, celebrating your 10th wedding anniversary.

    My thoughts and metta are with you for your ‘clean out” tomorrow at 2 pm.

    gentle hugs,


  3. Thank you Sandra for your support. We all made it to the top of San Jacinto (and eventually to the bottom)! Great time celebrating. Appreciate your thoughts and metta!


  4. Wishing you many more Life celebrations and sending you many positive thoughts for every minute in your life.



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