My daughters went back to school yesterday. And so ended a summer of swimming, laughing, (some TV – I’m not perfect!) and new adventures. As the girls stood on our front porch for their “Official Back-to-School Picture” to live forever in the hard-drive of our computer or until I manage to print it out three to five years from now, I had this moment of exhilaration. New beginnings are exciting! The new school year brings a new teacher, new friends and so much new knowledge. New beginnings are also scary. Will the new teacher be nice? Will the new friends play with me on the playground? How will I remember all of this new “stuff?”

I couldn’t help but think of my own new beginning. AC. After Cancer. Not quite the same innocent, youthful joy of a first day of school, but holding many of the same emotions none-the-less. The excitement of living life fully, probably for the first time since the obligations of adulthood started to weigh me down. The freedom of not sweating the small stuff (I was historically very much a “Small Stuff Sweater”). The renewed professional passion I’ve found in Consano. The appreciation that I was around to act like the paparazzi for the “First Day of School” photo shoot. So many things to look forward to. But then there’s the fear, too. Will the cancer come back? Will my medications lead to other side-effects? What if…? Lots of “What If’s.”

But many of those fears are out of my control. I have done what I can to get rid of the cancer in my body. I can’t control those errant cells that might be hiding away, waiting to wreak havoc. I have committed to enjoying the life I have right now. Right now. Right this moment. And that is the most refreshing new beginning that I could ask for.

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