Giving thanks on my 90th

The sun said “good morning” as I sat in our backyard, sipping my first cup of welcoming coffee. Molly and Riley were inspecting the grass, deciding where to do their morning duty. These puppies make everyday special, even ones like today when I’m facing the fact that my cancer may have returned.

Each year I have a mammogram. This year’s results were somewhat fuzzy. No lump found, but another problem that shows up in 40 percent of these tests. Then it was off to have blood tests I have each year, after losing a breast to cancer a few years ago.

A few days later I saw the cancer doctor to find out the results of all of the above. The blood tests showed something not normal.

Today is Thursday the 17th. Tomorrow I’ll be going to Carson City where I’ll be having an hour long CAT and blood test to find out what’s going on in this 90 year young gal. The day before this is printed, I’ll hear the results from my cancer doctor. Right now all I can do is wait. Please forgive my writing about something so negative. I hope you’ll understand how this is on my mind?

However, I decided that since many who read my column are my friends and extended family, I thought you’d like to know what’s going on. I could use a couple of prayers. So why am I burdening you with this? It’s mainly for you ladies who say things like “getting a mammogram is uncomfortable,” or “I’ll do it next year,” or whatever. If you wait you’re playing a game with your very life.

Mammograms are important, they save lives. You shouldn’t avoid having one done. In the meantime I’m keeping myself busy. I don’t know why but a couple of months ago, when I had just finished one of my crewel designs of an eagle and a flag, Doug asked me about doing another like it for next year’s Lincoln Day dinner. He knows how I like to keep busy, and this design is difficult and time consuming.

“What the heck,” I thought. So I got busy and finished it. I’ll have Suzy at Jeff’s frame it and it can be chanced off next year at that special event. This May I began doing what I do each year, crocheting afghans for my whole family for Christmas gifts. My grandchildren and great-grandbabies each get one from GG (great-grandmother) each year. It’s become a tradition. Half of them are already done.

I also completed something very unusual that Suzy just finished framing. I was flipping through a magazine and saw a picture of the silliest looking Santa Claus you can imagine. I knew I had to bring it alive in one of my crewel designs. When it was done I thought, “I must be crazy, nobody would want that silly thing.”

Doug insisted that since it’s so unique, I just had to take it down to Patricia’s Rising Sun Gallery next to Jeff’s. If you don’t do another thing this week, go down there and see Santa sitting in the window. Go after 11 a.m. when the gallery opens so that you can check the other beautiful art work some of our local artists have done.

Of course, when you face something scary about your health you worry. You think about all the things that can go wrong, and at my age I have to face the fact that some medical solutions will not be prudent. And I’m doing what everybody in this position does, I keep thinking about next Tuesday when the doctor will tell me what the test shows.

While drinking my coffee this morning I talked to myself. I was remembering so much about my life, of the multitude of absolutely wonderful blessings I’ve had, especially my children, my family, my friends, my husband “Van” that I had for too few but wonderful years, and of the many great things that have happened in my life. How many people, I thought, have been as absolutely blessed as I have been?

Doug’s best lifelong friend Rick, whom I consider my sixth son, brought me back to earth when he called me on my 90th birthday last month. Rick told me to “Remember, there is only one rule in life, enjoy it.” And that is exactly what I am going to do, with whatever time God grants me. I will savor each and every sunrise and sunset.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at


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