I’m still alive. Today, July 28 – twenty years ago - I went into the operating room late. I had been scheduled for 9 am but they didn’t take me until nearly noon. Now, those that know me know that I get hungry, that I don’t like to miss meals and that at the best I start getting grouchy so you can only imagine how hungry I was when I awoke in the observation room after my tumorectomy. I finally managed to convince the attending nurse that yes, I was hungry, that, no I wasn’t feeling queasy or any other aftereffect from the narcosis. She finally gave me a yogurt, which although it tasted like ambrosia came back up as quickly as it hit my stomach. So much for not feeling the effects of surgery or the anesthesia. I got out of the hospital 2 days before my 50th birthday. It’s now 20 years since that first cancer, which, by the way, I discovered inadvertently by feeling it - it never did show up on a mammography. Meanwhile both of my parents have passed away – my dad whilst I was undergoing chemo; my little sister lost her battle with cancer. My husband died and there have been other challenges as well, including a mastectomy on the same breast 5 years ago. On the plus side: my sister-in-law in the USA just passed her 10-year mark and my German sister-in-law is headed for 85 in spite of hers. Both of my sons have turned into fine young men, interesting, entertaining, they lead lives that as their mother make me proud, but that would have also been highly satisfactory to their father. I have even managed to hit the 5-year mark since the second bout of breast cancer - this time found during my yearly mammography. My husband called me his pioneer woman – a survivor. I’m indeed still here and enjoying every moment of life.