Thankful for Hope: Anniversaries, Lines, and Grey Hairs

By Andi Last

I took this photo and wrote the following in May of 2019, on my 10 year anniversary of moving home to San Diego from Australia. As I wrote it, I was awaiting the results of yet another mammogram. I find that gathering feelings of hope and gratitude helps me manage scanxiety – and every day of living with LFS.

The results of the mammogram were benign.

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In the past ten years, I’ve developed countless lines around my eyes and grey in my hair. My gratitude for these signs of life and years lived is limitless.

Ten years ago today, I was 35 years old. With a new tattoo to mark my return home, I promised myself I’d do the things that set my heart on fire.
In those ten years, I’ve made dozens of special friendships and visited dozens beautiful corners of North America. I’ve taken thousands of photos, been to hundreds of life-giving musical performances, hosted 20 kickass house concerts, “performed” in 3 homemade music videos, and banged on my drums. These things set my heart on fire.

In those ten years, I’ve worked 3 different jobs, dozens of freelance gigs, and a few passion projects that fulfill me.

In those ten years, I’ve lived in 6 different places. I got divorced, fell hard in love, and got married in a spectacularly romantic wedding.

In those ten years, a man I’d loved lost his life. I am so grateful for all I learned from him.

In those ten years, I’ve had 6 terrifying diagnoses, 17 or so intravenous cancer treatments, 20+ blood tests, 5 surgeries, 5 mammograms, 4 breast MRIs, 4 full body MRIs and one CT scan. Today I await results from the latest mammogram and remind myself that every day is a gift. I am so thankful for the support of my mutant family at Living LFS.

I am grateful for these ten years, for the 35 years before, and for all the experiences in my life. I’m especially grateful for the people in my life. Thank you.

I continue to remind myself to do the things that set my heart on fire, understanding so much more clearly than I did 10 years ago how life can get in the way. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Happy anniversary, me.

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All that said, the grey hair is OUTTA THERE just as soon as possible!!