The Day I Wasn’t Supposed to Live to See

20 05 2011

Theo at his Kindergarten Graduation. Photo by Amy Rauch Neilson.

On March 3, 2006, I underwent a lumpectomy to remove what my then-surgeon thought for sure was breast cancer. About that, he was right.

What he wasn’t right about was his dire prediction of my staging — or my future.

During that surgery, he sent a piece of the tumor to pathology. Based on those preliminary results — which were back by the time I was coming out of anesthesia, he told me my cancer was already likely a Stage 3 and a very aggressive cell type.

Later that day, he gave me this chilling prediction: “You won’t live to see Theo’s first day of Kindergarten.”

He was wrong.

Not only did I see Theo off to his first day of Kindergarten last fall, but I had the privilege of watching him sing his heart out at his school’s Spring Concert last night — and receive his diploma, handsomely clad in cap and gown.

I plan to be there at his next graduation ceremony, years from now, right next to the stage, snapping photos and cheering Theo on. Just like I was last night.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson

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19 responses

20 05 2011
Elaine

You go and how cute is the blog picture! 🙂

20 05 2011
Claire

Awesome! Aren’t some doctors doom – sayers? Don’t let em get you down!

20 05 2011
Claire

PS Theo = cutest!

20 05 2011
Julie

Wait until the college grad ceremony! It’s always a blast to listen to the alumni director tell parents and students they should now give money to support their school … the timing, considering they’ve just been bled dry, has always amused me.

20 05 2011
Michelle Hicks

Great pic of Theo! I can’t believe he’s “graduating” from kindergarten! You WILL be there for all the special events to come!

20 05 2011
Gene Rooks

I hope you sent that doctor the picture. Gene

20 05 2011
Kate

How cute is he and how proud you must be! You go girl!

20 05 2011
sharon l-s

Wonderful pic of Theo. Congrats on the first big graduation ceremony! The first of many to come.
Have a great weekend.

20 05 2011
Crystal

ConGRatULaTiOnS, Theo!!!!! Go, Amy!!! YAY, God!!!

20 05 2011
Sarah E. Ludwig

Amy, this is such a heartwarming post. Theo looks adorable. I love your survivor spirit. You are an inspiration to many!

Love and hugs!

20 05 2011
Laurie Horn

Cancer, Schmancer! It doesn’t know who it is dealing with!!! Adorable picture!!

20 05 2011
lucy (meau's friend)

your first experience reminds me of something i read in a book by dr paul pearsall, (a famous psychiatrist who has written many books about family, spirituality, and other “non-medical prescriptions” necessary for healing from illness) he gave an account of his own medical experience with a doctor who was treating him (i don’t recall what his condition was) but i do remember him saying in the book that while he was in a coma for several days or weeks,? he heard one doctor pronouncing dire outcomes for him, (probably speaking to his wife and family.) he hadn’t seen the doctor but when he awoke and he heard his voice again, he said he wanted that doctor off his case, and amusingly referred to him as “dr death vader”—this was some twenty or more years ago when the first “star wars” series was popular.
if you google his name or look in your local library you will find the books i have read. WOW!!!– even better, i just found there is a website: (where i also learned he did pass away in 2009, long after “dr death vader” had predicted) http://www.paulpearsall.com/index.html

there is a link for all of his of his books, including quite a few new ones that i haven’t read. this one sound pretty interesting:

Miracle in Maui: Let Miracles Happen in Your Life
Makawao, Hawaii: Inner Ocean Publisher, 2001
Describes Dr. Pearsall’s miracle cure from Stage IV Lymphoma and the scientific evidence for the occurrence of miracles. An updated version of the best-seller Making Miracles, it includes a forward from a Hawaiian kahuna, healing Hawaiian chants and songs, and pictures documenting Dr. Pearsall’s cure from a bone marrow transplant.

here are quick descriptions of two that i have read:

The Pleasure Prescription: To Love, To Work, To Play, Life in the Balance
Alameda, California: Hunter House Publishers, 1996
This New York Times number one best-seller presents the medical evidence showing that living, loving, and working by the Hawaiian wisdom of aloha results in healthier and happier personal, family, and work life. It presents a program for correcting “DDDS, ” Daily Delight Deficiency Syndrome.”
(also available on tapes/cds)

Super Immunity: Master Your Emotions and Improve Your Health
New York: McGraw Hill, 1986
This New York Times Number 1 best-seller won the Lambert Book of the Year Award in London, England. It was the first book to describe how our feelings and thoughts affect our immune system, how “hot” and “cold” temperaments tend to influence our health and healing, and how to enhance the immune system to strengthen our resistance to disease and improve our healing.

SORRY FOR THE LONG POST–hope some find it helpful. blessings, lucy

20 05 2011
Debby Neilson

Congrats to Theo!!! He is so adorable! That doctor didn’t know who he was dealing with. Love you, see you at the race.

20 05 2011
Marnie

Hey..yah…..What’s up doc?!……A GRADUATION!!!
Congratulations to you both!! Here’s to the future!!
Good luck with your TV interview/taping today!!

20 05 2011
Karen

*SMILES*** and tears 🙂 AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!

20 05 2011
Zoo

AWESOME!

20 05 2011
Jennifer

Frog legs at the wedding. Just sayin’…

20 05 2011
Lori

And you will be there to see them all! That’s our plan! Love ya – cuz

20 05 2011
Janice Domanski

Why in the world do doctors EVER tell patients predictions on longevity? I don’t get it- do they think it motivates? Grrrrrr!

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