I remember the way your arms wrapped around the the small of my back and pulled me close That look in your eyes telling me how you loved me so and later singing our favorite song very loud in your convertible on PCH I didn't do a lot of studying that semester but I sure did learn a thing or two about freedom and joy and love I look back on those times of flip flops and t-shirts and ripped jeans I look back on those times of waiting tables and drinking red wine and laughing with you at three in the morning standing naked in your kitchen eating your roommate's leftover pizza and I remember a time in my life when I was happy and carefree and beautiful a time when I would ride to the beach and appreciate the bright blue sky and stop for ice-cream A time when you and I were content with a Saturday morning drip coffee and sharing a paper A time that was less complicated that didn't include compazine and Zofran schedules and Biotine mouthwash
You remind me of what it was like to not have cancer
You with your blue eyes strong loving hands about my waist You wearing your heart on your sleeve You wearing your heart on every piece of clothing you own
And when at the end of myself no one applauds You will always remind me of that place where I could be me full of light full of laughter full of promise for the future You my friend You my love
Paula Nilsson, 37, lives in Alameda California with her husband and two children. In the midst of planning birthday parties, high school reunions and summer vacations with her family and friends, she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Currently, she is happy, healthy and feeling stronger every day. She attributes her survival (and sanity) to the remarkable women of BAYS or Bay Area Young Survivors, who inspire her daily to keep on keeping on...and so she does.