Though you don’t know
her and you may never meet her, today is her 60th
birthday; far too young and too healthy for the likes of cancer.

Childhood sleep-overs and camping trips, always there for me with a joke; wiping tears of laughter from her cheeks,
as she attempts to get to the punch line. My aunt.
My mother’s
little sister. John’s wife. Robyn and Kelsey’s mom {who they joking call Mrs.
Naggit}. Meet her once and you’ll part as dear friends.
Jan was diagnosed with
breast cancer this year. This seems impossible. An avid runner, a fitness nut.
Of course she’s
afraid. Cancer is scary shit. But she’s not one to give in to fear. Attitude is
everything and her positivity is what will see her through. 
First chemo treatment
The day of her
biopsy, was my birthday, and despite her frightening day, she still phoned to leave me a Happy Birthday message and texted a clip of her infamous “Closet Cooking With Jan”
shtick – video clips of her ad-libbed, misadventures in the kitchen, usually
involving chaotic mixing and a variety of flour dusted surfaces.
Mastectomy, chemo…she
could easily recoil and shut herself off to nurse her wounds. I probably would.
Instead she surrounds herself with friends and family and uses humour to
maintain the normalcy of life. 
Jan, I love you so much. And moreover, I admire you. I always have. You make me want to be a better, happier, grab-life-by-the-balls kind of woman. You’re fun to be around. It’s no wonder you have so many friends who adore you.  
You live each day, richly. Okay, that may scream “Grammar Police,” but it fits. Your relationships, your commitment to fitness, your love of the outdoors and putting family first — you live well by valuing what is important. I sometimes forget. Thank you for reminding me.
Happy birthday my dear, sweet, HILARIOUS, superwoman aunt-friend. Here’s to many, many more happy, healthy birthdays ahead. I’m thrilled your big sis is there with you on your special day. I can’t wait to celebrate with you soon.
Much love,
Lisa, Adrian, S and A and Roger
The Girls: my mom, Jan, baby Avery (feeding tube bandage and all) and I
If you haven’t already, talk to your doctor about having a mammogram. I wrote about my first experience {last year} right here. My next appointment is already booked.

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