I cannot tell you how many of my wonderful family and friends have inspired me in my writing. So many of you have reached out in various ways to tell me how my words have touched you, and words fail me to try to explain what this does for my heart. I try to repay you by digging deep and sharing what I can. What started as a coping mechanism and a way to share information about my health has become so much more.
As you all know, I began blogging as a way to purge the thoughts and emotions that were overwhelming me. What I found was that my words touched so many others who are sharing this journey with me, whether that be family, friends, or even folks who have not met me, but have heard my story. I cannot tell you what a gift that has been for me. To know that what write I affects someone else in a positive way is simply amazing.
Many people have said to me that I should share my words with others, beyond this blog. At first, I was not up to it, I was not confident that what I wrote was good enough, or that anyone other than my super supportive friends and family would care about what I had to say. But the comments and support kept coming. It led me to wonder. Then it led me to act.
You all know about the Reader's Digest contest, which is very cool and which I am doing quite well in so far (p.s. yes, I know there is an issue with the voting the last day or so. It seems to be back up now, so please feel free to continue to vote). But I submitted my work to several other media outlets as well. Today, I received word from Coping with Cancer Magazine. Their board had reviewed my submission and approved it for publication!! It is the most exciting news I have received in a while.
The particular article is titled "Redefining Survivor", and focuses on the fact that cancer patients become survivors the moment they are diagnosed. Being a survivor is not about acheiving some grand milestone, it's about celebrating every hurdle that you clear because each one is an accomplishment. To be able to share my words with folks who are also affected by cancer is a blessing. I hope that I may be an inspiration to them, make them proud of themselves, and perhaps make this journey a little easier for them.
I have been given a difficult cross to bear in life, but what I choose to make of it is up to me. I can do nothing but fight this disease (which would be noble unto itself) or I can fight and try to shine some light on a dark situation. I try to be a prism in this world. I take the sunshine that comes to me, and reflect it out in rainbows, to make others smile or make their hearts a little lighter.
"For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (There, I made it easy for those who didn't look it up yet)