I lived a good life prior to May 4th of last year. I was content, ordinary and was cruising along. Life was comfortable, happy. Then came a moment that threw me for a loop. We all know what that was. My world changed with the ringing of the phone, I was slammed violently into a reality that I wanted no part of. But we don't always get a choice. There was nothing I could do but walk the path laid out before me.
On May 5th, I wrote my very first blog. Before that day, I had no inclination of writing anything. But the words came. They flowed through me like water over rocks in a stream, seemingly random yet rhythmic. They made sense in the given moment, and so I shared them. Words were a gift that came to me as part of the package deal of my illness. I am blessed to have shared my experience and my heart is warmed every time I hear from someone who has been touched by what I have written. As time went on, I found that this gift spread even to people I don't know, especially after my words were printed in Reader's Digest. I have gotten the most amazing response from people. It's so beautiful for me to witness.
I can't say I am glad that I went through cancer, but I can say I am grateful for the experiences that I have had as a result of it. I have spent quality time with my family. I think it has also helped my family to grow stronger and closer. I feel we collectively have a new appreciation for life and one another. I can say with confidence that the good times are a little sweeter to me. My child's smile is even a little brighter. I have never felt more loved than I did since my diagnosis. It's a rare glimpse that people don't often get. Most people don't often get the opportunity to learn what they mean to others. I have been given that gift, and it's amazing.
It is impossible to go through cancer unaffected. For me, I choose to focus on the upsides.I weathered all of my treatment protocol. I worked through much of it. I have helped others, and I have been published in two magazines. Today, I am stronger, a bit smarter, a little more appreciative of life and my health, still full of faith, and feeling even more blessed than I was a year ago.
So what will I do to honor this day? I will live my life because I can. I will go to work. I will participate in my company's chili cookoff. I will go walk the boards with my boys (pending any thunderstorms). I will do my best to reclaim my life. I do not know what lies ahead. I do not know if cancer will rear its ugly head again. But for one day, it will not matter.
You all recall my first blog post, the one that ended up in Reader's Digest? I stated that one day I would be a cancer survivor. Well guess what? I am one, and I am damn proud!