A year ago at this moment, I was settling into my new life. The cancer had been removed, and I was adjusting to my changed body, newly released from the hospital post surgery. Seems appropriate to reflect on a change in my mentality since that time.
I remember thinking when I was diagnosed with cancer that my life was irrevokably changed. I was right. But not in ways that I would have expected. My future felt limited. In time, I understood that it wasn't. I thought that being a cancer survivor was something to be afraid of or sad about. Rather I realized it was something to be proud of. I learned early on in my survivorship that there is indeed hope in cancer: hope for a cure, and hope for making the world a better place.
I was curious to learn what cancer survivors can do, so I did a little research. Here's is what I found out. A cancer survivor can become a professional athlete. A survivor can make their dreams into a reality. They can run marathons and win races. Cancer survivors can hold political offices. Cancer survivors can climb Mount Everest. They can hike the Grand Canyon, jump out of planes and go ziplining. They can compete in the Olympics. They go on to have families. A cancer survivor can earn a degree or shape young minds. Cancer survivors can win Grammys, Oscars, and Emmys. They can write New York Times best sellers. They win Nobel prizes. A cancer survivor can serve on the US Supreme Court. A survivor can beat cancer more than once. A survivor can treat and cure other survivors. They can run into burning buildings and save lives. They can run Fortune 500 companies, and invent technology that changes lives. They can help others. They can spread awareness. A cancer survivor can raise millions for a cure or touch the life of just one other person.
A cancer survivor can find meaning and beauty even in dark times.
A cancer survivor can go on to live a more fullfilling life than perhaps if they were never diagnosed.
A cancer survivor can (and often does) make a difference in this world.