Today is a bittersweet milestone – the 1 year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. What a year it’s been. Facing death head on while embracing life and Love have completely transformed me. Mind, body and soul.
Before I get into deep reflection about this milestone, a brief update. Since my last post…
I was in a terrible car accident, and while I’m still recovering and will be for some time to come, I’m here. My family is safe. My Jeep did it’s job – it saved our lives.
In this accident, the seatbelt hit my left breast exactly where I had surgery to remove the golf ball sized tumor. And while I had FINALLY healed from that surgery, the trauma caused fluid and blood to fill the empty space left behind. Without lymph nodes to move that fluid and blood I developed intense swelling and pain and eventually a severe infection. After a full round of antibiotics relieving the infection, not the pain and swelling, I am now looking at months before I’m back to where I was just before the accident. And still I’m here.
I started the next phase of cancer treatment and experienced a very bad reaction to the medications causing such a dark depression that it nearly took me down. And still I’m here.
I switched to a new manufacturer of cancer treatment meds and am now experiencing intense bone and joint pain. And still I’m here.
I watched with tears in my eyes as the twins – after a year and a half of having them home 24/7 – walked off to kindergarten in a new building with new people, the hallways dwarfing their tiny bodies as they navigated their way in new surroundings. And still I’m here.
Not only am I here, I’m filled with Love and gratitude.
“You must have some serious bad luck” or “You must have had a curse put on you”, countless people have said to me lately – for totally understandable reasons. However, I see things quite differently from my perspective. “Actually, I think I must be the luckiest human alive. Look at how much I’ve been through, and still I’m here and I’m happy”, I reply with a smile.
There’s always another way to look at things. Another perspective. I choose the perspective rooted in gratitude these days. I have so much to be grateful for. And that is why today I celebrate my Cancerversary!
I’ve always been fond of this saying:
By this measure, the past year of my life has been full and rich – nearly every one of the last 525,600 moments have indeed taken my breath away. Since the moment I heard the voice on the other end of the phone tell me I have cancer I have endured, learned and grown so much.
I have experienced pain and suffering beyond what I thought I could bear. Fear and despair I thought I would never escape. Grief and guilt I thought would suffocate me. Shame and sadness I thought would completely consume me. Reflection I thought I’d never have time for. Surrender I thought I’d never succumb to. Acceptance I never imagined. Love deeper than I’ve ever felt. Gratitude for things, people and experiences I had once neglected. And I wouldn’t trade those moments in for the world.
Much like any major transition, it’s been a process of gradual release. With that gradual release has come gradual acceptance. And today marks a new year, new day, a new moment. I step into this newness with eager anticipation for the opportunity to embrace authenticity with each step. With a renewed commitment to life, Love and the pursuit of happiness and health.
This is indeed worth celebrating.
I’m reminded of something a friend once told me exactly when I needed to hear it most:
This is so true. And my best advice to my loved ones – that’s you – is to take these words to heart. Write them down on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror as a daily reminder. Every moment is an opportunity to start over, to Love more, to fear less, to reinvent yourself.
Seize the moment!
Thank you for joining me in Cancerversary celebration. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being you.
More to come soon. 💗