It's amazing what can change in two years. Two years ago today, February 9th, I was in major surgery and facing the fight of my life. Knowing that once I was healed from the surgery, the chemo and a year of Herceptin treatments would begin. All that and Katie had also just been diagnosed with Juvenile diabetes. What a scary feeling and completely dark days those were. However, whenever we go through any tough times in our lives, that's when we first find inner strength and whatever we are lacking in inner strength and wisdom --- well, that's where our friends and family pick up the slack.
After this experience, I do believe that in our darkest times, we truly begin to learn how blessed we really are. You start to think of all the things you took for granted before and vow never, ever to take anything for granted again. One day everything is fine, yet you are stressed about some meaningless things and the next day you wish you could just go back to the absolute perfection of yesterday. It is a complete change of perspective in a major way.
I have read a couple of things lately that have made me sad, but also reflective. It's about the happy face survivors put on and the flowery world within which some live, when instead of spreading such a message, the reality is that cancer sucks. The articles basically said it is all a world of pretend and survivors needing to escape reality. I first took offense to that and then I started to think about why so many survivors do seem to be truly happier and feel more blessed than they were before. There is certainly truth to the fact that as survivors, we do need to escape reality. We can't live our lives looking at statistics and thinking about what might happen. But in my experience, I am truly happier and realize my blessings more than I ever did before. I have stopped worrying about a lot of the meaningless stuff I used to worry about, I thank God for my life each and every day, I feel much more connected to my friends and family and am much more willing to reach out of my circle and help someone else. I feel others pain and struggles so much more deeply now. I am much more open to live and experience life and take risks and challenges that I would not have taken before.
After feeling the love of my friends and family that truly have held my hand, washed my hair, watched me lose my hair, counseled, consoled, put up with rages and tears and just been there every step of the way, I will never, ever be the same. How can one not feel blessed? How can one not be ready to give back? Flowery? maybe.... but I feel like the moment I forget this experience or let it dull in my mind, that I could go back to being insensitive, stresssed and simply not aware and lacking the Hope that I now have.
I am two years cancer free and one year out of treatments!!! How can I not be filled with happiness and be forever grateful. I'm here. And since I am here - well, I am going to make a difference. Sunshine? Sure!!! Bring it on!!!
TEAM Update: Tough Warrior Princesses now have 24 team members ready to raise $2,300 each and walk 3 Days and 60 Miles. We had a team meeting the other night and what a great group of strong, motivated women. Planning is underway for a number of fundraisers, including our dance and silent auction that will hopefully be held May 14th. (We just need to confirm a venue) I was blessed enough to be able to volunteer at a Komen Get Started Meeting in Beverly and what a great experience. Many of the new Princesses came to this meeting and they were just awesome. I am truly surrounded by a team of women that are strong, faithful, loving, kind and READY to KICK SOME CANCER BUTT!!!
No one should have to go through what me and my family have been through. No one should have to go through what so many of my friends and acquaintances fighting this disease are going through. The realilty is that this disease, whether breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, pancreatic on and on and on is dreadful. It takes lives and ruins lives. We all need to take a stand and try to stop it.
Be MORE and Count your Blessings!!