Three Years. I can't believe its been three years. It seems like a million years ago and just yesterday all at the same time. I was just talking about it with my mom recently how it all still feels like a bad dream, some out of body experience where you actually think to yourself, did that really actually happen?
Reflecting on the past three years just makes me have a huge exhaling breath with a giant smile on my face. There's something about hitting another year with this for me. On these days I feel so powerful, so capable, this 'I made it, I can do anything' type feeling. It has most definitely been a long and winding road, but it has led to some amazing views that have been so rewarding. I have grown so much as a person, in fact, I think I've completely changed....aside from my sarcasm, I'm a totally different person. One for the better. This whole experience has forced me to explore things about myself and about life in a way that most people never do. I've made peace with a lot of things. I've expanded my comfort zone. I've learned invaluable lessons in acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude. Really taking joy in the simplest of things...to the point where some might find it annoying. It's wonderful. I'm really in a good place. You have no idea how great it feels to say that and actually mean it!!!
Most people probably don't know this, but the title of this blog was originally called "Thrive On...". I love that word, thrive. Thrive: verb; to grow or develop well or vigorously. To prosper, flourish.
Once I gave in to it all and started to accept everything that had happened, I began healing, I began writing, I began thriving. Yes, I was broken, but I was broken wide open and was able to let all kinds of new goodness in. I've read on different blogs and in different books that you are never broken, you are perfectly fine the way you are in this moment, there is never anything broken about you. I guess I see the point they're making, but I assure you, I was fucking broken. Shattered. Empty. Broken...into a million pieces. BUT...that's ok. It didn't lessen me in any way, it was just a fact...broken. It was either embrace it or remain broken. Don't get me wrong, I fought it for a very long time, I literally went on a parade of "See, I'm fine" to family and friends for quite a while. What can I say, I'm incredibly stubborn, I'm Basque (look it up). But I eventually gave in and just let this thing take me. I've learned that breakdowns = breakthroughs (if you let them). Here I am, three years thriving.
"The truth is that our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
- M.Scott Peck
I think I started sharing my story, not only as a therapeutic outlet, but also as a way to gain back some control after the ultimate loss of control that cancer brought to my life. Cancer told its story, it sucked. Now I'm telling mine. Writing this blog has been a blessing. There's something incredibly liberating about writing it all out and hitting "Share." Like its not my issues or problems anymore because it's out there for the world to see (or my immediate family and friends who actually read this). It allows me to release it.
This experience has challenged me in ways I did not know was humanly possible. Thinking back to those early months, God it was so awful, the pain was indescribable. I still have photos of my mouth and what it looked like then, it's pretty unbelievable to look at, so gnarly! It's things like that that make me so thankful today. Never again will the simple act of waking up to a normal, boring day as a healthy individual be taken for granted, nor go unappreciated. This experience has taken me to hell and back. But I am back. And I've got to say...it feels pretty damn good!!
Be thankful. Everyday....don't ever forget that!