Monday, August 22, 2016

What If?

What if I never got cancer?

Someone recently asked me this and it got me thinking. I'm not a fan of "What if..." questions and thinking, but this one hit me hard.

That thought, that question makes me tear up. It's a wonderful thought and a terrifying thought.

I tear up thinking about all of the pain, struggle, depression, agony, and fear I endured for so long would have never existed. And I tear up at the thought that all the lessons, insight, and understanding I have learned on a deeper level would not exist.

To be rid of my prosthetic, to have my mouth back, to be rid of that fear of it returning, to never have endured any of it to begin with... that all sounds amazing. But what if I never learned the lessons? What if I stayed on the same path I was on? The clarity and appreciation for absolutely everything that cancer and its aftermath has brought me, I would never want to lose that.

I often think of the image of an earthquake being tracked on a Richter scale. All of those up and down squiggly lines are the ups and downs of life, and then the earthquake hits and the line shoots up and is set on a whole new trajectory. My cancer diagnosis was my own personal earthquake that set my life on a new trajectory, never to return to the path it was on before. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I can honestly say, if I was given a magic wand (because I'm still waiting on my acceptance letter from Hogwarts) and had the opportunity to undo the cancer nightmare I was given, I wouldn't. At the same time, I hope I never have to endure it again. Ever. There were some dark days on this journey. Dark, miserable, painful, terrifying days. But too much light has come out of that darkness. And that is what I choose to lean on.

Be thankful. Everyday. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Just a thought....

I had a moment the other day. I was leaving work after a long week. I was exhausted, my energy was pretty low, and I was dragging. It was late and already dark out when walking to my car. All I could think was how tired and exhausted I was. And then suddenly, to my own surprise, a great big smile came across my face. How great is this, I thought, I have a job that I work hard at. I've busted my ass all week and yes, I'm tired, but I feel good about it. I have responsibilities and expectations that I look forward to make happen each day. How great is that?!

A memory of me sitting in my room at my parents house unemployed with an empty bank account filling out application after application while recovering from my cancer nightmare and its aftermath flashed before my eyes. And now here I am, exhausted from a hard days work.

Life is sweet (or bittersweet). I'm grateful for the perspective I now have and that I can share this little story with a smile on my face, but you better believe how unbelievably aware I am that that perspective came with a cancer diagnosis. But I'm still grateful.

That whole train of thought really did catch me off guard. A great big smile after a long week of work. It's all about perspective, people.

Be thankful. Everyday. --- because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing!