Sunday, April 28, 2013

3 Years - "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been"

     It’s “officially” been 3 years, or 36 months, or even 1,o96 days if you like (counting 2012 as a leap year) since cancer collided with my semi-normal 26 years of life on April 28, 2010.
    Since the words “you have cancer” became an unexpected reality in our life, I’ve made it through 28 pelvic-radiation treatments, 3 different chemotherapy regimens, & 2 major surgeries (August 2010 & September 2011); however, without-a-doubt, the emotional & mental journeys have, by far, outweighed the physical.
    Looking back now on who I was 3 years ago is like looking back on an old high school year book. I was so naïve but so sure I had this life all figured out. I had planned to continue with my love of dance, hoping to one-day open my own studio. We planned to build our dream-home & soon begin starting our own family. Or course none of that happened & it took quite some time for me to accept the hand that I had been dealt. I remember feeling so lost & being so angry; I didn’t understand why this disgusting disease was fated to be part of our life but it was &, in one way or another, always will be because it affected our life on every possible level.
     Friendships that I thought could weather any storm took cover & I found myself relating more to (then) strangers than people I had known most of my life. The family Chad & I dreamed of & for so long talked about starting would never be, yet I would have to spend my days & nights constantly nauseous & vomiting like some sort of sick sterilization joke. A body that was not only my job but also my love & my passion was suddenly ridden with aches & pains that I didn’t even know could exist. My once “don’t have to worry about it” metabolism would go MIA, leaving me to blindly navigate a complete physical transformation with treatment & surgery; and as silly & vain as it may sound, it was something that took a substantial emotional toll on me & something that took quite a while for me to come to terms with.
    On the bright side, this “cancerapade” has given Chad & I the opportunity to fall even deeper in love with each other. One of the very few upsides to having cancer is all the time we were able to spend together, although I really don’t know how he did it, hell, I got on my OWN nerves a few times! ;) We know we can beat anything this world can throw our way, because we have & I know we will only continue to do so. We will have our family one-day, it will just be a few years later than we had planned, which is absolutely fine because as the great John Lennon once said: “life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
     Yes, cancer took a lot out of my life but it didn’t take my life. If anything, it gave me not only a second but also a third chance in this world to see what & who are really important & essential around me. I’ve met amazing people had I not known if not for cancer. I know the true warrior that lies beneath my skin had I not known if not for cancer.
     I am who I am not because cancer walked into my life...I am who I am because I didn't walk out on myself & that, in my eyes, is the ultimate victory.

Thank you for being part of my journey. 

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