4 Feb

Today is World Cancer Day, a day that the World Health Organization (WHO), and everyone else uses to recognize, unite, and fight against the disease that will kill an estimated 84 million people from 2005-2015. It’s also about survivors. Most of the time I don’t dwell on the fact that I had cancer but today, seeing all the cancer posts and all the purple profiles for the American Cancer Society and Chevy, I get a little nostalgic.I don’t even know if nostalgic is the right word, but I guess my heart feels a little heavy today; both sad and grateful. It’s strange, there are the constant reminders, my scar, my difficulty breathing sometimes, the numbness/weakness in my left arm from all the surgeries and radiation on the left side of my neck, these things are daily but are fully integrated into my life, it’s just how it is. What changed the most for me is what happened inside my heart and mind. There are people who have told me, ‘thyroid cancer?’ ‘the easy cancer?’. Really makes me sick, cancer is cancer, cells trying to kill you, nothing easy about that. Who would even imagine someone having to defend their cancer? No one asks for it, no one wants it, and everyone walks away different. My particular journey was tough, but isn’t every person’s?

It’s hard to describe what has changed on the inside because sometimes it’s overwhelming. I know that I tolerate less crap, I crave peace and kindness, but most of all I look at people, circumstances, and plain daily living a whole lot differently. I take my time now to notice. Most of the time we’re so busy trying to do something or get somewhere, we don’t notice who or what is even in our surroundings; is someone hurting, laughing, talking to you even…I know I’m not making sense but life is not so serious. If we look for the magic, we see it. I have had many people come into my life over the past few years at exactly the time I needed them, it’s been awesome. Understanding their stories, who they are, spoken from their eyes…magic. Cancer has made me more sad, more angry, more willing, but most of all more grateful for the simplest of things. See? I can’t even articulate! I recently watched a movie where Meryl Streep’s character has cancer and she jumps out of a car and starts running…really random, going nowhere. She was crazed and upset and yes, sometimes it’s like that; but sometimes we(me) run to nowhere just because we can. The simple act of running with arms open, face in the wind, breathing in life…magic. I used this quote before but I love it so much I’m going to use it again as a reminder. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~Steve Jobs

Today I wear Strawberry Lip Smacker. Cheap, yummy, the stuff I had in high school, a simpler time. Cheers!


2 Responses to “Magic”

  1. Jo Heroux February 5, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    A very dear friend who was post cancer (she was declared cancer free several months prior) said to me, ” You know, cancer wins even when you destroy it. It’s always and forever in your thoughts. Every ache, every twinge, every headache…you immediately think it’s back. So it messes with your life all the rest of the days you have. It may never kill me, but it won’t ever leave me alone, either. It’s now part of who I am and I hate it.”
    I will never forget her face as she spoke this truth from her heart. I cried as she spoke and she did, too. There is nothing else that does that. Nothing.
    A new appreciation for blessings seems to burst forth in everyone who beats cancer, but behind that, the unrelenting fear. I hate cancer, too. And I love you and your spirit.

    • Anna February 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Jo, your friends’ words just made me cry because it’s true. Cancer never leaves 😦

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