“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
~ Multiple Attributions
It is impossible to imagine that it has been 365 days since I heard the words “It’s cancer.” In so many ways – it feels like it was yesterday. In many others – I feel like this past year has been the longest of my life.
The funny thing is, as I sit and ruminate about all that has transpired, my mind does not focus on the fear or pain or sadness. Rather, I recall the laughter and the times with friends and family and the “good stuff.” There were times over the past year that I felt like a victim. Self-pity became commonplace for days on end. Yet today I truly feel fortunate. AND – I don’t want to sound like one of those “rah rah – cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me” girls. But really, I’m kinda thankful.
It is especially difficult to rationalize these kinds of feelings when I think of a friend who lost his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed around the same time as me. But his cancer wasn’t treatable. His cancer was mean and ugly and invasive. And he passed away just about a week ago. I remember visiting him in the hospital late last year. I think he knew at the time that his options were few. But he had a smile on his tired face and continued to fight the fight.
So when I think of my own battle and where I am today, I sit here stunned. I’m trying not to ask myself, “Why me? Why do I still get to be here?” There is no sense in asking this question. Rather – I am going to spend today thinking about all the things I learned over the past year. Like how utterly important friends are. That asking for help is a good thing. An essential thing. That trust is key. Trust in doctors, trust in myself. That, despite how much fear or defeat or pain one might experience, there is always hope.
Reprinted with permission https://tatatalk.wordpress.com/
LOOKING AHEAD: Kathryn will be contributing regularly beginning in August where she’ll share with us her plans for an extended travel adventure volunteering with global organizations dedicated to preservation of the wild animal kingdom.