Everybody who gets cancer is different. They handle it differently than someone else you knew with cancer. Why? It’s super simple… we are all different. We are individuals who have our own personalities. Sometimes cancer causes you to come out of your shell, or hide inside of it or to just poke your head out when you feel like it. Because that’s what you did before you had cancer. Yes, cancer changes you. Some people it hardens others it softens, but you don’t honestly know until you are walking in those shoes how it may or may not change you. And, from my own perspective, I don’t know how or if it will fully change my view on life until this is all over with.
But I will say this. I am strong because I was strong before I had cancer. I know myself and spent many years cementing in who I am as a person. And have always looked forward to growing older. Because if you look at life of a constant journey of never ending learning, then with age comes wisdom and comfortability with yourself. That’s what turning 40 brought to me. Like a huge relief. I made it to 40 and I know myself and I love it. I am still the same person who loves to laugh until I cry, dance my ass off, laugh at my kids fart jokes, listen to good music, avoid sappy movies like the plague, love nature, see the beauty in small things, hate wearing watches and being forced to conform to our societal views on time, wicked strong feminist (because come on, really, all women everywhere deserve the same rights, respect and pay as men), stand up to the bullies, honest almost to a fault, creative, lover of photography, outspoken, beach dreaming, will give you a strong dose of perspective when you need it, love me or hate me, happy, born with the knowledge that we all need to love and accept each other a whole lot more, silver lining finding person that I will always be. I just have cancer too.
And that part does indeed suck (having cancer). But here’s the thing, I’m still me. I am brave and a fighter because that’s who I am. Was lucky enough to be born with a warrior spirit that runs like a fire inside me. It’s why I love the ocean so much – it cools the fire and calms me. Though I wish I could give a little of that spirit to others fighting diseases who don’t have it – I can’t, because their journey is their own to learn and figure out their own strengths. And they will in their own way.
This journey will bring me to my knees at times because this whole process sucks. And chemo absolutely sucks. But if it does that’s okay. My body may weaken, but my journey will continue and that fighter that lives inside me will always be there and she’ll be back with a vengeance if I do break.
I will cry, laugh and experience each emotion that presents itself along this journey and I encourage you to do the same. Our emotions can be our greatest strength. I use to think that my eyes were betraying me when they teared up, whether good or bad. Now I know there was no betrayal, it was me showing the world who I am.