Why I’m Not Sorry I had Cancer
What Cancer Took from Me
It’s easy to describe all the things that cancer took from me. It took my left breast, my hair, my perfect figure, and my last gasp chance to have my own child. It took relationships that needed to be severed and stole bikinis, strapless dresses, and the joy of bra shopping. It took my ability to lift heavy objects and play tennis. It took stupid and non-essential things. As I sit here eating a healthy breakfast, I have not a tear to shed over what cancer took from me. In fact, I thumb my nose at it because I wouldn’t trade what it gave me for anything I have lost.
What I Took from Cancer
My cancer diagnosis forced me to take a long, hard look at my life. When time to do and be more is not guaranteed, priorities change dramatically. I took that as a call to action and used it to drive me.
I used it as a springboard to let my creativity bloom. It drove me to right past wrongs, to heal relationships, to nurture new ones, and to grow my spiritual life.
It gave me the courage to say no when I felt the word was appropriate. It forced me to accept an imperfect version of myself and redefine what beautiful really means.
It gave me the insight to know that my imperfection makes me more empathetic, more real, more concerned about what really matters.
It gave me the freedom to dream bigger than I have ever dreamed before because every day the sun rises I am acutely aware that I have a chance to do what cancer didn’t want me to do…LIVE.
From the day of my diagnosis to now, I have been determined to steal more from cancer than it has stolen from me. Even if it kills me, I get to decide if it enriches my life or erodes it. I choose enrichment, and when I do, cancer cries.
This blog post is written in honor of one my dearest friends who has metastatic breast cancer. She, like all other breast cancer survivors, has the heart of a lion and I love her.