... it was cancer. I was wrapping up my first year of teaching (and wishing I had remained a secretary instead of undertake a Sysiphean task like educating teenagers) and was trying to integrate a new identity as a survivor while the cancer was still in my body. My surgery was scheduled for June 2005 - double mastectomy and reconstruction. I was so overwhelmed with the entire process of becoming a patient, but I fought on, doing my best to raise my infant child while my husband was away at his 5th rehab.
That was the year I turned 30, the reason I started this blog, to reconcile being a young adult with a deadly disease - and to avoid talking to people on the phone about my personal devastation.
For me, five years is now a lifetime away. How much has changed, the downward spiral that was my life now on an upward trajectory I could have never predicted.
Having cancer, not one but TWICE (local recurrence in Fall 2007), has humbled me, signaling to me that life IS wildly unpredictable and too short, showing me that pursuing altruistic goals is a way to also help myself. To be a conduit of kindness, to be present in the service of others... how rewarding it has been to make myself, my skills and knowledge available to others so that their lives can be better, even in the smallest of ways...
I truly believe that none of this would have been possible without cancer in my life, not that I wanted cancer, but apparently, the Universe needed me to find myself through the cancer experience.
Where is this coming from, this cancer nostalgia? A friend from elementary school was recently diagnosed, and I am writing this for her.
Plus I am breathing life back into this poor, neglected blog. Yes, I do love my Facebook, but it only scratches the surface, you know?
(Image courtesy of Postcard From Provence - check it out here!)