I am 1 year and 1 month out from my breast cancer diagnosis and the losses are adding up exponentially. I have lost both of my breasts, I have lost my business, I have lost my hair, eyebrows & eyelashes, I have lost my mother and grandmother to cancer, I have lost numerous friendships, I have lost my identity, I have lost a whole year of my life, I have lost my peace of mind, I have lost thousands of tears, I have lost numerous friends that did not survive their cancer...I have lost so very much that I could just keep going, page after page, of all of the loss that has come as a result of my breast cancer diagnosis in November 2015. But I don't want to focus on all of the loss, I want to focus on what I have gained.
As I write my book about my breast cancer journey, it reminds me that with all of the pain and loss I have experienced, I have also been rewarded with so much. I have my life. I have the distinct sense that death is always near and can come at anytime and I am no longer afraid of it or so I tell myself. I have accepted that I will die, maybe from breast cancer, I don't know, and I don't need to know. I will stay in the present moment as often as I can, pulling myself out of the grief that comes with a cancer journey. I will cherish all of the moments I spend with my husband and son and all of my family and friends. I will smile and feel joy and cry when I feel pain. I will live as fully as I can for as long as I am here.
I will spend time with other women that have cancer and share with them all of the lessons I have learned on this cancer journey. I will honor myself and my loss. I will also honor you and your losses to cancer. I am here for you, to support you and your loved ones with cancer. I will also honor my limitations. I cannot bring a cure for cancer, but I can bring love and compassion. I will continue to write my book and share all of the intimate photos of my breasts that my husband Wiley took on our journey, from beginning to end, if it will help even one woman make peace with the changes that breast cancer inflicts. I will remember my friends that fought cancer so bravely and lost. I will hug my family and friends and tell them how much I love them this holiday season and I encourage you to do the same. Life is short and so precious. Enjoy every moment of this gift of life that you have been given. Happy Holidays!