It's my three year cancerversary. This day is bittersweet. I remember back to September 1st of 2007, when I officially called myself cancer-free. It was a Saturday, still pretty hot out. I had just finished my radiation treatment the day before. It sort of felt like your last day of college- you feel like you should be more excited to be done, but you don't actually feel different. I couldn't actually believe that it was all over. I was too scared to tell myself it was done. I figured when Monday rolled around, Dr. Siv would call me back and tell me the tumors hadn't shrunk, and he'd like to do just a "couple" more rounds of chemo....
But Monday came, and he didn't. It was done. I started to feel better...physically. No more metallic taste, I didn't feel like I was going to vomit (constantly). The sunburn-like effect started to disappear from my chest and neck. My hair was not falling out. It was starting to feel amazing- but I was still absolutely terrified. I immediately thought I was crazy, so immediately found the number of a psychologist who I could talk to about my constant fear of being sick again. Ironically, she was also a cancer survivor, so she really helped......a lot. But time seemed to pass, and 3 years later here I am. I just had my blood work, PET & CT Scans done last month....I was a nervous wreck, but happy to say I'm still CANCER-FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So tonight I'm sitting here realizing how lucky I am, and that perhaps my cancer was a gift. I know it sounds crazy, because when I had first said it out loud, I was like helllllll no it wasn't....but I think it was. It was not fun, but going through all of that really made me grow up. I learned some of life's most important lessons in the young age of 23. I never used to think it was fair, but now that I look back I wouldn't change a thing. Also- I cannot even tell you how incomplete my life would be without my "cancer-sisters". They are the amazing women who serve on the Alumni Leadership committee with me: Erin, Amelia, Hailey, & Melanie. Also, Sam, who STARTED the SAMFund, and Michelle, my honorary cancer sister :) I met these women through the SAMFund, and you would all be blown away by their stories. They're people that will be in my life forever. When I'm feeling down, scared, or freaked out that I feel a tumor in my neck, I can call them. They can relate to everything I feel. They are my support system. When I get scared, I think about what each and every one of them has been through and realize that I am so blessed. If I had never had cancer, I would never have gotten to know these people.
I would not be ok with that. They mean too much to me. I wouldn't go back and change any occurrences in my life, even if a magic genie granted me the power to. They are simply that important.
So, I just had to get on here and give them a shout-out. I tell them this way too much, but they are such inspiration to me. As I celebrate my own cancerversary, I thank God that my cancer-sisters are also celebrating their health, and just recently passed & upcoming cancerversaries.
I've been through hell and back, but each year when this day comes along I tell myself it was worth it. I would never give up what I have now because of it.