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July 16, 2010

What a difference a year makes

As I drove to work this morning, something in the air sparked a memory within me. The weather looked the same, my clothes and car felt the same but yet everything was completely different. Then I realized.

It’s exactly a year ago today that I first heard my doctor’s diagnosis. The words: “You’ve got cancer,” are indelibly etched on my memory. I will never forget how I felt at the time. Cheated, sad, angry, mad, disbelief – a range of emotions went through me. I raced out of my office to immediately have a cigarette. Yes, I am aware of the idiocy of that action!

I remember vaguely gathering my stuff and racing out of the office crying. I went immediately to a bar where I met one of my close friends. She was in the process of receiving dramatic news herself. Her best friend had just become involved with her ex, the father of her child. It didn’t help that her current fiancĂ© is also the best friend’s ex husband. Can you say JERRY!? So we drank and chatted and commiserated. I phoned a few people to tell them and we cried and chatted and cried some more.

That was only the beginning. I had no idea what to expect and no idea how this experience would change me, only the vague inkling that it would, irrevocably. I was afraid. Afraid of losing my life, leaving my daughter, pain – all of it! Little did I know that this journey would be one of the most awesome, inspiring and life changing I would ever embark on.

Flash forward to now. I am now literally half the woman I used to be. To put it gently for my more sensitive readers, I no longer have all my women ‘bits’. I had tests done, was poked, prodded and examined and they told me I had to have an operation. I did. I was petrified of the operation, the hospital, the possibility that I may not survive. I DID live through it. I survived. Not only did I survive – I came out of all this a changed and better person. I believe that certain things are given to us as gifts in disguise. This was one of those. I now realize that we all take life way too much for granted. We take our friends and loved ones for granted. Life is short. It’s meant to be lived and lived well.

So, this morning looking at the sunrise against the bleak winter sky, I smiled. I remember that scared little person I once was. I fondly waved at her and faced the day with gratitude.

Everyday is a gift. Use it well. Tell the ones you love that you love them. Do it now, before it’s too late!

1 comment:

  1. Wow.
    I can harldy believe its been a whole year already.