Letter From April Issue No. 1

Welcome to 2016!

Recently, WNIC radio in Detroit asked their followers in social media to describe their 2015 in one word. As grateful as I am to have survived cancer that seemed like an easy question for me to answer–but it wasn’t.

I paused. I thought. I reflected.

Like snippets of a movie I recalled the events of last year; I had two surgeries for breast reconstruction. I thought about the stress and anxiety I felt with each of them and immediately felt dread over the next one. I thought about the challenges I’ve faced physically and emotionally as I try to find my way back to recovery.

I thought about friends and family who are no longer a part of my life due to disagreements, arrogance, death or distance. It made me a little sad. In the moment the best words I could find to describe 2015 were “grateful” and “good.” But those words seem so overused and monotonous.

Convinced there was a better word I continued to reflect.

I survived cancer. And that’s a BIG deal! My hair has made a come back and it’s almost the same length it was before chemotherapy stole it away from me.  I’ve met some pretty amazing women along the way, and I’ve learned I’m one of them. I do not say this in arrogance. It’s more like surprise.  I’ve always admired the strength and abilities of  other women but never really saw my own.  And for the first time, November, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror and recognized the woman looking back at me. What a feeling!

And then, the icing on the cake of 2015 came to mind; the day I married the man who loved me through it all. My rock. My cheerleader. My best friend. He’s the one who said we could do it–I could it–when I had my doubts. He told me I was beautiful even when my appearance faded with chemotherapy. He comforted me when I was nervous, scared or worried (and he still does). The day we said I DO was “perfect” for us. We were married in beautiful Santa Barbara in a quaint ceremony. I danced down the aisle with my dad to the song Today I Met The Boy I’m Going To Marry. And when the officiant said,

Do you promise to love, honor and cherish in sickness and in health?

I teared up. I could barely speak. After a long pause I whispered “I do.” My new husband stared at me with tears in his eyes and my dad had to look away so as to not let me see the emotion in his. Everyone knew our love had already been tested. We took our vows with the full awareness that life can change or end in an instant.

With memories like these the only word to describe my 2015 is EXTRAORDINARY! And for that, I am GRATEFUL.

Looking forward; 2016

In 2016 I hope to remain cancer-free and healthy. I will continue to work on strengthening my body and immune system. Unfortunately, I will have additional surgeries to complete breast reconstruction. As you can imagine, I dread them. But I look forward to getting it all behind me.

I hope to bring you  interesting content with more consistency. I thank you for welcoming me to the blogosphere. I appreciate those of you who have followed me and offered encouragement while I create my little space on the web. I look forward to getting to know you all so much more in the days to come. May this find you at the beginning of  a healthy and happy year. And remember; if you like what you read here, share it!

Now tell me, what one word would you use to describe your 2015?

 

Image sourced at iStock

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