It’s so crazy how time just keeps right on ticking. Happy or sad, healthy or sick, it gives no thought to our struggles and triumphs. 7 years ago, I was sitting in a hospital room receiving my final chemotherapy treatment and thinking about how much I’d been through over the course of the previous 9 months. Of course, at that point in my life, I thought I had hit rock bottom. For sure, it can’t get any worse than this. I remember saying those words in my head… Unfortunately, I had never been so wrong. Crohn’s Disease was just starting it’s assault on my poor little body. I would go on to undergo 2 surgeries, and many months in the hospital. But on this day, I took a huge step towards healing. On this day, I completed my final chemo treatment and walked out of the hospital, bald and proud. I did it. I beat Cancer. If I can beat Cancer, I can do anything. I really meant it, and I mean it still.
It changes you, you know? Beating Cancer changes you in so many ways. It made me stronger, and more confident. It gave me gratitude for things I used to take for granted. It helped me get to know my body and the way it functions. It made me scared of things I didn’t used to fear. It made me open to things I used to never consider. It took away my fear of death. It forced me to live the life I want to live and not stress about things that don’t matter. I learned that the small stuff really isn’t worth worrying about. Beating Cancer made me better, and worse. But 7 years later, I’m looking back and I accept the bad in with the good. It changed me in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and in ways I’m grateful for.
So as time marches on, I find myself looking more and more into the future, and leaving the past behind. I will always remember what these experiences taught me, of course… But with each and every passing year that I remain “Cancer Free,” I feel more and more confident that I will stay this way. More confident that I will see my son become a husband and a father, more confident that I will retire with my husband and travel the world. More confident that we will watch our grandkids get married. And that, is something I definitely look forward to.
And with that in mind, I feel a renewed sense of life every January. While everyone is planning their New Year’s Resolutions, I am celebrating another year Cancer Free and my thoughts are turned to what I’ve been through and accomplished. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, they feel more like goals for my life. This year, I was shocked when I realized it had been 7 years… and I’d love to share with you the things I’m hoping and dreaming for.
- Expanding our Family: We are anxiously hoping to adopt again. We’d love to have a new little baby join our family. I just know Dominic will be a great big brother!
- Continuing to Blog: This blog has brought me so many amazing experiences and led me to so many amazing people. I hope I can always find time to keep it up.
- Learning Photography: This is something I’ve loved doing for a long time, and hope to continue learning and improving my skills.
- Succeeding in my professional life: I have a job at our family business that I love, and I hope to have the office running so smoothly, that anyone can walk in there and do my job anytime they want to.
- Buying a Home: Tim and I are trying quite diligently to get further south so we can cut down on our commute and spend more time as a family.
- CCFA Camp Counselor: If you remember, last year I was hospitalized with a bowel obstruction during the week that I was supposed to go to camp. I plan to apply, and try again!
- Volunteer and Service: I want to implement new and different opportunities to serve others as a family so that we can teach our son the importance of thinking about others.
- Write a Book: This is something I’ve thought about and wanted to do for quite a while. I don’t expect to have it totally done in a certain amount of time… but I definitely will be working on it and figuring out which direction I want to go with it. :)
These are just a few of my dreams and goals that I plan to pursue. And along the way, I will always remember the struggles and experiences that led me here. I will never forget the bald girl who discovered most of these dreams.