Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26, 2014

It has been years since my last post.  I’m just going to relish that for a second. It has been two,  delightful years of totally clear scans (no evidence of disease); wonderful family adventures; awesomely mundane daily living; and fantastic smiles, hugs, and kisses from perfect baby Kai who is now 4 years old. And right now, more than ever, I am thankful. I am thankful for life. I am thankful for my amazing life. I am thankful for how full my amazing life is with pure love, friendship, happiness, joy, and satisfaction.

When I was in college, during one of our routine middle-of-the-night coffee shop philosophical discussions, my friend, Miguel, asked us all to look into the future and then look back at ourselves as we were that day and describe what is different between the then present-time self and the projected future self. We had various, profound, 18-year old answers, like “that’s when I decided never to let society hold me back,” “that’s when I was able to stick to my ideals,” and, more truthfully, “that’s when I used all my laundry quarters on pinball.” But at the time, the single most important aspect I projected onto my future self was simple satisfaction. I hoped with all of my might for the simple pleasure of someday being able to look at my life and say, “Oh good, I’m okay with all of this.”  That’s it; that was the best I was hoping for. Well 20-years-ago me, brace yourself, because you’re about to get a big dose of holy-crap-didn’t-know-it-was-possible-only-read-about-it-in-books-pure-life-ecstasy slap across the face (and on the leg, and in the liver, and in the pancreas, and pretty much everywhere actually).  

Of course I am so very thankful for beating cancer. But I am also thankful for having cancer in the first place. Because it’s true what they say, you don’t know what you got until it’s (almost) gone. And when it is almost gone, what bubbles to the surface is every human connection, every minute of love, every one of your grandmother’s cookies, every silly song and dance routine between friends, every night you are blessed to sleep in a warm house, every ridiculous outfit laughed about later (I’m talking to you colored, footless tights under jean shorts), every bit of praise, every rallying cheer, every ounce of parental love, every bright beautiful flower, every rainbow, every sandcastle built with your uncle, every feeling of success no matter how small, every act of courage, every shining look of approval in your partner’s eyes, and every child’s smile of delight. These are the things that fill our lives. These are the things that give us meaning. These are the things that should define us. And for this understanding, melanoma you crazy bitch, I thank you. In your attempt to take away everything I have, you have given me the ability to truly acknowledge all of life’s wonder. In your attempts to destroy me, you have made me more appreciative, more confident, more aware, more compassionate, and above all more thankful. There is not one thing I own that will ever be as great a gift as the lessons I have learned. As I think about the many wonderful things I am thankful for, I won’t forget to list the little things.  Because it’s the little things, all added together, that are the true meaningful of life. And for that, I am thankful.

I have had several requests to update this blog so that people would know I am okay. I am wonderful. I am here.  Thank you so much for your continued concern and support. If anyone needs help, please please please reach out and ask. If there’s anything I can share with you (lessons learned, treatment options, where to go for information), I would be overjoyed to do so.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone, and may we all give thanks every day.