March 17, 2010

moving on...

how do you move on after cancer? or do you ever really move on? as i've gone through all this, i have assumed that when i was declared in remission, or when i finished treatment, or when i reach one year post treatment i'll move on. and, now, i've become aware that i probably never will move on in the same way that i've moved on with other major life events.

cancer is different, it's changed everything. from the minute i recieved a cancer diagnosis, my world was forever changed. at twenty four, while everyone else was worrying about graduate school, relationships, finances and where they would be in five years, i was forced to face my own mortality and take on a disease that would kill me if i didn't do anything. i had to quickly come to grips with everything traumatizing about it and jump into months of grueling treatments, scans, labs, exams, hospital procedures and doctors appointments. so, i got a break from all the things all my friends were stressing about...but, it wasn't exactly the break that i would have envisioned.

now, as i look forward to finishing all my treatments in the next month or so, and getting back to my 'normal' twenty something life, i realize i may never completely move on. everyone outside of the cancer world expects me to jump back in to my life with cancer behind me. but, how can something that changed everything about you ever really be behind you? it simply can' will always be with me. explaining that to everyone, it seems, will be my next greatest challenge.

some days i wish i could stay inside the cancer world forever. it's a world where everyone just gets it. i don't have to explain what it's like to go through everything i've gone through, and i can assume that everyone in that world just understands that cancer is part of me now. but, most people in my world don't get it...because, thankfully, most people in their twenties haven't experienced cancer.

so, as i continue on this next chapter in my life, i hope that i can find some balance between the two worlds i live in. the cancer world has given me perspective, wisdom, strength and a will to live each and every day fully. the rest of the world has given me an opportunity to use everything i've gained in the cancer world in a productive and positive way. i will strive to take the best parts of my cancer world with me back into the rest of the world, and leave the negative parts behind to visit only when i choose to venture back into the cancer world - which i may do from time to time...

...but, those will just be visits, when i need a break from the rest of the world, a reminder of where i've been, and a reminder of why i'm here.

1 comment:

  1. Grace - write a book PLEASE! Your writing is AWESOME! You say things that anyone could read and relate to. I agree - cancer will always be a part of our lives. The thoughts of cancer fade as you get further and further out from treatment, but it's good to go back and think about where we've been. You've come a long way...and like I said the first time I read your blog - you're an inspiration.

    Sending love always!