Grateful for Cancer? Well…. Yes! Thank You, Cancer!

I’m WELL over due for a post.  It’s amazing how I can allow little things to take up my time when I could be blogging instead.  Sadly…. I forget how much I enjoy it till I do it.

Today I read a post from a friend on Facebook.  It’s an open letter to her cancer fight that she just went through.  It’s so beautifully written and said so many of the things that I felt while I was on my own battle with cancer that I asked her if I could share it here.

Before I do…. let me first give a long overdue update on my own condition.  I am 18 months out past my last treatment.  I go in for my semi-annual scan/check up next week.  I’ve been feeling great in that aspect.  Though I’ve been dealing with some digestive issues (which I’m completely blaming on diet) and some bad joint pain (which is because of age AND chemo…..)….. I’m doing great!  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first grand child which I’m SURE I will blog about shortly!  But really, life is great!

10.16-Be-GratefulBelow is the open letter my friend Lori Rees posted on her Facebook page.  It explains so wonderfully that even though going through cancer is not fun….. you learn so much and are truly blessed in SO many ways!  With permission, here is Lori’s letter:

An open letter to my Cancer:
Dear Cancer,
I am writing today because I feel like I haven’t told you how I feel about having had you in my life, and I hate to leave any relationship unresolved.
You came into my life when I least expected you. I had never felt more healthy-physically, mentally and spiritually. How ironic, right? Well, thank you for choosing such a time to arrive. My body had been building a fortress and I was prepared.
Actually, there are many things for which I would like to thank you.
Thank you for introducing yourself so clearly. I knew you were an alien visitor when I felt you for the first time. I knew I couldn’t wait to introduce you to my doctor, and take a closer look.
Thank you for allowing me to meet such amazing professionals at Huntsman, who gave me wonderful advice, re-assurance, and care.
Thank you for allowing me to meet other patients who inspired me and helped me along the way.
Thank you for showing me the kindness of complete strangers who offered hugs.
Thank you for re-connecting me with friends who reached out and encouraged me, and showed me such love.
Thank you for letting me accept help from my neighbors and friends, who cooked meals for us, mowed our lawn, and checked up on our family. That vulnerability is sometimes difficult to give in to. But I realized that accepting that love, support and help from others, is healing for all involved.
Thank you for showing me how strong a mother’s love is. My mother stepped in and didn’t allow me to lift a finger with laundry or housework. Thank’s Mom!
Thank you for showing me how important it is to do what I love to do.
Thank you for teaching me that being present in every moment is what I should always strive for. Every day counts. Every moment counts. Cliche? Maybe. But true.
Most of all, thank you for the realization that I am much stronger than I ever thought I was.
During our relationship, I never gave you any points or credit for anything. But I suppose I ought to have given you one. You get one point for my hair. I loved mine, and I miss it. I had worn short hair for 20 years, and one day, decided to grow it out. It took 7 years to get it long and luscious, and I was having fun with it. I am an actress, and I loved my “new look,” as I was just gaining my stride, getting back into the business. So you can chalk that one up, and know you knocked me down a peg, but you didn’t take anything else away from me. I can say that with confidence. You were never allowed to take away my optimism, my determination, or my spirit of adventure. And you certainly didn’t take away my talent.
So, who won? I guess it’s a matter of perspective. If your intent was to take my life, literally, or figuratively, then you lost. Big-time. But if you intended to show me a few things about myself and others; if you wanted to keep me on my toes, then you won. Either way, I get to be a better person for it.
So, as I say goodbye, know that I have no contempt for you. I don’t blame you for wanting to know me. I’m a pretty great gal! But I must ask you to respect my wishes and never return. I think we both gained all we could in this relationship. Let’s not make it messy, by dragging it out.
Lori Rees, Survivor.

Isn’t that beautifully written? I absolutely love it!  And I can relate to every bit of it (other than my treatments were with Cancer Specialists at IMC and my own Mom was too old to help…. though believe me, she would have if she could have!).  This is brilliant.  I wish my thoughts had been so clear.  If you are, by chance, interested in reading about my own battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma…. click on the “When Your Life Hits a Wall” tab at the top of the blog. When you hover over the tab, you’ll see many additional pages with all the updates.  I’ve numbered them so you can read them in order if you’d like.

While cancer sucks, as we all know…..  having a good attitude about the journey helps immensely! I’m so grateful that I did and that people like Lori can inspire us all to look at it with a positive attitude! Thanks for letting me share, Lori!  There are lessons in almost everything around us in life if we look for them!  As the old song says…. “Look For The Silver Lining”.

I Am Grateful! How Are You?