On the eve of my cancerversary, I thought I should take some time to reflect on my past year. March 7th, 2014 is a date which will forever live in infamy for me. (I also think this particular phrasing is fitting for my History buff lifestyle.) I remember the look on my parents faces and Steph’s expression when I came to from the anesthesia and they already knew. They knew what I hoped I would never have to acknowledge. No one and I mean absolutely no one wants to hear that they have cancer. And I am no different. It’s a life changing diagnosis, the kind that shakes your world to very core. Everything from that moment on is different or at the very least it seems like it anyway. My response to my diagnosis came as a surprise to even me. Prior to hearing that I had cancer, I was a pessimistic realist who often felt blind sided by life. I would have bet everything that this news would have sent me over the edge. But in that moment, it just didn’t. It didn’t ruin me, in many ways it gave me an opportunity to be the best possible version of me. So suddenly, I am shrouded in positivity and I intend to love the life I’ve got.

Some of the things I learned or have pondered this past year about myself, life, cancer, the universe, and anything and everything in between (some of which are highlighted in my posts):

  • Cancer does NOT have to be a death sentence.
  • Despite that statement, there is NOTHING more terrifying.
  • Life is not always fair, but no one ever really insisted that it was.
  • One sentence – one moment can change everything.
  • There are NO guarantees in life, so make the most of it.
  • I believe that every second of every day matters.
  • I think everyone should train themselves to find the blessing in everything.
  • It’s important to note that sometimes sunny skies are accompanied by rain.
  • Cancer affects everyone in some way or another.
  • My parents are my rocks.
  • My family, friends, and boyfriend are simply amazing.
  • Accept hugs, help, and anything else people have to offer.
  • I am stronger than I ever thought possible.
  • Any filter I had, disappeared. Life is too short to hold anything back.
  • I am a statistical anomaly. In other words, I’m an enigma.
  • In my mind, a bone marrow aspiration must be almost as bad as labor (or at least how I’ve heard it described).
  • Having a great sense of humor can completely change the feel of a situation.
  • Find a doctor that gets you, because they make all the difference. (I couldn’t be more grateful for Z.)
  • Make friends everywhere you go (include your oncology nurses, because they know how to have one hell of a good time).
  • Joining a support group really does make a difference. So does journaling, blogging or anything else that gives you an outlet to talk about your feelings.
  • Having cancer turns you into a pre-med student.
  • In the beginning, your cancer binder is to you what your blanky was when you were a child.
  • You can still be quite fashionable despite your lack of hair and very noticeable scars.
  • Scarves are trendy.
  • I like to get dressed up for chemo, because looking good makes me feel good.
  • Attend a Look Good Feel Better make up class if one is offered near you, the make up tips I learned were just worth it (so were the free gifts).
  • Radiation burns sort of heals like a nice tan (minus the spinal column outline).
  • I am thankful for my port, which I detested in the beginning. This way no one tries to stab me with needles when they can’t find a vein.
  • Always get a second opinion if you feel your situation warrants one.
  • Advocate for yourself, because at the end of the day you are the only one who can. The decisions are yours to make. Take a hard line if you need to.
  • Don’t let cancer become your life or even your hobby.
  • It’s ok to forget you have cancer and it’s equally ok to live like you don’t.
  • It’s normal to have a meltdown every once in a while.
  • Sometimes I feel like everyone else gets to move on with their life and all I get to do is move on to the next treatment option. Those feelings are generally very short lived.
  • Don’t throw yourself a pity party, it won’t do you any good.
  • Pushing people away only makes them want to be closer.
  • Worry gets you nowhere, neither does complaining.
  • I learned more about life and love in this past year than in all of the years of my life so far.
  • You can date even though you have cancer, you can also fall madly in love even though you have cancer. (You may just have to keep an eye on blood and platelet counts.)
  • Cancer has no set path, it will take you by surprise every time.
  • Not everyone who has cancer is sick.
  • I wear sea bands to chemo because I choose to believe they make a difference.
  • I have a new found love for ginger candy.
  • You can in fact have a pizza party in your hospital room.
  • ICE chemo makes you feel drunk and you should absolutely refrain from online shopping while infusing.
  • You can never change your cancer staging, no matter how much you try.
  • The scenic road always takes longer, but it gives you an opportunity to experience the journey.
  • Sometimes you have to fight a battle a bunch of times before you can win.
  • Sometimes you have to take a chance, even if you don’t know the outcome. (clinical trials included)
  • I have more faith now than I did before my diagnosis.
  • I have a whole new perspective on life. I know what matters and what doesn’t.
  • Always be thankful for the people in your life and the time you’ve been given.
  • I love the person I’ve become because I fought to become her!

2015-03-05 19.45.50


8 thoughts on “Cancerversary”

  1. Just read your last 2 blogs. Krista, you never cease to amaze me.. You are an inspiration, not just for people with cancer, but for everyone. You have the wisdom and attitude of an “old soul” yet you have the energy and enthusiasm for life that only the young can have….don’t ever change. Love you

    Liked by 1 person

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