I realize that Christmas has come and gone and that we are well into the new year, but I wanted to share a guest post I wrote for my friend Jason Bournesm's blog .
No Christmas Tree for Christmas
Three years ago I was shocked beyond belief when my doctor gave me a cancer diagnosis. That particular moment is vivid in my mind, but the moments after the words “You have stage IIB cervical cancer” are a blur. It was mid November of 2008, right before the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
Needless to say after receiving such a diagnosis, I wasn’t in the spirit for any of the holidays. At the time everything went dark. I thought, Thanksgiving?? What do I have to give thanks for? For having cancer? I was forgetting the rest of my blessings around me. I was only focused on the words that I had just heard. I was giving up, before I even started to fight back. For me, it was the beginning of the end.
The Family~Christmas 2011
I went into a cocoon, asking myself over and over, “What did I do wrong to deserve this?” I didn't want to see anyone, no family, no friends. That year there was no giving thanks on Thanksgiving, no Christmas tree or gifts for Christmas, no party or champagne cheers for the new year. What was the sense of doing all that if I felt uncertain about my life. I was facing my own mortality.
It took a while to gather my strength to get ready to fight back. I was fighting for my life. It was a difficult journey, but I won the battle. God gave me a second shot at life.
Now, I give thanks every day like if it was Thanksgiving. I celebrate and see every day as a gift giving to me like if it was Christmas, and I live every day like if it was a New Year’s day. There is so much I want to do, and I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I see life differently now, and what seemed like a big thing before is not so big now. Life is good!!
~ You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt