Cancer, thanks for the most confusing relationship of my life.

If you stay right here, and live right here, the world will grow bigger and clearer and more terrifying and more beautiful than it’s ever been before. That’s what happens when you refuse to look away or protect yourself from what’s right in front of you. You can take in the full scope of what you have and what you stand to lose. You can see past the jibber-jabber and the noise and the empty shiny distractions. You understand how little time you have left. You are finally wide awake.
— Heather Havrilesky
Post-op on May 2nd.

Post-op on May 2nd.

I have been so worried about writing this post. I've tried a dozen times, but I just don't know where to start or what to say.

Truth be told, I'm really mad and angry at cancer. I hate it... and yet, at moments, I am also grateful to it all at once. A paradox that I can't help but laugh and cry at.

Tomorrow I find out if they did in fact remove all of the cancer cells two weeks ago when they removed the equivalent of two Snickers bars from my leg. Two weeks ago, I had no idea what this recovery period would look or feel like. I had been so focused on getting to my surgery day, sane, and positive, that I didn't take a moment to ask myself or anyone else, what it would be like to be in recovery.

I wish I had. It's been 15 days, and I am still in pain. I am so frustrated, angry, and sad. My mobility, or lack thereof, has been the most constant reminder of what we just went through. Everyday I wake up, and as I move slowly out of my bed, and put pressure on my leg, I am reminded of the past two and a half months of agony. Of waking up unsure of what the day will be like, trying my best to choose positive thoughts and actions, while feeling as though there's an anchor weighing down my spirit and my life.

Fuck you cancer.

The day I was diagnosed with you, we were set to launch our new distribution system, to help spread and proliferate the impact of Dream, Girl around the world. Because of you, we were delayed, and now, as we have to alter our sales process with limited time before our launch, I look back on 'wasted time' spent worrying about you, dealing with you, and trying to find ways to accept you. All I want to do is help others, share our mission with the world, be there for Erin, but all you're making me do is question my very existence and capacity for action. EFF YOU.

The next month is going to change our lives. Dream, Girl is going to be released to the world, this gift we have been creating for two years... I am so full, so overwhelmed, so in awe of how much we can handle and persevere through. Cancer, you're one hell of a curve ball, and there's so many moments when I just can't help but laugh at the circumstances of my life. Like, WTF IS LIFE RIGHT NOW!?

You have made me so acutely aware of my humanity, of the impermanence of human life. You've forced me to deeply understand that I have no business expecting anything of this life. That my greatest gratitude must come from each breath I have the privilege of taking, and every time I get to say 'I love you,' to the people I love. Although this often brings me great sadness, I've become so aware of what matters most to me in this life. For this, I thank you cancer.

I thank you for helping me question and understand my desire the past two weeks to disassociate from my pain and anguish, to numb out. You've helped me realize that as I learn to accept my circumstances, and surrender to the hand that's been dealt to me, I can choose love, and choose compassion both for my circumstances, and for those suffering so much more than me. I can let others touch my heart, and I can get out of my head and move past my own story.

Hanging with the fam post-op.

Hanging with the fam post-op.

You brought my family together. Because of you, my parents stayed with Mitch's family, and they spent great, meaningful time together. In no other scenario would this have happened. Considering this silver lining, how could I not be grateful to you cancer?

You've made me take care of my nutrition, you've made me fight for me health. Thank you.

You led me to meeting a Buddhist monk who spoke to my soul. You showed me the depth of love, caring, passion, and grit my best friend and business partner is capable of mustering. You showed me my resilience, and ability to come back to my light and joy in the face of the greatest challenge. You showed me how loved I truly am. You reminded me of the people in my life I am blessed to call my friends and family. You gave me an opportunity to show up for myself.

You have also blessed me with a story, and an experience, that I can share with others who are going through similar, or worse experiences. To enable our collective empathy and compassion to grow.

You've brought richness to my life. But you've also brought waves of the greatest sorrow I've ever known. You've left me suspended in oblivion held by a golden thread that gives me life.

You've made sure I never take anything for granted ever again.

Courtesy of Katie and WANTcast.

Courtesy of Katie and WANTcast.

To live a full life is a privilege. To do the work that we do through Dream, Girl is a privilege. To have the supports that I do is a privilege. To have access to great health care and health supports is a privilege. Thank you for these reminders.

Regardless of tomorrow's outcome, I hope to make the best of the hand I've been dealt. To keep finding the courage to take the next step forward. To break open and show up through my greatest highs and lowest lows.

I never would have imagined that my life would look like this on any front. But today, in this moment, I hold the deepest gratitude to every challenge and joy that has come my way, and every challenge and joy that is yet to come -- for experiencing them as fully as possible is the most needed reminder that I am truly alive.