Anyone that really knows me also knows that I am not quick with talk about my personal inner workings. I have a tendency to keep it close and work things out by myself. Great, happy things that are going on, I feel free to talk about, but let it be something hard, a struggle I am facing and I am locked up tighter than Fort Knox. I am never surprised at the shocked faces when friends slowly find out things that have happened months prior. And it usually happens with a “oh and this thing happened. Blah. Blah. Blah” followed by a quick “hold the heck on” from my friends. I am currently working to change that.
Last night, in the course of a conversation, I did the same thing to yet another person. As we were talking, I said something about being a cancer survivor. Shock crossed his face. “What?!?” My response? “I thought I told you.” And then I went on to tell him my story, answering any questions he had along the way.
I also told him that I had a cancer scare last year. During that scare, on the outside, I was very much “it’s nothing”. On the inside, I was scared as hell. My cousin died of breast cancer at a very young age. Every scare I have had along my journey was magnified when my doctors were told about this fact. The most common response was “that is way too young”. The way they treated me and my illness was always with that in mind and I am grateful. Any occurrence was usually found early and dealt with little invasion to my body or my life. While I was irritated about having to possess specialists and see them far more frequently than I cared (and I’m sure far more frequently than my insurance company cared for), it was always the reason things were discovered and dealt with so early.
Now of course I had some meltdowns along the way last year, but for the most part I kept a positive or at least a “positive” attitude. In October, one week after my 33rd birthday, I had surgery to take out the mass that was in question. The surgery was walk-in (love the advances of medicine!) and when the tests were completed, the results came back benign. After 7 months, I could finally breathe easy again.
5 months later, all I have left from that is a little scar that will fade over time but is a constant reminder of just how fragile life really is. I see the scar everyday and it has really affected my way of thinking. In January, I decided that I was going to join Team Rio and finally run the half marathon that I have been dying to run for almost 8 years now. In February, in an effort to aid my marathon training and my well-being all together, I joined D1 for a year to do boot camp 5 days a week. I’ve committed to a golf scramble in March. I am going to go skydiving this summer with a friend of mine (yes, I am jumping out of a perfectly functioning plane). I am doing the Warrior Dash with her in September, as well. I tell my friends that I love them when I get off the phone with them or when we part ways because I don’t want them to wonder how I feel about them for a second. I am meeting new people and forming new relationship because I refuse to let fear get in my way anymore. Wow! I am starting to feel like a Tim McGraw song!! 🙂
Ultimately, I’ve decided that I am going to try to live like I have a million tomorrows and at the same time, live like today is my last. I want to make every second count because really I’m not guaranteed my next. And if I live to be 100, I don’t want to look back wishing I had done something that I let slip by, regretting time not spent with people I enjoyed, not loving people fully because fear and pride got in the way. I want to look back and know I lived to the fullest of my ability.
So call me crazy because of the things I’ve gotten myself involved with. Look at my schedule and wonder what the heck I am thinking. But I will tell you one thing, I am loving my life right now. I can’t tell you the last time I have felt this content and at peace. I may be busy and on the go, but I am not living in “oh, I wish I had” moments anymore. I am working on opening myself up to whatever the world is going to bring me and taking on life’s lessons along the way. This is really why I do what I do.