I’ll never forget those words that the doctor said to Kayla:
You have ovarian cancer.
A year ago today, our lives completely changed. I knew the anniversary date was coming up, but I’ve tried not to think about it because I didn’t intend to acknowledge any kind of anniversary. The last year has been difficult and scary and I just didn’t want to give cancer the satisfaction of knowing it was still getting to us. Kayla is in remission now. The cancer is gone. So why bring it up?
But then I got a text from Kayla today. She is choosing to acknowledge the anniversary. She is embracing the fact that cancer changed her. It made her braver, stronger, and open to trying new things. She got a view of the world that not all of us have the privilege of viewing. That view that changes your perspective and teaches you that all of the silly, meaningless things that many of us get so worked up about are really not important. Living well and loving life – that’s what’s important, folks.
When I heard those words one year ago, my life changed, too. I came out the other side much stronger and braver as well. I say yes to fun a lot more often. The shit at work that used to stress me out? Not important. The house that gets dirty and there are chores to be done, but the fresh air and sunshine are calling outside? My tan will tell you who wins out on that battle.
We spent all of our summer last year in the hospital, or at home indoors nursing Kayla. This summer we decided that we were going to just relax and have fun and enjoy things as much as possible. My summer has been jam-packed with fun activities and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon.
So yeah, cancer, you suck. But thank you. Thank you for helping my family realize just how precious life is, and for teaching us to never take life for granted again.