When I hear the word gift I think of the silver linings of cancer. The kind doctors, nurses, technicians and fellow cancer patients I have met along the way. The fact that in Boston we have easy access to amazing care at amazing hospitals and how lucky that makes this community. Simple kindness from strangers and the feeling of gratitude for it. A parking attendant on the day of my surgery greeting me with a smile and calm manner; helping me find my way on a nervous day. I think the biggest gift cancer has given me is getting unstuck. Cancer has given me a chance to be smart enough to stop wasting time. To make the things that are important to me happen now. It gives me a sense of urgency that I really needed to get unstuck in different aspects of my life. I feel it has helped me start growing again as a person. It has helped me see people and situations with a new clarity. Cancer has helped me not take for granted my health or a day when I feel good. It has made me start listening to my body and be kinder to myself. I no longer feel guilty taking time to exercise. It has made me even more aware with every interaction I have, the type of impact I am having on someone else. It’s helped me start to recapture the sense of joy and happiness that I had lost along the way.
Hearing that I had cancer based on my family history was my worst fear come true. Now I know even after my worst fear come true I’m still standing. I’m still living, breathing, and enjoying the people I care about the most. It has given me the knowledge I can handle this and more. Cancers gift to me is giving me a chance to be smart and put into place the things that are important for my family. A chance, when it is my time to be able to go without regret. A gift that would be priceless.