I looked outside and it was raining. I went to The Weather Network website to see what the weather was supposed to be like for the rest of the day, and the forecast said rain. And although popular belief is that I’m made of sugar (just kidding), I decided to brave the rain, because as Keith says when he eats things like a cinnamon bun for breakfast, ‘I’m an adult and I can make these kind of decisions.’ What's the worst that's going to happen, I'm going to get wet? I threw a sweater on, grabbed my running shoes, turned on my MP3 player (I’m not fancy enough to have an ‘i’ anything – just an old fashion MP3 player) and before I was out the door, I was already dancing.
It felt so good to walk, and although not every day is an active one, I am really trying to get in thirty minutes of walking a day. I chose not to bring an umbrella mostly because I didn’t want to carry it and lets be honest, my hands needed to be free for my dance moves. Yes, I got some looks and I was wet (like really wet) by the time I got home but I felt good. I was singing in the rain, dancing in the rain, and mostly, I was kicking ass in the rain.
It’s so easy to feel sorry for myself. It’s so easy to focus on cancer. It’s so easy to feel like a victim. And some days, I do feel all of these things but I really try to look at the positive side. Nothing can change the fact that I had cancer, nothing can change the fact that it took my breast and that I will never have my nipple back but I am trying my best to make sure that that's all cancer takes from me.
I’m not trying to make it sound like I sleep with a smile on my face or like cancer isn’t a profound part of my every day routine because it certainly is but whether I worry about the future or dwell on the past, I won’t be able to grow a breast back and the scars on my chest and in my heart will always be there so for now, I am trying to do what makes me happy.
I had someone (who I only met a few months ago) say to me the other day ‘I had no idea that you had cancer. You’re just so happy all of the time.’ She wasn't trying to imply that if you've had cancer, you need to be miserable - her point was that if SHE had cancer, she would be miserable. She’s right in some respect, I do have a lot to be upset about but I keep coming back to; what good is that going to do? Some days are easier than others but through the tears are always smiles because to be quite honest, it's cost me less energy to laugh than to cry and if anything, I am doing my best to conserve my energy.
I think it was this walk that felt so good because I realized how empowered I was as a survivor. A year ago, I was stuck inside in a chemo haze, feeling like garbage, dreaming about going for a walk - this year I'm walking! I don’t want to let cancer have a hold on the rest of my life the way that it once did. Not being a patient anymore and having transitioned to a survivor comes with some empowerment and as I think about the days during treatment when walking to the washroom was a challenge, I refuse to let the memory of treatment affect my present. I am so grateful to have my health back and I feel like I should be celebrating it by not taking it for granted.