It’s been some time since I’ve participated in something that had to do with my past illness. The last big event was when I spoke as an ambassador at LGFB’s Mirror Ball back in November 2017 – other than writing my blogs, of course.
I find that now, as a “survivor” (I’ll explain the use of quotes later on), I seem to lose touch with reality more often than I’d like to admit. My definition of reality is much different than the average person – reality to me is CANCER.
Unfortunately, cancer seems to be becoming as common as the seasonal flu. Having been diagnosed with cancer, I know what it is like to feel as if you’ve received a death sentence. You are given a statement that literally has your life flash before your eyes – what you’ve done, what you’ve hoped to do – the thoughts all come flooding in at once and you can’t help but ask yourself, “Is this it? And if it is, will I be okay with how I’ve chosen to live my life?”
Now back to the word “survivor”: Yes, I survived cancer - but did that really change me? I can’t help but find myself going back to old habits – overworking myself and losing touch of my emotions and how I’m really feeling day-to-day. I genuinely loved the person I was while going through treatment. I was living in the moment – something that seems a lot harder to make a priority now. CANCER is our reality! Regardless if you’ve been through it or not, it is happening to people. And unless we lift our heads from our phones reminding us of our busy schedules, it’s easy to forget those laying in hospital beds, sitting in chemo chairs and receiving diagnoses.
I was honoured to have been asked to speak at Saks Sherway Gardens on Sunday, June 10 for a fundraising event they hosted in support of LGFB. It’s moments like those that ground me and remind me of my WHY. My Purpose. I had cancer, but there are times where I feel as if I can’t recall those thoughts or experiences – not because I choose to, but because I get so caught up in what I thought I was missing during treatment. Something which I am feeling overwhelmingly unimpressed by now that I’m back in it: society.
Sharing my story, or simply just talking about what I’ve been through, keeps me grounded. It brings me back to the reality that we fail to see. The truth of the matter is, cancer is real. People are being diagnosed every single day – men, women, young children, babies – but we can’t help but to get caught up in our busy lives, worrying about the small things.
I enjoy sharing my past with those whom I meet and continuing to share it with my loved ones; bringing back memories, recalling certain events – they all matter to me. That’s my reality.