Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Melanoma Has Taught Me So Much

  My journey with melanoma has taught me so much.  This last year has been the toughest year of my whole life.  I have learned to forgive people and to tell them how I feel.  I don't tolerate things as well in some instances, and in others I tolerate them much more.  I live in the knowledge that melanoma can come back at any time and I plan not to let it ruin my life or dictate how I live it.  I have had people turn their backs on me.  I have learned a lot about others too.  The main thing I have learned is that life is short.  Whether we live 100 years or 4 years, life is short.  It goes by in an instant and it can end in an instant.  We are NOT promised time.  We are NOT given a warranty.  We are NOT invincible. 

I have also learned that I am very strong.  I am not invincible, but I can fight.  I have a voice.  I don't need people in my life that are not supportive.  I don't need negativity and I don't have time for those that are.  I cherish my life and I have made a lot of changes in my life.  I have done a TV interview, which I NEVER thought I could do since I was always so shy.  I have found my voice. 

I am going to spend this year doing three (hopefully!) cancer walks, two are AIM walks, which are walks for melanoma and one is for all cancers, which I will do with my family.  Cancer has touched my life several times.  I want a cure as so many of us do. 

My wonderful fiance, organized a fundraiser at his work to raise money for our AIM walks.  I am so touched and very proud of him for doing this.  He has been by my side through all of this journey as have my kids, parents, sister and nieces.  I am so fortunate to have my family and my friends in my life.  It is what keeps me going!

Four years ago yesterday, I quit smoking.  I have overcome many obstacles and I am sure there will be more.  Melanoma gave me the knowledge that I can overcome them.  I am strong and I am a fighter. 
And I have A LOT to live for.

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