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.