Here’s the thing. Cancer sucks. But a lot of good can come out of it. This week, I attended the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s annual conference. In Las Vegas. No, that’s not the good stuff yet. Maybe for you, but for me, not so much.
For some, just mentioning the idea of attending a cancer conference of any kind, might illicit sighs, groans, thoughts of running full tilt in the opposite direction. Jumps for joy, probably not in the minds of most.
But for me, being surrounded by other humans who are also doing the dance with ovarian cancer, was nothing shy of a full tank of fierce. Many women I met have been doing the dance for many years, facing several recurrences, chemo being an ongoing onslaught. I am in awe of not just their strength, but there ability to choose to live the happy, not the disease. That they bubble up to share all the funny stories that are amongst the dark moments of pain and fear. Their absolute ownership of living each day on their own terms. Their resolute unified will washed over me and I am still swimming in their outright refusal to give in.
I am not going to say that cancer was the best thing to happen to me, because I’m not living in a Hallmark movie. Cancer took a lot from me that I will never get back. But like the women I spent these past few days with, I absolutely know from the core of who I am, that it has given me an understanding of myself, of my emotional and physical strength, and the power to choose the happy in the moments I am given, because damn it, I get to. I don’t forget that for a second.
I am choosing to forge ahead, with each moment, each day, with love and laughter on my sleeve. And with all the voices of all the survivors who surrounded me, echoing in every chamber of my chemo brain.