Standing at the bedside in a patient’s room in the pediatric hospital, I’d be reminded of their former life when I saw a framed photo of them holding a football or kicking a soccer ball. Now, they were lying in bed with chemotherapy infusing into their bodies. It was sad. Their lives had taken a drastic turn, one they and their families never imagined. But as time went on and they completed their treatments, many would come back to the hospital to visit. They’d give the nurses big hugs and have smiles plastered on their faces. They had weathered the storm and embraced their new life as a cancer survivor.
When I was going through cancer treatment, it was hard to let go of my old life. It was a great life filled with work, travel, independence and fun. Throughout my diagnosis and treatment, I saw my old self fade away and frankly I was mad. But as I lived the cancer journey and the grief involved, I extracted a new me who is deeper, more insightful, and more thankful. As a survivor, I have a new life that is filled with many of the same activities as before, however this life has more clarity, gratefulness, and an increased passion to help others on the cancer journey.