I’m a Cancer Survivor

I didn’t know if I was going to post this when I wrote it a couple of weeks ago. It’s intensely personal, and it isn’t easy for me to share things close to my heart. Even now, my finger keeps hovering over the delete button.

I walked down a thorny memory lane when I scanned a large pile of medical insurance receipts from the year I had cancer. The experience proved to be more emotionally difficult than I anticipated. You wouldn’t think insurance statements would bring a girl to tears, but I guess these particular papers held a lot of emotional baggage.

I don’t often ponder anymore the significance of the trial I went through. Life goes on its merry way, and I forget how close I came to death, even some of the lessons I learned in my own shadowed valley. I guess that’s why I need times like this to prick my remembrance and make my experience worthwhile again.

As I was going through treatments that lasted over a year, there were dark days when I wondered why I was fighting. I even wondered if my life was worth it.

But when I thought of my family, especially my children, I knew I had to keep fighting for them. I just couldn’t leave my three year old without her mom. I began to notice the little blessings amidst my trial. One day, my husband took me out for a drive over the mountain near our home and stopped to pick a little purple wildflower for me. The sun sparkled on the petals, and I was amazed at how beautiful such a tiny thing could be.

Cancer taught me that I could be stronger than I ever thought possible for a wimp like me. It taught me to be grateful for the little things, because that’s the only way to be truly happy. Through that trial, my spiritual strength grew. Conquering cancer left me with a strong desire to live my life to the fullest. I realized that I didn’t know how much more time I would have to make my dreams a reality.

I’ve dreamt of being a published author my whole life. I remember smugly telling my sister when I was about ten years old that someday I would write a best-seller. Before cancer, I’d written and queried publishers and agents about a middle grade novel. The genre was unusual (a western-fantasy mash up), and I was a newbie author, and my queries weren’t exactly well-received (in fact, they were completely ignored most of the time, which is even worse than flat-out rejections, if you can believe it).

After cancer, I decided I was through with waiting for someone else to make my dreams come true for me. I was going to do it myself. (I’m rather impatient that way.) So, I indie published Fury of the Storm Wizard. In spite of all my mistakes in the process (and I’m still making them), I discovered that I really love indie publishing, and I love writing more than ever.

I’ve always hoped that my writing would be meaningful enough to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Maybe I was just trying to justify my passion, but I truly have a desire to make the world a better place through my writing. That’s no longer an empty dream. I discovered today that something I wrote addresses some very real struggles of a person I know. Suddenly, my writing has become more than a business, a hobby, or even a passion. It’s become one of the most important things I can do.

Pricking my feet on my cancer memory lane reminded me why I’m here. I’m here for my family, raising my kids the best I know how and just being there for them. I’m here for my husband, sticking by him like he stuck by me through cancer and all the trials we’ve faced before and since. I’m here for my parents and in-laws who supported me most of my life, and who I now get to turn around and offer support to. I’m here for you, my dear readers and friends. And I’m here to be a writer.

I’ve survived the horrors of cancer. Now I want to help others overcome the horrors they face. Through my writing, I want to lead them into the light. I want to lead them home.

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