One year ago today, my doctor told me I had cancer. I haven't written about that whole adventure here, since the hard part was over before Restricted View got started, and it's not really on my current list of things to blog about. But I did want to mark the anniversary, because I owe so much of what I now bring to writing, and life in general, to the experience. Also, during the early weeks of my diagnosis and treatment, I drew a lot of encouragement from blogs and online journals of other people's experiences, so I post today in gratitude for that.
When I looked at other people's cancer-related journals and blogs, I was comforted by the pattern: they made their way through treatment with a complaint here and a joke there, photos of themselves with no hair here and an account of an emergency-room visit there, and then, finally, the end of the treatment and the official all-clear, followed by a few infrequent updates as they resumed their normal lives. It was encouraging to see it all laid out that way, as a steady journey from beginning to end, through darkness and into light. And it was that way for me, too. A year ago today, I had no idea what was ahead of me, or what I would do next; I just knew that dealing with it would take a lot of work upfront, and a lot of time and patience down the road. It did take a lot of time -- there aren't any shortcuts. But as this post proves, time passes, even when it seems like it won't. You get through whatever it is you have to get through, and eventually you'll be looking back at it from a sunnier place. I promise.
One good thing about having all that time is that is gives you many opportunities to count your blessings, and you'd be surprised how helpful that can be. So if your life is rough today, for whatever reason, hang in there -- just think how proud of yourself you'll be a year from now. And whether things are rotten or peachy in your life, I encourage you to take a moment today to be grateful for what you have.