On June 20, 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Driving home from the doctor’s office upon diagnosis, I knew in my gut that I’d be able to fight this, that I’d do it with community and family, and that this was somehow a culmination of certain ways of being that I needed to transform and this was the moment to embark on that transformation. Without even trying, I could feel the shift within me. I suppose that was the first breath of what “gifts” cancer can bring.
Gift #1 – To finally (begin to) transform my own self in prioritizing my time, my health, my creative process, and my relationships outside of the work.
Gift #2 – The ways in which the community has shown up in every way imaginable and beyond. Folks got super organized; they set up a Youcaring site, did a full reach out to many circles and pulled together a meal-drop and ride schedule from surgery through chemo, held a benefit after I got through chemo, got artists together to create a chapbook of art and poetry to raise funds. They’ve all astounded me and have reminded me of my ultimate gratitude for community.
Gift #3 – The connections through cancer and talking about cancer what offers us. I felt a certain amount of privilege in having ways to speak publicly about my cancer journey. The connections we make through this path are a true gift. It’s with all of this that I’m able to fight and survive and thrive alongside cancer…the journey continues.