Thank You Cancer
At Nia class this morning, words floated up from deep inside me,
“Thank you cancer! Without you, I wouldn’t have found this new way of being in my body.” Then I thought, “I should write my cancer a thank you note.”
I felt a surge of gratitude, happiness and joy. It’s like the thought rode a wave of energy from my heart to my head. Then, almost immediately another thought came in,
“I don’t want to thank my cancer. What if it sees this as an invitation to return?”
I knew I’d figure out a way to ease my worry once I’d written the note.
The notion of the thank you note stayed with me. Now that I’m a year out from treatment, a one-year survivor for real, what have I learned? I don’t want to go through treatment again. But the breast cancer, the process of caring for myself and seeing my life on this side showed me some stuff.
My exercise to see it? Writing a thank you note to cancer for the gifts I’ve received. So here goes…
Hey Cancer –
Thank you. I never thought I’d be in a place to say this, but I’m here. In this place now able to access what’s transpired. Because of you I’ve made changes, I have a new perspective and I live differently. It’s not perfect. I’m human. But I see differences.
Thank you cancer for helping me realize my life is worth living. That I am worthy of life. And that I’ve made a conscious decision to stay on the planet.
Thank you for helping me see my body deserves attention and care. That health is everything. Without it, my care for my daughter goes sideways. My love for my husband doesn’t exist. The connections I feel to other humans are lost. Feeling good, strong and healthy in my body IS IT.
Thank you cancer for opening me up to newness and wonder again.
Thank you to chemo for teaching me how to be present with my daughter. To slow down. Go at her pace. Do what she wants to do. Relish in not keeping time.
Thank you for showing me how to take risks again. A writing class with 19-year old’s? Yes. A crazy new dance class? Yes. A trip to THAT place that’s been calling? YES. The time is now. Grab it.
Thank you for bringing YES back to my vocabulary. 😉
Thank you cancer for teaching me self-care, for real. Not some “self-help-guru-do-it-this-way” path, but showing me my path is inside and I always have it with me.
Thank you for helping me realize I compare myself too much to others and put too much stock in their opinions. (I’m still working on this one.)
Thank you for making me advocate for myself remembering if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not.
Thank you for guiding me to this new place of love…
♥ I love me body.
♥ I love myself.
♥ I love where I am right now.
When that shifts, I know the things that get me back to love; feeling warm, earth under foot, ocean water, Nia, writing, dancing in the kitchen, singing with the car windows down and being with people I love.
Thank you for making me see how foods affect how I feel and how I heal.
Thank you cancer for teaching me that there’s no real destination in life except death. So, enjoy the journey because that’s my true life’s purpose.
Thank you for simple gifts every moment of every day that will add up to a wonderful long-lived life.
Now, cancer… be gone. For good.
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