This month on June 3, was National Cancer Survivors’ Day. Since this is a day about celebrating survivorship, I wanted to write about my life as a survivor. When I think of my cancer battle and my survivorship, so many thoughts and feelings come to mind. I think about how I am a strong survivor. I think about being fortunate to be healed. I think about how my cancer treatment was difficult and exhausting. I feel like I am a walking miracle being cancer-free. Now, I feel healthy. I am alive, blessed and valiant.
So, what do survivors do with their lives now that they are… survivors? Do they go back to the way things used to be or are they transformed into another version of themselves? Or maybe both? I feel like I am a little of both. I have one foot planted as the old me and I have another foot that stepped forward to the renewed me. Both of my feet help me to enjoy life one step at a time.
The Jessica before cancer enjoyed laughing, playing, her dogs, and the splendor of being a kid. There was nothing better than dinner and a movie with my family or the playground at recess. I loved taking my dogs for a walk and dancing on stage. I started using my Razor Scooter around the neighborhood and boys were still considered “icky”.
The Jessica after cancer is very similar to what I was before. I still enjoy laughing, playing, dogs, and the joy of being a teenager. I still enjoy dinner and a movie with my family. I don’t have recess equipped with a playground anymore, but new life experiences are my new recess. I still take my dogs for a walk and I still dance on many stages. Instead of my Razor Scooter, I am learning to drive. I definitely don’t think boys are icky anymore. In fact, quite the opposite – lol.
The Jessica today is so not “normal,” or “typical,” or even “with the crowd”. I love to stand out, being unique and original, and I am my own type of weird. I embrace my quirks and laugh at my mistakes (happy errors). I also take every opportunity that comes my way.
I want to say that I appreciate life so much. I feel so lucky to be here today, experiencing all the wonderful things in life, good or not so good. I am grateful to be an ambassador, an advocate, a student teacher, and a crew leader. I am grateful to be here. I have been given a second chance at enjoying life.
I feel like we all sometimes take things for granted and don’t completely appreciate what we have. But because of cancer, I know the importance of stopping to “smell the roses” and I know I will “count my blessings”.
So, I say rock on and enjoy life my fellow brothers and sisters of survivorship!
I invite you to visit my YouTube channel Positively Jessica where you can learn about me enjoying life and my new “vlog the blog” series to see more about my blog creation and behind the scenes of this article. https://youtu.be/zODKR3gnrzA Enjoy!
All images courtesy of Jessica Meyer.