Friday, July 25, 2014

One Year Later...


My hope is that none of you reading this will ever have to find out what it feels like to hear the words "you have cancer."  For me, that day was exactly one year ago.

I recently watched the movie 50/50.  Although my doctor was much more kind than this doctor, my experience was much like this (feel free to skip ahead to 0:53):


(Sorry I couldn't find a clip without subtitles!)

I had prepared myself for the worst that morning, but I'm an optimistic person and I didn't really think I'd be hearing bad news.  I know my husband asked a lot of questions in that appointment, but I honestly can't remember a single one.  There are only two things I remember from that doctors appointment: (1) the doctor telling me I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma, then handing me a box of tissues; (2) all of the nurses staring at me as I walked out of the exam room (it's a small office, so I assume they all knew what had just happened).

I remember being in a daze the rest of the day.  I spent hours on the internet, trying to learn everything I possibly could about Hodgkin's.  I shared the news with my family, a few close friends, and my boss.  I started this blog.  I had dinner with 4 of my closest friends, who took my mind off everything and helped me laugh through the haze.

What I've Learned and How I've Changed

It's a full year later now, so today I'm reflecting on the past year.  I've learned so much in the past year, but there's one thing specifically that stands out:

People are incredibly kind.

I couldn't believe the support Josh and I got!  People from all over the country and from all different times of my life were sending their love and encouragement.  I especially loved getting cards in the mail.  I hung every single one of them on the wall and read them frequently - especially on my "bad days."  Here's a picture of my card wall:



A group of friends and family arranged for our house to be cleaned each week as well (to help avoid nasty infections and to ease the workload off my sweet husband/caregiver).  This was such a nice surprise and I'm forever grateful for their kindness and generosity.  People did so many nice things for us and I was so touched at their thoughtfulness.

Because of the generosity I was shown, I have been inspired to "pay it forward."  I try to send cards of encouragement and support.  I try to call, text, or email more often.  I've learned that a small gesture can make a huge impact, especially for someone going through a tough time.  Even just a quick note of encouragement can mean so much and make someone's day!

So a year after hearing one of the most frightening phrases a person can hear, I am pleased to say that I'm healthy, incredibly happy, and most of all I'm thankful for having come through this a better and stronger person.

Love,
Melissa

2 comments:

  1. You are a very strong person to have beaten cancer. I’m really glad to know that you are doing well. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

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  2. Things can be changed one year later. However, sometime when you have to start your new year, you will have to focus on previous one to see what you have achieved.

    ReplyDelete