Cancer Changes You

LWMSeptOct2014-Final_Page_17Cancer changes you. For me, it’s reconciliation between learning to live with fear that it might return and enjoying life. Surviving a cancer diagnosis is not unlike what happens when you are almost knocked down by a car. The adrenalin rush and the fear don’t go away immediately just because the car didn’t kill you. You stand by the road breathing rapidly, heart pounding, afraid, “Wow, that was close.” But it’s not just me; my loved ones have also been causalities to the cancer almost-collision. Do they just pick up and believe that I am now “well” or do they live life like I might not be there?

Particularly to a child, this is a hard concept to integrate. I’ve lived this past year finding the balance between living in the ‘now’ and building a future. My family has traveled more; we took my son to Australia and my husband and I went to Venice to a honeymoon we never had. I’ve cherished relationships, hugged more and let individuals know I love them. I have reprioritized, tried harder and spent time with people I admire and love. I try to do more for others, the way my wonderful friends and family did for me through my illness. I am also doing more of the things that I want to do. I’ve thought about starting a bucket list after I did the Sydney harbor bridge climb in Australia

This past year I still put money in my 401K, still saved for my son’s college fund, still drove my old car and still went to work every day. However, I now do things that really matter to me today rather than in some nebulous
future. Perhaps Einstein put it best when he said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today & hope for tomorrow.”

By Sushila Nair
Photo By: Cavalheri Photography

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