It’s been a recurrent struggle, a back and forth tug of war between then and now. Cancer isn’t just a moment in time. It’s not just something that happens and eventually goes away. It doesn’t sit on a timeline nor does it have a beginning or an end. From the moment it physically rooted itself into my anatomy, it also marked my very DNA and soul. Though we believe I am free of disease, I am forever marked by it and affected by it. Though I walk without cancer, I will forever carry its side effects with me.
I will also add that after cancer, life is more confusing than anyone told me it would be. Frankly, they don’t tell you what to anticipate when the disease is gone and the dust settles. I always thought that time healed all wounds. That maybe, just maybe, this period in time would fade away into the history of my life’s story. And though I still believe there is some truth in that, I think that healing requires more than days gone by. Life after cancer requires head work and soul work. Partly determined to avoid feeling victimized by cancer, and partly because I believe that living a life that is joyful and grateful and adventurous is really living life instead of letting life live you.
Adventuring removes barriers, manifests breakthrough, unites, births joy, and uplifts the dark corners of our souls. It ignites in us a passion for this life that we often forget is meant to be experienced actively, not sedentarily. It pushes us off the cliff of comfort and gives us wings to fly in vibrant ways. It freshens stagnancy, quenches deserts, and elevates us to living the way we are called to live. Adventure gives us new perspective and creates vision. Though comfort is easy and adventure is often hard, the rewards for the latter are much greater.
Cancer stole so much from me, but through it, God gifted me eternal vision and has radically changed my perspective on the purpose of this life.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (ESV)
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.”