July 13th was National GIST Awareness Day. Let me rewind a bit and tell you about my whirlwind of a week…
Tony and I got home from a fabulous Duluth weekend on Sunday night. We hung out with best friends by doing yoga at Bent Paddle Brewery, soaked in the Duluth sunshine, and danced at dusk with Trampled by Turtles on the shores of Lake Superior. The weekend was full of memories and left me with an overflowing heart of happiness.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning…
I started teaching summer school this week, [oh joy], so I had been busy, busy preparing lessons and incentives to motivate my students over the next four weeks, when I received an email that made me stop in my tracks.
The email I had gotten was from a woman who helps run the website I Had Cancer. She wanted me to write a piece about my initial cancer diagnosis, treatment journey, and how I overcame the fears of cancer to be featured on their website on National GIST Awareness Day.
This was the very reason I started my blog. I wrote this post on gistoflife.com’s first birthday, explaining exactly how and why I started writing my blog, and how I KNEW writing would help me. And here I was, on a Tuesday afternoon, full circle, getting asked to write about my journey, on the very day my cancer was being recognized.
I felt elated, nervous, and excited to get started.
I spent Tuesday afternoon sitting in the sun on the patio, [duh], listening to Bon Iver, [duh, again], and wrote a piece I was comfortable to put the public eye. My goal was to write about some of the vivid memories and feelings I had when I received the phone call that stopped my heart from beating. I also wanted to write about some of the roller coaster of everyday life. But I wanted to top it all off with the fact that I’m lucky things are going positively, and how I’ve managed to get stronger as a person because of it all.
When my piece was published yesterday morning, I was flooded with emotion. I have never been public with my blog, [however, some friends and family members have discovered it along the way], and I have been very quiet with my diagnosis over the past three and a half years. Of course my family and close friends have seen most of my struggle and have been there through a lot of good and bad days, but I didn’t post things on Facebook, I had a tough time reaching out to support communities, and I just figured, if I ignored the fact that I had cancer, it would magically disappear out of my life.
So, yesterday, being very open and honest with my words for all to see, had me a nervous wreck.
However, it quickly disappeared.
I spent most of Wednesday afternoon reading comments on Facebook, [my sis let me use her login information to see all the love, since I no longer have a Facebook account], and other social media accounts, and my eyes brimmed with tears with the words I read. The amount of support behind me [& Tony!] is ….. unreal.
I’m not one to be at a loss with words, but today, I truly am.
Thank you, all of you, for the love and support, wonderful words, prayers, and more…
You are the reason I am where I am today on this journey.
Much love, xo