Today is a very interesting anniversary for me.

Five years ago I was classified from disabled, sent to work to gather my things, and entered into the full-time world of the chronically ill.

I could go into gory detail, but suffice it to say my body had become a living hell. So much of one that the pain had led me to count up all the controlled substances in my house a couple weeks prior. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in so much pain you wanted to die, but it’s not a place I ever want to revisit.

The next few years were filled with a special kind of insanity: undiagnosable symptoms, spontaneous “neurological incidents”, more radiation then most people get in a lifetime, a care team, and a cane.

I walked for over three years with a cane. Yup. Me, the woman who’s training for triathlons now.

I am lucky. I am happy. I am healthy.

Mostly because I work hard to keep myself that way, but also in part because of the wonderful care of over 20 doctors and countless nurses over the past few years. Also thanks to the love, support and patience of friends and family.

My life is utterly different from five years ago. I live in a new city, work my ass off for my own business and am single. Tonight I will go to dinner with a man I like, eat a meal to decide what teas to put on this restaurant’s menu and then go give chair massage for 4-5 hours. Today I am strong, healthy and thriving.

I am very different. I had to contemplate chemo, head shaving, alternative treatments, diet changes, and when to stop medications. I spent a lot of time in my own head while being nearly bed-ridden. I have a very different view of patience & happiness then I did at 23.

I spent years being grateful simply to be alive – to be able to wake up, breath in the air and snuggle with Carra. Simply thrilled I had another day to figure out what the hell was wrong with my body and look forward to the day when this, too, would pass. Those days changed who I am in ways I may never be able to define in words.

I am a happier, more grateful, braver person for those years.

Life is short, and the good days can be as many or as few as You choose. Choose happiness, choose life, choose forwardness. Because you NEVER know what tomorrow may hold. But you can hold on to today, to joy and to Life. Hold on baby, and hold on tight. Ride out the bad, the hard, the challenging. Be stubborn, passionate and live every single moment as best as you possibly can.

Because on the other side, if you look for it, chase after it and refuse to give up on it – there is a fucking amazing life full of happiness, joy and fulfillment.

I will never be in “perfect” health. But I am healthy, well, and Alive on every single level. I am happy just to be alive.

Everything on top of that? Icing baby. Delicious, amazing, fantastic icing.


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