A cancer survivor compares our collective cancer journey to the season of autumn.
I admit that fall is my favorite time of the year. There is nothing more beautiful than driving or walking on a sunny fall day and marveling at the changes in the leaves. Maybe part of the reason I feel this way is because I am a fall (October), baby.
But I recently read a wonderful quote by Albert Camus “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” As I read this, it occurred to me that this quote can also be used about cancer survivors.
Before we were diagnosed, many of us felt like spring. Unless we had other health issues, we were full of energy; had very full days and our bodies were under our control. At least this is what we thought, which might have been an illusion. As some of us began to age and experienced aches and pains it was comparable to the summer season as the cycle came to an end.
Then, the cold weather and frost hit us. We were battered, blown around by hard winds, and our bodies made significant changes. They were pummeled with tests, surgeries, radiation, chemo and other treatments. We felt like we were attacked from every corner and emerged bruised and weary.
But then something wondrous occurred. When we came out on the other side, we were more beautiful than ever before. We were different from the spring beauty. We grew and developed in many ways. We learned to appreciate every day as a gift. We cherished and held close to our family and friends.
We celebrated every occasion we can. We are breathtaking just like the fall leaves and have become flowers. Sometimes we wish we could be spring again or even summer – but we are beautiful just the way we are!