Why I Celebrate My Breast Cancer

Thoughts from a cancer dancer.

I’ll begin by telling you that I celebrate my life, which just happens to include cancer.

I am a 23-month cancer survivor. I am increasingly aware of my gift of life, and as the days go by, I spend a little more time feeling a deep sense of gratitude for receiving some more squares on my calendar.

This wasn’t the case immediately after my cancer diagnosis, mastectomy and recovery. In fact, I became a bit more reckless, not sure if my lymphedema, pain and fear would ever recede. It did.

I have learned to accept that life is perfect just as it is. All that we experience is exactly what this universe has prescribed for us. I make no religious connection here. My observation is just the simple act of acceptance and seeing that “life’s plan” is much bigger than my own.

And so I celebrate, just as humankind has done since the beginning of our presence on Earth. We laugh, sing, bow down in deep reverence, build monuments, create art, make music and dance around the fire ring.

And nothing can stop this human celebration of life.

No dictator, no law, no terrorist, no belief, no proclamation, no imprisonment, no judgement and no cancer…nothing can obstruct the festival we feel inside.

No matter what our long-term outlook might be, there is certainly life after cancer and in cancer. And when we are in pain or fearful, this sense of life is not always easy to find. So, our celebration may turn toward our family or friends, our love of nature, our memories and those miracle moments that we all have in a life.

And no matter how long we get to linger in this world, the celebration of life goes on long after we make our brief appearance here. And that in itself is cause for celebration.

Cancer can certainly slow down our dance around the fire ring. But it can never dowse the flame.