In less than two weeks, I get to claim a milestone that I never once thought possible. In fact, even today, I do not think that people believe that this type of milestone is possible in spite of the advances of modern medicine and technology. But on March 3, 2015, I will recognize my 25th anniversary of the final treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For the past year I have been a little bit more aware of the time, and as I often do, I minimize just what such a milestone means. For me, I always said that I would hit this mark, and go further. I never paid attention to statistics and I did the best I could to control negative thinking about recurrences and other health issues that I have developed over the years.
My late brother-in-law who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s Disease often scolded me, whenever I compared my ills or my accomplishments to he and his situation, “though we both have serious health problems, and yes, I will die much sooner than I want, that should never take away from paying attention to your pains and discomforts, but also your celebrations.”
And it is true. I have said goodbye to so many friends who battled cancer, and I have so many that are still battling cancer, some for the second time, third time, or more. And as my heart aches for all, I know that they are happy for me hitting this milestone when it comes.
I have spent the majority of my survivorship, educating and supporting cancer patients, survivors, friends and families, and caregivers. I have spoken in front of thousands over the last 24 years which shows that this disease can be beat. I wanted to give hope that there was life after cancer.
This year, I will soon begin my “25th Anniversary Survivor” speaking circuit. And as I have always done in support of cancer support and awareness, there is no fee to hire me for your speaking engagement, other than travel arrangements if required, but my words are free. So if you have a Relay For Life event, Light The Night, or any other cancer related event, please contact me as soon as possible if you would like me to speak at your engagement. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you within 24 hours to book your engagement.
Yes, as it has gotten closer, I have gotten quite emotional as of late. I know this is a big deal.