Strength and Courage

Strength and Courage

This plant is known as Devil’s Club. In the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Cultures, it has been used for many generations as a medicinal plant for healing. It can also be unsafe to handle or be toxic if you do not know how to prepare or use it.

I’ve spent the last few years writing about dancing with cancer, about having courage and hope even when I didn’t feel it myself. I’ve wrote about treatments, reconstruction, depression, side-effects, fear of reoccurrence, losing friends to this #%@$ disease and hope. And now I’m writing about hope and transitioning from patient to survivor…

I’m still not healthy as I need to be, I’m tired, my joints ache, but I’m happy to be here. I have learned to pace myself; I’ve learned to focus my energy and time on my family and on myself. I’ve learned to enjoy myself in different ways from “before”. I’ve learned to be OK with having to live life in the slow lane for now. I’ve learned to have courage when going in for my mammograms and checkups. I’ve learned to have courage for my friends who have to face this dance with cancer…

I’ve also learned that survivorship is different for everyone. Bouncing back to the way you were “before” sometimes doesn’t seem like it is happening fast enough or happening at all. I’ve learned that “before” is just that, before. I’ve learned not to apologize for not being like “before” because I’m here today and I’m good with that.

I’ve learned we need to be gentle with ourselves as we heal and decide what our life will look like from here on out.

So my words today, my friends, is to have courage, have hope and celebrate that you can put one foot in front of the other, and to all those who are dancing with cancer, I wish you peace, strength and wellness.

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