It's hard to believe that this picture was taken about a year ago. About a year ago when my life was plagued by excruciating headaches paired with vomiting. A year ago when I had thick curly hair. A year ago when everything seemed to be going as it should. A year ago...
Life's so different now, in ways I could never have expected back then. My long brown curls have been replaced with hats and scarves and tiny new hairs. The freedom to move, run, hop, skip, jump and dance around has been cut back to a slow limp. My extensive plan for the future is now a plan for how to get through each day.
I am so different than the girl in that picture. I now live my life for me, not for my amplified version of what I thought others expected. I know who my true best friend is. I know who I want to surround myself with. I am wiser, stronger, braver. I'm a survivor.
I am the same too. I am still silly and goofy and gawky. I still love peppermint ice cream and sloppy joe's (not together.) I still love math and music and books. I am still positive, smiley, and giggly. I am still me, I just have a new perspective on life and what's important.
I wouldn't trade the past year for anything in the world. I'll be the first one to say that cancer sucks. But in its own way, cancer is a gift. It has given me in a year what can take people their whole lives to figure out. It has taught me that I can get through anything. It has shown me that positivity and hope and love are more powerful than anything.
Here I am one year later. Different and the same. Happy to be alive.