Happy one year cancerversary to me!

It's been a while since I've updated this, so I thought I would write a short entry. I've thought about discontinuing this blog altogether since I've had no time to update it and there really isn't too much to update about these days anyway. But then I remembered that when I was first diagnosed with cancer (which was already a year and a half ago!) I would read people's blogs and as soon as their treatments ended, so did their blog entries. Well...being newly diagnosed with something as horrific as cancer and not knowing much about it, I was scared when I saw that nobody updated after their treatments and I was curious how they were doing afterward and whether they stayed in remission or not. So I have decided to keep my blog up and try updating every now and then until I at least hit my second year in remission. Plus, according to my stats, I am still getting page views daily, which is great! :) 

Things have surprisingly fallen back into place pretty quickly. Upon first being diagnosed and during my treatments, I honestly couldn't even imagine living a "normal" life again. I did not think that I would ever get over the fact that I had gone through something so horrible and be able to move on from it. How could I ever get over something like that? Well, I'm glad that I didn't get stuck in that mindset and that I've been able to move forward. Life is too short to waste worrying about something that I have no control over anyway, right? I will admit that during scan time, my attitude on this can definitely change. Scan time, which is every 6 months, brings out stress & anxiety that I luckily do not always have. But there is nothing worse than "scanxiety," I'm sure all cancer patients would agree with me on that. And speaking of scans, my latest one in June came back clear! My next one is scheduled for early December...fingers crossed for a clear one on that as well. I just hit the one year mark of being in remission and I think as I get closer to that magical 2 year mark, my worrying about relapse will ease up (I am highest risk for relapse within the first two years after treatment). I have returned to school and have been working so hard to finish the last science classes that I have left, and I have been doing really well in them...maybe even better than before cancer. I'm just so much more focused and determined than ever before. I feel like I now know what my purpose is, and this has motivated me tremendously.

My attitude and outlook on life is so different now than it was pre-cancer...and in a good way. Why couldn't I feel this way without having to have gone through all of that? Well that's something I will never know the answer to, and I'm becoming more and more ok with that. I wish I could say that after battling (and winning) cancer, that I don't stress out or let the little things get to me, but that would be a big lie. I can say though, that I have learned to be a much more understanding, caring, and compassionate person, and I've realized that the things that I thought were "important" before are actually not very important at all.

Yes, having cancer is one of the worst things imaginable, and I hate the fact that I sometimes feel like I have this sort of "baggage" that I'm carrying around, but I'm learning to own it. My life is forever changed, but I am enjoying the gift of seeing life from the other side of the coin. Most people will live their entire lives and never get to see it the way that I now do. There are things to be thankful for everyday. 
The picture below represents so much to me. The picture to the left was taken about 4 months prior to my cancer diagnosis, the one in the middle was taken during my battle (obviously), and the one on the right was taken just last month (notice the growing hair, lol). I used to be embarrassed of the middle picture and thought I would never let anybody see it, but I am actually really proud of it now. This picture symbolizes who I was before cancer, and what I overcame to become who I am now.

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