On not being grateful for cancer

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An old friend of mine wrote to me the other day, out of the blue, to tell me about their recovery from cancer.

We swapped emails, as you do, about family, treatments and swearing.

It turns out a mantra for both families, miles and years apart, was ‘Shit happens.’

 

One of their emails included a line about finding ‘treasures’ in the experience.

 

I wrote back stating that I am ambivalent about being able to say the same. Still.

 

I went on to say the following:

 

I really do wish it had not happened.

But it did. It changed me and my family forever.

And some of those changes are good and profound.

 

I have to practice acceptance of it every day, every day giving thanks for what I have, right here, in front of me.

Some days I do that well and other days not so well.

 

This is how it is.

 

But I am deeply grateful to have breath and to be loved by those who have breath.

 

This is worth holding on to.

 

You can find Love for Now, my memoir of cancer, here

You can find Riddance, my book of poetry about cancer, here

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