Last Sunday Gary told me he had a surprise planned. Gary has his own way of showing his love…and date planning is not one of them. But this time…this time was different. This time we were celebrating. Not a birthday or Valentine’s day…or any other day that would normally call for celebration…we were celebrating something much bigger. We had been been faced with the fight of our lives…and we won.
This post is hard for me to write because it’s something I’ve kept very personal. And not something that is easy to just come out and say. But today I’m ready…because today, it’s over. Last December…I found out I had breast cancer. Yes…breast cancer. As a young, ripe 26 year old this is obviously something I never saw coming. Or ever could have imagined would happen to me. I remember sitting in that room hearing those words…we found some cancer…and feeling almost paralyzed. As odd as it sounds…I wanted to laugh. Hard. How in the world could this be happening to me?!?!? I’m young. I’m healthy. I’m running a business based solely on me…I don’t have time for cancer. As the months passed I had surgeries and more doctor appointments than I can count…and then I got more bad news. Chemo. This one hit me the hardest. Besides the obvious reasons…I was about to go into my busiest wedding season yet. How was I supposed to do that and chemo?!?! The thought of this was…honestly…almost too much. But at that point I made a decision. And it’s the decision that will forever change everything.
I decided I could do this. I decided that no matter what…I had enough in me to get me through whatever life could throw at me. And with a smile on my face. Sure…I could have sat at home and felt sorry for myself. Or thrown in the towel and let this little hiccup get the best of me. But no…I refused to let that happen. I refused to be a victim. And I refused to let cancer define me. These last few months have been hard. But not hard enough that I couldn’t handle it. Staring at something so big and scary in the face…and coming out on top…puts a lot of things in perspective.
Since the day I started my business I was scared. Scared of doing something wrong. Scared of not being good enough. Scared of failing. Every big idea I had was stuck behind a bigger excuse of why I couldn’t do it. Some reason as to why going after something bigger was too scary. But not anymore. I literally faced the scariest thing I can think of and I beat it. So what could I possibly be scared of now? What excuse could I possibly come up with as to why I’m not going after every single thing I’ve ever wanted. Nothing. To anyone out there who is scared. Or has a laundry list of excuses as to why they’re not going after their dreams. I beg you to let go. Forget about the things you’re afraid of and just do it. Make them happen. I promise that even the scariest things really aren’t that scary after all. And you will come out on top.
Me? I’m a cancer survivor…yes. But more than that I am a person who is no longer afraid. I’ve realized now I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be and there is nothing life can throw at me that can stop me. Absolutely nothing. The choice to keep this to myself was a hard one. I have always done my best to pour my heart and soul into this blog and always be as honest as possible. But this was something I had to do for myself. To prove to myself that this could not defeat me. With cancer in the rear-view mirror I am so excited to move past this little blip on the radar and take life by the horns. To throw excuses to the wind and chase my dreams like never before.
On Sunday, as the sun was setting over the most beautiful city in the world…Gary and I celebrated. We cheers-ed to beating cancer. And to getting through this together. But more than anything…we cheers-ed to what’s next. And to never looking back.