We’ve all heard it a million times…cancer effects all of us.  Some of us are smack dab in the middle…battling with all we have. Others know bad ass survivors who are thriving and inspiring people everyday. And unfortunately, most of us have lost someone to cancer…and for those, we celebrate and remember fondly the memories we have with them.

For the most part, I’ve experienced cancer from the inside. The side where you know first hand what cancer feels and looks like…the side where you have some control over the situation, the side where you don’t  have to feel helplessness and fear for someone you care deeply for. For those of you on the outside…the flip side…mad props for realz. I don’t know how you do it.  You think I’m strong…I say YOU are the strong ones. Y’all are my rocks…the support system that is inevitably there for me at the drop of a hat.  You help me through the bad days and embrace the good alongside me. You feel emotions that I can’t even fathom. You make me smile and inspire me to get better and live an amazing life. We often celebrate the courage of cancer fighters and survivors, as we well should. But we don’t celebrate enough the courage, strength and importance of those of you who are living and breathing cancer right along side us. So…Cheers, to you!

Most of you have no way of knowing what cancer feels like.  When people hear the word”cancer” a lot of times they think it’s a death sentence…that people battling this disease are sick and miserable all the time. I can’t speak for all survivors, but I can tell you from my perspective, cancer is not all that bad. (HAHA, cancer.  You got nothing on me.) Thanks to medical advances and wonderful organizations that are making strides in early detection and treatment, the negative stigma that cancer once held is no longer a reality. My doctors have my back…I have a pill that remedies pretty much any side effect that comes along with treatment. My hair is going to grow back.  My scars will fade. There are far worse situations that one could be in and I count my blessings every day.

My hope is that this message brings those of you on the outside a little comfort and peace…knowing that we survivors are just fine. That although cancer blows a big one, it’s nothing that we can’t handle. You don’t need to feel helpless or scared or sympathetic for us.  Although we know you would, we wouldn’t want you to change places with us.

p.s. I passed the 1/2 way point with chemo last week…only 4 more to go! My spirits are high and according to my doc, I’m handling treatment like a rockstar. Oh, and here are some pics of what cancer REALLY looks like…lots of smiles, friendship and bad ass bandannas.

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