An entire year has elapsed since I was diagnosed with colon cancer.
The cancer experience is esoteric in nature. Only so much can be conveyed through storytelling and art, but I will do my best to share why this day is not a joyous one for me.
Once again it's that time of year where friends, family, and colleagues get together to celebrate the holidays, imbibing in such abominations as eggnog and snacking down on abhorrent recipes of fruitcake.
One of the quick lessons that you learn when you're diagnosed with cancer is just how important it is to hold hope as you navigate the gauntlet of tests, scans, and treatments.
For those living with cancer, hope is a concept that can change rapidly and unexpectedly. When cancer becomes metastatic, hope looks a lot different than it does with less advanced cancers.
When I was attending the Gathering of Wolves, I really wanted to learn more about what people experience so that I can include some of the thinking in my advocacy work, which is quickly becoming more than supporting and engaging with people on social media.
For this piece, I've also drawn from conversations I've had with people in support groups and on social media.
I'm not going to attribute the lessons to specific people out of privacy and respect, but I do think a lot of these are valuable to share.
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