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When I think of National Cancer Survivors Day, I am taken to a place that includes in its celebration all of us who have made it our intention to live with cancer in our lives. But it seems to me that surviving really encompasses a spirit that is expressed in the essence of all living things. Surviving commemorates the intrinsic value of life and our own reverence for our world with all of the glory and inspiration it embodies. But life as we know it also includes sadness and tragedy and disease.

To isolate those parts from our experience would be to live a life in black and white.

Breast cancer has done much to change my view of life and death. Cancer has made the full spectrum of living available to me by enhancing the wonders and the magic of surviving day by day while appreciating the complexity and the artistry of each moment. In short, breast cancer has added the full color palette to my life.

National Cancer Survivors Day offers a chance for me to be forever grateful that by surviving I’m able to relish the gifts of friendship and the loved ones who give me reason to keep on living. The world we create for ourselves must be so fulfilling and compelling that it demands our survival. I believe that life wants us to continue our remarkable journey forward.

Survival to me is much more than just a continuation of life. It’s an invitation to be wholly present with our moments; with our blessings and even with our cancer. There may not be a cure for each of us, but there is always an opportunity to be healed. And in that space, we are able to contribute more of “us” to the collective energy that is the essence of life itself.

So, on National Cancer Survivors Day, I will be holding a space in my heart for every cancer survivor and for all those who will be added to our membership in the future. Survival is my wish for everyone so that we may all live the life we deserve and dream of. That I think would be the perfect tribute to our unique contributions to the future of a wonderful and possibly cancer free world.

 

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