We made it! One full year of living cancer-free, filled with so much love, adventure, friendship, memories, opportunity, and pure joy. A day still doesn’t go by without me thinking of how incredibly lucky I am to still be here.
Deep within me now is a fire and a core of honest living filled with gratitude, of seizing each and every single moment to its utmost potential, and truly living without any fear, hesitation or regret.
So how has Zee Cancer affected my life now that I’m back to the full schedule of life, work, and community? Disappointments, struggles, and daily strife seem more bearable, and being alive gives me such a deep sense of clarity and purpose. A part of this is being intentional about filling my life with meaningful memories and people I love, respect and admire.
I’m also leaving no rocks unturned and no door of opportunity unopened. One of the most frustrating things when I was diagnosed, was realizing that all the opportunities that lay before me may never be seized, and that my potential may never be fulfilled. Thanks to the loving support of my incredible mentors, family, and friends, I’m seizing opportunities I never thought would be possible for me prior to treatment. Zee Cancer has given me wings and opened me to the world of possibility and bravery to pursue things beyond my wildest imagination. It’s given me true courage.
It’s also given me the time, resources, and energy to coach, mentor and encourage some amazing young people to pursue their dreams of public service. One of the students I’ve been a long-time mentor of, is now a counselor at my alma mater, and applying to be an oncology social worker…I cannot be more proud of her. This in itself makes my life worthy of living.
It is in these bright, light-filled simple moments in my daily existence, when I feel most connected to the wholeness of the universe, and the depth of my journey the past two years. Stopping more often to see the sunset over the ocean, waking up a little earlier to jog to see the sunrise over the mountains, saying no to another event and showing up for my family and friends instead…learning how to do less, and be more.
So here’s to growth, from the wisdom our struggles teaches us from our personal history, toward a hopeful future full of wonder and magic that we cannot even imagine, and to brave today without resistance or fear and to trust that inner voice telling us that we are capable of living in every single moment as our best selves.
A special thank you over this past weekend to some loved ones who made my one year mark so incredibly special:
Marian and Gene (AKA Santa) for cooking me the most stunningly scrumptious Provencal seafood stew!
My dear friend, Anita Verna Crofts, for a most magnificent day of dance, chocolate, relaxation, unwinding in one of my most favorite corners of the universe, with a scrumptious kazillion course lunch of deliciousness!
My dear friend Dao, who spoiled me with hand-made Tom Douglas pasta at my oncologist, Dr. Farah’s favorite restaurant: Cuoco.
Chris Dunford & the White Center/Southwest Boys and Girls Club & All of YOU, who came and supported the club to fundraise for the youth from the Keystone program to get to their annual leadership conference.
David and Hillary’s beautiful new baby Louisa!
If you would still like to make a donation to these phenomenal young people to send them to a transformative leadership experience in March in Atlanta, please send a check to:
Southwest Boys & Girls Club
9800 9th Ave SW Ste 105 Seattle, WA 98106
Please write: Keystone in the notes section of your check.
This is the kind of program that I would’ve benefited from, and cultivating their success is something I feel very connected to as a part of my celebration of life…
Thank you for your consideration and generosity!
Ngim and her fiance for surprising me from L.A.!
My amazing colleagues, who made Sunday so incredibly special for over 100 newly married couples at City Hall. See all our blog posts.
So, what else have I been up to this past year?
I traveled to New York, LA, Denver, Cabo, and Boston, and survived Hurricane Sandy.
Celebrating Eid in Brooklyn with some dear friends.
Had the most splendid adventures trick-or-treating with lovely Ana and Ezra on Halloween!
I became a citizen, voted for the first time, blogged about it, was interviewed for it by Crosscut and KUOW thanks to OneAmerica and the Washington Bus.
I went white water rafting and rock climbing for the very first time.
I was able to smile, be present, and completely there for birthdays, weddings, graduations, send-offs…that I’d thought I would never be able to attend again
I got to see another Thanksgiving with my family and we made a nine course meal from scratch in five hours…
While I celebrate another year, I have friends, friends of friends, and family of friends who are newly diagnosed, still undergoing treatment and fighting for their lives, or nearing the end of their battle. I regularly hear, meet with, and coach loved ones who have someone they care about braving the world of Zee Cancer. Anniversaries and birthdays now are bitter-sweet.
An update on some of my friends:
You may remember Nick and Alyssa Magnotti: Nick is still undergoing treatment, and Alyssa is pregnant! They are so incredible in their continuing fight, please consider helping support their journey to their family: http://teammagnotti.org/
And my dear dear Rose Egge: Most wonderful Rose is now engaged to the love of her life, Angel, who was there for her throughout her treatment. In addition to her day time job at KOMO, she runs a non-profit providing comfort and care packages to young cancer patients. She continues to inspire me and I’m so incredibly grateful that both of us are healthy, and very much cancer free.
And my wonderful friend Aaron Fields: who went through treatment for a second time is now cancer free and starting school for graphic design in January.
My heart also goes out to the many lives who are so close to me as friends, colleagues, and confidantes who are staying strong, supporting loved ones, and continue their battle with this horrendous disease.
Here’s to health, healing, love, and the will and strength to continue…
Until next time dear, dear friends…