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When you're handed a ticket for a bus that has already left the station.....

Fun fact about me: I played college volleyball. Well, let me be honest, by 'played' I mean I was on the team and I participated in practices, but really I kept stats while wearing purple spandex and screaming loudly for my teammates. I was once asked why I continued to play all the way through my senior year of college even though it was very clear that I was never going to see the court in a meaningful way. My answer was simple "Because I get to play volleyball". That was enough for me. I had the comradery of the team, I played a role in pushing those that did play to be their best, and I simply loved being an athlete and playing the game. Plus, we were winning and who doesn't want to be apart of a winning team?!? It never occurred to me to not play because it was something that I had done for my entire life and I enjoyed it.

The day I found out about the three tumors once located in my liver was the day I literally had to fight for my own life (verbally, no punches were thrown). Typically when someone is diagnosed as stage IV the best treatment you can hope for is a medication that will keep it in check, at best it might shrink. They don't offer harsh chemo regiments or surgeries to remove the tumors. It has already spread throughout the body, so trying to get it under control before it spreads, well that bus has already left the station. The doctor will explain your prognosis with some sort of timeline and offer support for getting your affairs in order. It never occurred to me that fighting cancer as aggressively as possible wasn't standard protocol in every case. So I had to beg for an aggressive treatment. I told the doctor to cut off my boobs and take out the half of my liver that had tumors (a healthy liver can partially regenerate, so in my head this was fine), but let me fight. I wanted to LIVE, because I've been doing it my whole life and I enjoy it!

Because my metastases were located in one organ (called oligo metastatic) I had a slim window to try to jump through for a 'curative' treatment, and while I'm no gymnast, I made it through that narrow window. Now we won't know until it appears on a scan, when or where the cancer will come back, but in the mean time- I get to live. I GET to go on adventures. I GET to try new foods, or savor the favorites I already know about. I GET to go to work. I GET to experience a pandemic. I GET to spend time with people that I love, even when I don't like them. Every day without having cancer is borrowed time that I wasn't supposed to get. So while I am not happy all of the time, I GET to be here. My perspective will occasionally need adjustments, but I'm CHOOSING to be grateful for what I GET to do, both the good and the bad, because I have so many more adventures to go on and I DON'T have time to waste.

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