06/13/2012 12:24 EDT | Updated 08/13/2012 05:12 EDT

I've Been Cancer-Free for (Almost) Five Years


On August 3, 2012, I will celebrate being five years cancer-free. Although I've been talking about this on and off, for awhile, it has only become more real over the past couple of months. I can sense a transition. I can sense the unknown. I'm about to graduate to another level.

And along with this comes a whole other responsibility. The responsibility, as a five year cancer survivor, to continue to exercise regularly, eat healthy, and take care of my health. I have the responsibility to live all the lessons I have learned in the five years since cancer changed my life. After all, I have been to a place that only a cancer survivor, the loved ones who cared for a cancer patient, or the rarest of individual can understand.

This is what I know.

But there are days where this is easier said than done. There are days where fear takes over, and it seems to be taking forever to make it to this milestone. A variety of scenarios and outcomes go through my mind, with no real answers. And then I think that if I plan a party to celebrate my five years ahead of time, what happens if the cancer comes back prior to that date? Maybe if I don't talk about it, or stop writing about it, those thoughts will go away.

Well...they don't.

Thankfully though, there's a good side to this story. It is one that involves the many people that have supported me through my quest for a cure. It involves my incredible family and my three girls, who I love more than life. It is the freedom I feel when I lace up my shoes and run down the road. It's the promise of a warm sunny day, and the peace of a lazy afternoon listening to the pitter patter of rain. It is the promise of a new day, and the feeling of gratitude for the one that just passed. It's about life.

So here I am, a four year and 10 month cancer survivor at the threshold of my new era. One that's not unlike the months leading to my 50th birthday -- another milestone, but as different at the same time. I'm about to cross into the unknown, but once I have, I probably won't feel much different. It's the lead up that holds all the drama, electricity and excitement.

So I will continue to write about all my feelings, whatever they may be. They all make me the individual I am now. They will ring true to many others, I'm sure. And, I hope, they will inspire you to get up and move on -- on whatever life path you happen to be on.