My heart is full tonight.  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite this way before.

I had a shit week.  A follow-up appointment with my surgeon led to the discovery of a new tumor (so much for being cancer-free).  This discovery led to a PET scan which discovered the cancer has spread (luckily not to my organs, but to some not so great places).  This tumor led to a two-night hospital stay to figure out how to manage the pain caused by this tumor…punchline is I’m still in pain.  But, at the end of my shitty week, I found so much love.

The most important thing to me this week was to get home to be at my alma mater/employer’s 50th anniversary celebration.  I wanted to see my friends and classmates, to celebrate with my colleagues, many of whom I consider family.  I wasn’t going to miss this special weekend.  So, two hours after getting released from the hospital, I jumped in the car with a friend and made the trip from Boston to Bath.

I am at a loss for words to explain what happened in the 48 hours that followed, indeed tears instead of words seem to be my default response.  But, instead of being tears of fear and sadness, these are tears of joy.  This weekend I felt pure joy and love.  I danced and my body felt good. I derived boundless energy from the people around me.  I laughed and didn’t feel like I was trying too hard.  I let myself have fun.  I had honest and difficult conversations with people I love. I told people what I needed and they respected my choices.  I allowed people to care for me and be vulnerable; I didn’t feel like I needed to be “tough.”  I told people I loved them.  If I could, I would give each of these amazing people a shout out, but you know who you are.

When I wipe off the tears and open my eyes, I see my amazing life.  Sure, I have another long road ahead, but for tonight my heart is full, my eyes are clear and I know with such special people in my life I can’t lose.