Dear 2017,

Thank you for being an amazing year.  You are the first year in the last seven years of my life that I spent the entire year cancer-free.  Seven years I have lived with cancer.  Whether in my body or not, I have lived with the ups and downs from diagnosis to remission, from relapse to remission, from a new diagnosis to…well, I’m not ready to use the “R” word just yet.  But, every year, except you, 2017, there was cancer in my body.

2017, you swept away the crazy cells that wreaked havoc on my body, and you successfully kept them at bay.  During your year, I had clear scans and unremarkable blood work.  My body was, and continues to be, cancer-free.  So, thank you for a good year.

2017, I learned a lot from you this cancer-free year.  I learned gratitude – for friends, family, and strangers.  I experienced love – not romantic love, but the kind of deep love you feel when someone has your back.  I moved from the land of the dying to the land of the living.  I moved from patient to person.  I let go of fear and anxiety (ok, not completely!) and chose to move forward, taking a new path instead of playing it safe.

2017, did you know one of my favorite songs is Seven Days by Sting?  Yep, seven again…Seven Days is a love song where, as I interpret it, Sting has seven days to decide on love, and he keeps putting it off.  He sings:

Monday, I could wait till Tuesday
If I make up my mind
Wednesday would be fine, Thursday’s on my mind
Friday’d give me time, Saturday could wait
But Sunday’d be too late

2017, you taught me not to wait.

2017, you haven’t always been easy.  You see, during the other six years, I lived from crisis to crisis and never really took hold of reality.  This year I learned that life truly lived is hard…you have to make your bed, you have to tell people how you feel, you have to face challenges unrelated to illness, you have to make choices (or, as I like to think, you get to make choices), you have to walk the dog in -10 degree weather.  But, that’s life, and I’ll take it.

2017, I will miss you.  I have no idea what 2018 will be like, but, to paraphrase the end of Sting’s dilemma,  Seven [years] will quickly go…Seven [years], so many ways…But I can’t run away…I can’t run away.

All my love,