one week. resiliency.

Originally Published on October 28, 2013

Hello my lil pumpkins,

It’s less than one week away – one weeeeeeek!  A bit nervous, but much more excited to get out there and soak up the energy of this vibrant city.

With settling back into some routines the past week, I’ve been catching up on a bit of DVR.  This spring, a show called World of Jenks aired on MTV.  It’s essentially a documentary series produced by this young guy who lives with and follows the lives of three young individuals dealing with major life challenges.  Andrew Jenks is his name.  One of the individuals he follows is a girl in her 20s, Kaylin.  Kaylin is in remission from her second type of cancer and is living out her dream to be a fashion designer in NYC.  Kaylin and Andrew were having an open chat about the post-effects of her treatment and Andrew innocently insisted he would simply feel bad for himself if he were in her shoes.  Kaylin asserted back that he would build resiliency. And that got me thinking…

Over the years, I have connected with so many incredible individuals because of my experience with cancer - I would never trade them for the world.  When I think about resiliency, many different contexts come up for me.  Perhaps what is obvious to most is: keeping that will to fight -- to live – through and beyond treatment.   

But what people may not understand is that with being a cancer survivor, the resiliency trait is one that is still vital to embody every day.  Those internal battles, the fear of the cancer returning, developing a second cancer, scanxiety (anxiety before a PET/CT scan!), fertility, dealing with the post-effects of treatment.  Resiliency is a necessity. My close friends who also went through a stem cell transplant deal with intense post-effects: high blood pressure, cognitive delays, hypothyroidism, heart issues, menopause at age 27, 40% lung capacity and with that - collapsing of her remaining lung (twice).  But my friends thrive.  They run marathons, they start their own businesses, they do pilates, they take barre, they spin, they walk, they hike Mount Kilimanjaro, they get engaged, they go to school….they keep living, they are resilient.  Every darn day.

On Sunday, I am running for them and will wear their initials as I frolic through the five boroughs of New York:  AA, SH, SR, SV, EG, JO, CM, BK, IK, GO, LM, JW, JC, AB and in memory of NR, TC, MBO.

No matter what your obstacles are, I invite you to approach life with the same resiliency as my rock star cancer survivors.  We are all fighting our own battles, and how you show up to deal with them is your choice.   Choose resiliency.  Choose love.

BIG/HUGE/GIANT thank you to all of your emotional and financial support this year, and always!

See you on the other side of 26.2,

Lauren (Chi)