The Inspiration Initiative began it’s journey as the “Young, Dumb & Determined” blog. I had described it as “the musings of a “twenty-something” doing more than just trying to muddle through life. An exploration of life’s ups and downs, fabulous parties and hours of work.” It was the stories of my life at the age of 24. Life, however, took an unexpected turn six days before I turned 25 when I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The “young, dumb & determined” world that I knew and loved came crashing down around me. Late night cocktails with friends morphed into late night chemotherapy injections with nurses. Long walks on the beach with my boyfriend Mike turned into walks back and forth in the oncology floor. Planned vacations were cancelled and planned hospital stays were booked. Trips to the grocery store became trips to the pharmacy. Stressful days at work became stressful days at the hospital. Life went from carefree and fabulous to heavy and hard.
I spent 30 days at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston immediately upon being diagnosed and was put on an intensive two-year treatment plan to cure myself of this awful disease. It was February 26, 2014 (my 25th birthday) when I officially began my fight against cancer. It was then that I embarked on the biggest, most important journey of my life to date. This journey has been trying, difficult, painful and scary but it also has been incredible. While I would never have wished for this, I truly believe it was a blessing because it has helped me view the world in a different way. It has shown me that there is so much more to life than moving up the corporate ladder. It has opened my mind to alternative ways of life and thinking. It has taught me to view my body and mind as an incredible machine— one that needs work every single day. Above all else, it has shown me that people are good. Loved ones and strangers alike have been there for me in ways that I could never begin to express in words. They have shown me what true love is and what the term “being there” really means. People have offered me support and comfort and have given me strength when I needed it the most. It’s the people in my life: family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, strangers and my amazing team of doctors and nurses, that have kept me alive, both physically and mentally.
The weight that comes with having cancer is something that is difficult to put into words. The feeling of not knowing if you’ll live to get married, or have children, or fulfill all the dreams in your head is a hard thing to comprehend. It slaps you in the face with the reality that life is short and tomorrow isn’t promised. This line is so overly used but so rarely embraced. We all get caught up in the moment, swept away in the day-to-day dramas of life but it’s important to remember to find happiness in every single day, because today truly matters. Today is all we have so it’s essential that we appreciate it. Exploring and learning about life and ways to make your heart truly happy is what this blog is about.
Throughout my battle, I’ve found true strength and healing in writing down my thoughts and emotions and sharing them freely here. Thank you for visiting the Inspiration Initiative— thank you for listening to my story— thank you for sharing in my life. My hope is that this blog brings you the motivation to live your own life with purpose, energy, gratitude and above all happiness.
Lots of love and light,