A New Day
Last updated: June 2023
I saw the sunrise today. Every time I see this beautiful phenomenon of nature, I think back to when I was first diagnosed with blood cancer and the initial uncertainty I felt about whether I would ever see another sunrise again. I had the feeling that if I regained my health, I would never want to miss another sunrise or sunset again.
A memorable sunrise
I was driving to my daughter’s house early in the morning when the sun came up. It was a beautiful hue of orange-yellow that lit up the eastern sky. She and her family currently live 2 hours away. I’ve made this drive countless times over the years that they have lived there, sometimes just to visit with them, and often to care for my 3 grandkids. I took for granted that they would always be a drivable distance from me. So this particular sunrise was even more brilliant in my eyes since I knew this drive would be one of my last. Instead of a 2-hour drive, my grandkids will soon be living across the country as my daughter and her family are moving to another state, a state that is no longer easily drivable.
Feeling uncertain about the changes in my life
Much like with my initial blood cancer diagnosis, I feel the uncertainty of how things will look moving forward. I find a feeling of safety in planning things, looking ahead and trying to fit in all the things I feel I might later miss. It’s the same feelings coming in a different circumstance. I’m finding it difficult not to worry about it, just as I have with a leukemia diagnosis and relapses, but I know eventually I will find acceptance for the changes to come.
Any change can be difficult, and life usually looks much different moving forward. This is true with a cancer diagnosis and with all life changes. I’ve made adjustments to live a full life after 3 bouts of leukemia. And I will make adjustments to communicate and interact with my family in new ways. If there is one thing blood cancer has taught me, it’s that we never know what tomorrow will bring.
Sunrise is a hopeful symbol
The sunrise is a symbol of hope, the hope of a new day, another chance to greet life with new eyes. The new day brings the opportunity for new choices, experiences we’ve never encountered and the ability for a do over from the day before. Whether we are feeling weak or strong, we are granted a clean slate when the sun comes up.
Treatments offer hope, too
I look at life after blood cancer treatment the same way. As rough as it may be for some of us to get through treatment, we are afforded the opportunity to view the world around us with renewed perspectives, a sense of accomplishment for making it through a tough time, and a fresh start where our bodies are renewed with the type of health we may not have had for many months.
While the days ahead will still bring challenges, the sunrise will forever be my reminder that I have the choice to start anew in whatever ways I choose to grow.
What blood cancer were you diagnosed with?