Here we are in September, recognizing and participating in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Though every month should be a month of awareness, it is important that we have a month designated to educate, bring awareness, and raise funds for Ovarian Cancer prevention and a cure.
I was lying in bed, dealing with side effects from my latest chemo treatment, feeling angry about my plight, and the plight of so many who deal with this disease. I needed to convert my anger into something productive, so I began to think of the importance of September, trying to put a spin on Ovarian Cancer that might somehow take the power out of this illness, and gain some control over it.
I was looking out my bedroom window, and noticed just a few leaves changing color, beginning to show a tinge of gold and red hues, heralding the promise of the beauty of fall, soon to be here. I realized that my illness could not take any of that from me. No matter how ill I felt, the crisp air, rich red cranberry bogs, pumpkin bisque, blooming bittersweet, cozy sweaters, and so much more, would all be there for me to enjoy. Cancer could not take those treasures from me.
I extended my thought to so many other things, things that mean so much to me, that Cancer could not deny me. When trying to think of a single pleasure that symbolized all that I enjoy, it came to me – grilled cheese. Now I know you are thinking, “That is what she picks!!!” It is so seemingly insignificant and trivial, I know. But it is a simple pleasure that is a constant for me. I don’t have them often, but when I do it is a true treat that I enjoy no natter how I am feeling. Even if I am too sick to eat one, I cannot be denied the pleasure of thinking of my next grilled cheese creation. From the traditional grilled cheese, to a sandwich made of brie cheese and fig jam, and everything in between, they make up a simple pleasure that cancer cannot take from me. I have a Pinterest board devoted solely to grilled cheese recipes, constantly adding to my repertoire of concoctions.
Sounds so silly I know, but all of this is to say that Ovarian Cancer cannot rob us of our simple pleasures, of our simple daily joys, of what gives us our life experiences. There is so much we have in spite of our illness. Having cancer makes us look at everything with fresh eyes, appreciating the joy in simple pleasures, never taking anything for granted, empowering us over our illness, giving ourselves the upper hand. Find your own “grilled cheese” and enjoy it to the fullest, knowing that you have control of what you love, and of gives meaning to your life. You are in charge.