THE BLOG

Cancer Is in the Eye of the Beholder

05/16/2015 10:30 am ET | Updated May 16, 2016

I wish I understood contemporary art museums. I really do. But most of the time, the creative genius behind the displays is totally lost on me. Someone can stick chewed up pieces of pink and blue bubble gum all over a light pole, and it's an eyesore and damage to public property. But cut down that light pole and illuminate it under track lights in a contemporary art museum -- and it's a masterpiece.

I don't get it.

But, that doesn't mean I don't want to get it. I just need a little extra time to understand. I need to see it differently.

It's a commonplace saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." And while that obviously applies to the visual arts, it also applies to cancer. This sentiment is not one I would have understood (or even accepted) at the onset of my cancer experience. But over the years, I've grown to appreciate what surviving cancer has taught me. When I'm willing to see it differently, new outlooks come to life.

Instead of my worst day ever, it's the day I started to cherish all of the ones that followed.

Instead of the bearer of barrenness, it's the bridge to adoption and unique expression of motherhood I get to experience.

Instead of my curse, it's my connection to millions of others who've faced the same diagnosis and need someone to support them through it.

Instead of my death threat, it's my reminder that nobody lives forever.

Instead of my handicap, it's my signal to take it slow.

Instead of my mandatory diet restriction, it's the built-in accountability to eat healthy.

Instead of the embarrassment that cost me friends in high school, it's the reason I appreciate true friends.

Instead of the thief that stole my youth, it's the blessing of wisdom at a young age.

Instead of the killer that's taken loved ones from me, it's the cause that unifies those of us still here and in our heartache, brings us together.

Instead of the excuse to blame God for my imperfect life, it's the fan that adds flames to my faith.

Instead of an ugly display and unsightly experience, it's like pink and blue bubble gum on a light pole displayed under museum track lights -- an inspiration to those who walk by and strive to understand.