It has been a year.
A year since I heard those three words.
A year since my life, my world, my sense of security was taken from me and held for ransom.
A year that was outlined by sickness, weakness, and sadness -- yet filled in with hope, promise and blessings.
A year filled with significant challenges, and crippling fears -- to a year filled with significant purpose and liberation.
From tied up to untied.
It has been a year of juxtapositions, of opposites attracting, of finding profound meaning in the deepest of suffering.
It was there in my blood -- the disease, the fight, the poison that healed me.
It was there in my blood, the tool kit, the road map, the navigation system for how to find calm in the most violent of storms.
It was year that forced me to be selfish -- when I am most comfortable giving.
It was a year that at caused me to retreat and become silent, when I wanted to be screaming.
It was a year that forced me to slow down when I am used to sprinting.
It was a year that tested all relationships -- physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It was a year of soul searching, evaluation and deep contemplation.
It was a year of unlocking the parts of myself that had been quieted and dormant.
It was a year of spiritual and creative awakening.
It was a year where my vulnerabilities were put on display, and my innermost strength accessed and harnessed.
It was a year where I was put on pause, and the rest of the world was on play.
It was a year where I watched your lives unfold, hoping to one day join you.
It was a year where where I lived somewhere between reality and fantasy.
It was a year of paralysis and a year of movement.
It was a year where I tiptoed between the shadows and the sunlight.
Tomorrow as I officially mark my first Cancerversary -- you will find me twisting somewhere between what was and what is -- between what was lost and what is now found.
These two worlds, these two selves -- these two experiences -- live within me.
I approach this day with the profound gratitude that I am alive, that I am here, that I am present and that I have survived.
May this year of taking become a year of giving.
Thank you for the lessons learned, for the hope renewed, for a life elevated.
I am and will be forever be grateful for you.
Follow Jenna Benn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/twistoutcancer