It’s Been 6 Years Since I Rang the Survivor’s Bell

6 years ago today – how can that be?

It truly feels like a lifetime ago and sometimes I almost wonder if I really went through cancer treatment or was it just a dream. The scars on my body are the physical indicator, the impact on my mind maybe a stronger one.

To be completely candid I am finding this anniversary almost sad in that I find myself wondering what have I done in the last 6 years? How has my life changed? Do I choose to live joyfully and in celebration each day? Have I made a difference with my life? Maybe it is a pressure that I have put on myself – I am sure I am not the only survivor that has felt this way, sometimes wondering “why did I survive and not someone else – someone with children of their own or some brilliant individual with able to create a world-changing impact for a large number of people”.

Today is a day I know should be a celebration for me, but honestly I find today’s battle the battle not to reflect too deeply, not to wonder too wildly, and to push myself to smile and recognize this day – perhaps not so much because I am feeling it for me today, but in hopes that my survival can be a beacon of hope and encouragement for others that are in a different stage of their own cancer story.

To those still waiting to ring that bell I hope that when you ring it you ring it loud & proud and scare the hell out of some poor unsuspecting “victim” in the bathroom thinking that a fire alarm has just gone off!

To those that have loved someone who didn’t have the opportunity to ring it or see their 6 year anniversary, I find myself wanting to apologize. Apologize that I survived and they didn’t, apologize that I haven’t done more with my life since ringing the bell. Apologize for the way I am feeling.

Know that I carry you all in my heart – those that journeyed with me, those that had a hand in saving my life, those that I have known and lost along the way, and those of you “strangers” readying this fighting your own battles. May we all continue to ring our own Survivor Bell each and every day until the sound of the ringing of the bell becomes not just about survival but about living in joy and the knowledge that the sound of our bells is what changes the world – if even just one moment and glimmer of a smile from a stranger on a day when they were wondering if they had the umph to pick up their own bell.

With love,

Glenna

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