A year ago, I started down a new path in my life. I abandoned my comfort zone for something new. I started telling my story about living with Gardner’s Syndrome. I can honestly say that this past year has been full of transformations.
From writing about my experiences, I have learned a lot about myself and it has been interesting seeing how my perspective has changed over the years. I wanted to share some of what I have learned this past year with you.
For the first time in my life, I am able to accept that my disease will always play a role in my life. It may be a part of me for the rest of my life- but I can choose the role that it plays. It could hold me back and it has done this at times. I’ve changed my goals out of fear and felt uncertain about my future. My disease has taken its toll on my mind during different moments of my life. But it has also inspired me. I have developed a new attitude towards living my life.
I see myself as someone who has learned to live from the challenges that I have faced. I see myself as defying the odds- remission was a surprise in some ways. I have found a greater sense of appreciation for many things that come from living life including obstacles, relationships, and faith.
From my perspective, I see this disease as a gift. I’m very aware that not everyone agrees with me on this one. It’s been a gift in my life. Everyday, I feel like I am fighting my disease. It’s been an ongoing battle for the past 9 years. If I stop being proactive by taking my medicine and trying to live a healthy life, my disease will return.
Gardner’s Syndrome has given my life meaning. I have chosen to embrace living in the moment because I don’t know what my future holds. In some ways, this disease has added some zest to my life.
The biggest lesson I have learned sums this past year up really well. This revelation came to me a few weeks ago while I was writing a talk that I gave this past weekend about how I found who I am.
Knowing and accepting that Gardner’s Syndrome will always be a part of my life has changed my perspective. This disease can take what it wants from my body; it has already given me scars. I am very well aware of what it can do. But I can also tell you what it cannot do. It will never harm my mind or my heart. My experiences may change my perspective. But Gardner’s Syndrome will never take away my ability to love, overcome, or live my life to its fullest.