I think I died two Aprils ago.
I stepped on a plane headed for California as if nothing would change, and when I woke up, everything was new, and everything old was suddenly gone.
I left my friends and colleagues without saying goodbye. My home of five years, Silver Spring, Maryland, had been clouded by chemo. My job was gone. My apartment and worn furniture—it was all gone, without one goodbye.
I’m still afraid to say goodbye, and maybe I don’t have to. I’m afraid to step on a plane, because the last time I did I feel like it killed me. I had everything. My daughter had just been born. My career was finally evolving. And then I plunged into an emergency room and months of darkness on an IV. I’m afraid of where the next plane will lead.
I’ve traveled the world but I don’t want to leave home again. I feel safe here. And I’m comfortable, in my home, in my new life, with my business, family, and acquaintances.
I know I didn’t die that day I finished chemo. I’m still alive—I know. But my plane went down that day I settled in California and sometimes I feel like I’m living an unsettled debt. I wonder how I got away with this new life. I feel blessed.
I didn’t even have time to breathe. Cancer, and the path it sent me on, took everything away. And when I awoke it took months for me feel normal again. But I never paused. And I never looked back. As quickly as I transitioned from healthy to the chemo ward, I was back in the job hunt, then working 100 hour weeks running my own business. I never took pause. And I still feel like I died.
This is a new life, whether I died or not. And one day, when I’m up to it, I’ll get back on a plane. But right now I’m still too busy trying to figure out what happened.