Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Year...

A year ago, I went to the doctors to check on a bump.  I didn't think much of it and wasn't actually going to go.  I thought it was just another abnormally large pimple or some sort of cyst that would eventually go away. In fact, it looked like it was getting smaller when I went into the doctors.

For my birthday last year, I celebrated with a biopsy and a surgery shortly after that.  I was told that I had a form of skin cancer and that it was aggressively spreading.  I was informed that the fact that it was "getting smaller" just meant that it was going deeper and that if I didn't have it removed (plus six inches around on all sides and down to the muscle wall) that it would have spread to my lungs and other vital organs.

It seems like it was a hundred years ago instead of just one.  Since then I've done so many things and I think accomplished a lot.  When I think back, I remember that at the time I couldn't see this far ahead.  It was murky and my future lay ahead a total and complete mystery.  I couldn't have known then the turns and twists and mountains that I would climb.

Here I am.  In a few days, another year older and hopefully a little wiser.  I could not have predicted this life as it is, but am happy with it all the same.  The struggles have only strengthened me and my loved ones.  And I am very grateful for all the support and encouragement that I've been shown.  The community has rallied to my aid so many times and I cannot fully express just how much that means to me.

If I have done good in my life, it was because there are those out there who believe in me and my vision.  So, one year later... I extend my hands in an embrace, to thank you for all that you've done and for traveling this road with me.

23 comments:

Marie Cramp said...

So glad you are doing better and that it was caught early! When I was 23 I lost my best friend to Cancer and it was the hardest thing I ever went through! I thank God for all his many blessings and I try to do good in my life as well!
So glad for your friendship Andrew!! <3

AJ said...

Hard to believe it's been a year! 2011 has really flown by.

I'm so happy that you not only got through the cancer thing, but went on to do so much. You're like an unstoppable force :D

pupton said...

Congratulations Andrew! A very happy accomplishment!

kate mckinnon said...

Much love to you, Andrew. I'm so glad you did go to the doctor a year ago... and I look forward to seeing you soon in Asheville!

Alice said...

Andrew, it seems only a short time ago you had the surgery. I'm so glad you chose to get it taken care of. After having lost my mom this June to melanoma, I know the consequences when this horrible cancer goes unchecked. Unfortunatly hers was not visible, so by the time they found it, her body was riddled with the nasty stuff.

You've accomplished so much this past year, and I have no doubt your future will be filled with great things.

Rebecca said...

It may seem like a strange thing to say, but I feel very privileged to have followed this part of your life here on your blog....so glad that a year on life is good and full of promise for the future. Here's to you and your vision - and Allegory Gallery of course.

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

You have accomplished so much! Here's to all the bright things the future has in store for you!

SummersStudio said...

Happy birthday, Andrew. You enrich our lives and I am happy you are here to celebrate this birthday in good health. Wishing you many more years on this amazing journey of yours.

Shel said...

Wishing you years and years of happiness, creativity and love!

You inspire so many and it's wonderful to see that you beat cancer's *ss!!

:)

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Bless you, congratulations, and happy birthday Andrew! I think life's difficulties make life's joys all the more sweeter. Here's to a better year ahead, one filled with happiness, prosperity, love and light!

Anne said...

Happy Birthday and congratultions on your one year of being cancer free. With all the changes in your life and the new direction you are taking, I am sure that this is just the beginning of a long life of creative indeavors.

Lois Moon said...

Happy b'day, congrats on celebrating a year free of cancer, and being wise enough to go to the doc and get it checked out! Here's wishing you many more trips around the sun!

Iviva Olenick said...

Thank g-d you're healthy. Here is to many more years of health and personal growth.

My Life Under the Bus said...

So glad you have the opportunity to experience this last year and look foward! Makes the sweetest moments even sweeter - celebrate!

Amber Dawn Inventive Soul said...

I remember your posts from last year. You are very brave, wiser and I love how you have simplified your life to enjoy it more.

I was flipping through the Steampunk book by Jean, for the first time, on Wednesday, while I was at work and I smiled when I saw your name. When I hear your name or read it, I think of how brave you are and how inspiring you are.
Many wishes of great and wonderful health!
Amber

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Happy birthday Andrew! Congratulations on all that you have accomplished this year, especially with everything you have been through. You are a shining inspiration!

vwise said...

Happy Birthday Andrew!!!

Diane Cipa said...

Happy Birthday, Andrew. My hubby and I are awaiting his results and hoping for the good news of one year being cancer free. I feel from this post that you were transformed by the experience. I think any dance with death does that to us but cancer makes it a slow dance and those able to leave that dance floor and walk back into normal life feel a bit dreamy and odd. For us, it felt like a lost year. Had to believe it really happened. I am so happy for you and your good feeling of well-being.

darbyscloset said...

Andrew,
Your beautiful post brings tears to my eyes....Happy Birthday and Happy Recovery! I am so glad you are here for it is only within this past year that I have had the pleasure to work with you!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs
Darby

Jenny said...

Thank you for allowing us to accompany you on your journey. When you were diagnosed, I was grieving for my beloved brother-in-law, who died only three weeks after his cancer diagnosis. It helped me reconnect with life, and to understand what a gift it is to have hope. You gave to us, too.

kmemho said...

Thank you for sharing Andrew! Your birthday is important in so many ways. I'm sooo very glad you've made a full recovery.

Gaea said...

Yay Andrew! : )

SueBeads said...

As a fellow cancer survivor, I totally understand where you are coming from! Every day brings new challenges but when you go through cancer, you figure out you can do anything!!!!! I'm so happy for you and your successes!