Thursday, June 6, 2013


by Veteran Cancer Fighter Janice Thorup

Cancer is not on my radar anymore. Leukemia plays its song in the background of my life, coming to the foreground just twice a year for testing. And while I’ve fallen in and out of remission, for the past five years I’ve been fine and the thought of leukemia has faded.

I still find myself telling new friends that I have leukemia because it was so life-defining for me. For years, it was the all consuming fact of my life: in order to know me, you have to know that I have been dancing with leukemia for 18 years.

Even though my disease is well managed (with a drug that has only minimal side effects), even though my doctor has said that I will most likely not die from leukemia, I retain the sense of a limited lifespan. I don’t feel the reasonable expectation of a future that others have. But this is largely a good thing. I understand the preciousness of life, the gift of life itself—waking to a cool breeze on a summer morning, watching the earth awaken from the lifeless forms of winter into the splendor of spring, drinking a cold glass of water or a warm cup of coffee. These smallest of sensory pleasures, not measured in money or time, have become enough for me.  I am mostly content with what life brings to me.

And there’s more: I have faced Death—have lived for a time thinking that I would die. I have faced Fear and learned about Acceptance. I would not trade these lessons for any amount of good health.

In 1995 Janice was diagnosed with Chronic Mylegenous Leukemia and given less than a year to live. Proving cancer wrong on a daily basis, Janice is happily married, a proud mother and grandmother enjoying the good life in Colorado.

Click Here to Read Janice Thorup’s Short Story The Blast Cells

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