It feels like a good time to give thanks for another year. As 2019 approaches, I’m ready for another chance to push forward. Here are a few things I learned this past year:

  1. Talk is valuable.

If you’re a human being who lives and breathes on this earth, I recommend finding a good talk therapist. It will change your life.

2. God is dope.

I spent 13 years going to Catholic school but could never find a church I connected with. I feel blessed to have finally found a place that prioritizes faith, healing and service above religion. …

This month marks another milestone in my life post-cancer: My mediport is coming out, and if all goes as planned, this will be the least stressful surgery I’ve had in the last year and a half.

My first surgery, shortly after diagnosis, was to implant a type of port that makes it easier for nurses to draw blood and deliver chemotherapy treatments. The procedure was quick and easy, but I woke up to such a startling sight — long rubbery tubes that hung out of my chest and made me feel like a cyborg. …

Every time I look at the 13-inch scar that stretches from the top of my thigh to the top of my calf I’m reminded of where I’ve been and where I’m going. I think of the surgeon who removed a malignant tumor from my bone and replaced my femur, saving my leg and my life. Last year a cancer diagnosis shattered the world I knew, but it didn’t break me. I survived.

I’ve been cancer free for four months now, and for the next five years I’ll be getting regular screenings to make sure I know my status. That means…

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the pediatric ward at my cancer treatment hospital. Because the type of bone cancer I have typically occurs in young adults, I’ve been seeing an oncologist team that specializes in pediatric cancers.

The other day, while waiting to be admitted, I noticed that I was the oldest patient in the waiting area. I didn’t mind, though. I actually prefer it to my last hospital, where I was always one of the youngest patients in the room. Children have the most innocent spirits. …

July 12, 2017, was the beginning of the end. It was the day I finally started to see an end to my nearly yearlong fight with cancer coming. It marked my first chemotherapy treatment at the hospital I chose after becoming disillusioned with the doctors who first diagnosed and treated me. It was my first chemo treatment since my amazing new orthopedic surgeon removed an aggressive tumor from my femur and fixed my broken bone in a complex eight-hour surgery. …

Whether you’re battling an illness, struggling to cope with a traumatic experience or just feeling stressed out by the challenges of everyday life, music can help brighten your mood. If you need a little motivation to get through your day, take a listen to these feel-good songs.

1. Feeling Good — Nina Simone

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m feeling good.”

2. Hold On — Sounds of Blackness

“Hold on, change is coming. Hold on, don’t worry ‘bout a thing.”

3. We Fall Down — Donnie McClurkin

“We fall down, but we get up.”

4. Never Give Up — Sia

“I’ll keep gettin’ up when I hit the ground.”

5. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) — Andy Grammer

“It’s good to be alive…

It never fails. When I go out in public — clanking crutches against the pavement or rolling around in my wheelchair — someone will ask what happened to me. It’s been the teller at the bank, a stranger in a parked car, a neighbor in the elevator.

Call it small talk or curiosity killing the cat, too many people have tilted their heads and fixed their lips to ask why I hurt my leg. Most of the time I really just want to reply, “It’s none of your business,” but that would be impolite. …

It was almost May, and I had high-dose chemotherapy drugs pulsing through my veins. This particular treatment took 48 hours to dispense and a week of recovery time in the hospital.

Highly trained nurses delivered the drugs, wearing protective gear from head to toe. The chemo bag was too risky for my pregnant nurse to touch, so a different nurse hung the drugs and connected me to the IV pump. Another nurse called out my serial number, full name and date of birth to verify that I was the right patient, receiving the right treatment.

At the same time, an…

I should be in the hospital getting chemotherapy right now, but my body said “No.”

A couple of weeks ago I had an oncology appointment that turned into a marathon testing session. I had blood work, a chest CT scan, a full-body bone scan and leg x-rays — all pre-requisites for my upcoming 6-to-8-hour surgery. My mother clocked in a few miles worth of steps wheeling me from one end of the hospital campus to the next.

A few days later my doctor’s office called with the test results. As expected, the tests showed I still have a tumor in…

Once again I’m at a crossroads. As I peer out of my hospital window on the last day of yet another admission, I don’t know exactly what my future holds. My faith in God tells me I will be restored to full health in due time, but I don’t know whether that means more bouts of chemotherapy or whether my leg has healed enough for surgery.

During my hospital stay, I’ve found comfort in my personal effects — my handcrafted artwork and photos of my family/coworkers decorate my windowsill, and I sleep with my stuffed puppy and rosary beads at…

Krystle M. Davis

“Wiggle Your Big Toe” chronicles a young woman's experience with the Big C.

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