Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ten Years of Life

feb152002

I don't usually give in to sentimentality or to the personal overshare but I'm making an exception for today, which marks the ten year anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with leukemia. The day I was diagnosed made me anxious for the day when life would "return to normal." While life has returned to normal in many big ways, it is completely different in all the small ways. I find it impossible to take beautiful moments and even difficult ones for granted now, because I am reminded of what I've fought through to make it there. So even when I am crying on the steps of the Library of Congress about my dissertation chapter, I am always also thinking, "What a blessing to be alive and to have the luxury to cry about this!" Today I feel so happy to be healthy and long-of-hair; I feel deeply indebted to my parents who sacrificed so much of their own lives in the pursuit of my wellness; and most of all, I am grateful just to be alive, and to experience all the goodness and all the hardships that come with it.

138 comments:

cogscipixie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. It really hit home for me as I'm a 1st year doctoral student trying to figure out why I am going crazy every day, when I have so much to thank for from a supportive family and friends. :) You're an inspiration! -Christina

Faith - Sweetened Style said...

So awesome, thanks for sharing! Living with a chronic disease myself, I know it's so easy to forget what a blessing life is! Thanks for the reminder today.

Sarah said...

What a beautiful post, Tania. I actually had no idea you had battled with leukemia until this post. Here's to the next incredible ten years of your life!

steffy said...

I'm so glad you shared it though, so we can celebrate with you!

FourJedis said...

What a positive post. That's so thoughtful of you to commend your parents after all that you had gone through. Congrats on all you've done in the past 10 years and that you have been here to do it all! Very few leave such imprints during their entire lives, but you've done so much in a short amount of time!

preethi said...

I had no idea about this - what a lovely post. Thanks for sharing!

preethi
lace, etc.

Elena said...

Beautiful post. Here's to many more decades! And thank you for a reality check...so much to be grateful for. :)

Rebecca said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this.

Lindsey Rhodes said...

How warming...this is a great reminder. Thank you.

flimsylindsey.blogspot.com

Sarah @ The Pajama Chef said...

long time reader, new commenter here. what a beautiful post! i had no idea you fought (and beat!) leukemia. thanks for sharing. :)

kelsey said...

a good reminder for all of us :) i appreciate you, friend!

amber said...

Congratulations on life, your grateful outlook, and looking exactly the same as you did as a teenager. :) Seriously happy to have you here.

Ashley said...

Beautifully said. Sometimes it's easy to forget what a blessing it is to be alive. Thanks for the reminder.

grace said...

10 years! congrats on being healthy and able to enjoy life, even in the more difficult moments. XO

linnea paulina said...

Tania, I had no idea either! I am so happy that you shared this with us so we can celebrate with you. Your story is a good reminder not to take any moment forgranted. Yay for 10 years of LIFE!

Emma said...

Wow, glad I'm not the only one who was completely clueless about this. (Your hair is so beautiful! Is that a really weird thing to say?)

Congratulations on 10 years of loving life for what it is, good and bad. You're an inspiration!

Sara S ♥ said...

Beautiful post, Tania! I always try not to take anything for granted either. Thank you for sharing this with us!

~Sara
sarastrauss.blogspot.com

Frannie Pantz said...

Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. Best wishes and well being to you. You are a true survivor and I am proud of you (even though I don't know you).

.Sté. said...

I never imagined. I cried while reading this post today.

Always go through here, I think your style is beautiful, you're sweet.

Elaine said...

This was a beautiful post. Congratulations on the wonderful years!

FutureLint said...

So awesome of you to share this. A good reminder that every day, even a bad day, is a blessing.

Anonymous said...

i just started reading your blog and this is fucking rad. congratulations!

Jessica said...

This is such a great reminder. The grad school life can really make it hard to step back, put things in perspective, and appreciate how lucky we are. Thanks for sharing!

-Jessica

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I can hardly imagine what it feels like to go through that, and I just wanted to say congratulations and that this helped me to remember to be grateful. All the best to you!

minotchka said...

It's An incredible story . Made me grateful. I'm enjoying more of your blog from now on :)

alayne said...

thanks for the reminder to be grateful for every moment. I'm working on the last couple months of my Master's degree (aka thesis) and I am in a battle with my ex for custody of my daughter. sometimes it is hard to stay positive. then I read things like this, which make me realize how blessed I truly am just to be alive and to be experiencing life.

you are incredible. thanks for being you.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said. Thanks for sharing.

Everyday Adventures said...

Thanks for sharing this personal story on your blog! What an incredible feeling it must be!

Laura Ann said...

Wow - I had no idea that you had been through this. That's an amazing story.

sarah {on the brightside...} said...

Congratulations on 10 years! I hope you are blessed with many, many more! So often we take the fact that we are simply alive for granted, yet that is the biggest gift we have! Thanks for sharing this! :)

Anja said...

wow, you went through so much and you such a strong person. I am glad you are healthy and thank you for sharing this moment. I can understand your feeling just a little bit. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of a horrible accident I only barely survived. I can only agree with you and wish you all the best! Stay strong, enjoy every moment and celebrate life!!

Mackenzie said...

I had no idea about your story. Glad your okay lady, and that it's given you a great perspective. You're outlook is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story! We are all so lucky to be here. Here's too many more decades of happiness!

Dee

modern Suburbanites said...

beautiful post, thank you for sharing!

Monique said...

Thanks for sharing, sometimes it takes moments like that in life to put things into perspective. I have a handful of good friends and loved ones who have had cancer.

Every moment is a gift- a blessing. I don't know you personally, but from reading your blog, I feel like you are beautiful (inside and out). Congrats!!!

Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing and congratulations on 10 years! Thank you also for the reminder to feel blessed to be alive and to treasure each moment. It is so easy to forget how lucky we are, and it always good to have a reminder to treasure life and all that we have.

BreAnna said...

Joining the masses in saying I had no idea either. I really appreciate you sharing this part of your story with us. Congratulations on ten years of life! That is a wonderful accomplishment. <3

rebecca said...

thanks for getting personal on the blog. everyone needs a reminder like this.

Andrea said...

Oh my, what a brave soul you are! Thank you for sharing, and for making us all a bit more appreciative.

PS: So... you're sure about this dissertation thing? Sometimes I think to myself if I were sane and really understood the meaning of life, I'd quit :) I think its a coping mechanism, don't you? It's actually quite refreshing to hear you say the opposite actually :) Cheers to you!

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing this. my mother recently had the 12th year anniversary of her breast cancer diagnosis. within these 12 years, i lost a sibling very tragically at a very young age. i recovered from the shock of a suicide attempt of someone very close to me. i can go on and on. as a phd student, whenever i cry over something, i always remind myself of how lucky i am just to be healthy and alive. i hope you have a long, happy and healthy life.

wildchild said...

congratulations on life :) glad to hear you're enjoying and making the most out of it!

Betsy said...

Thanks for sharing!

Jen @PhD Style said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sehar Bique said...

Thank you so much for sharing this and making me appreciate the little things in life :) and here's to the many years coming!! Cheers!!

Love
Sehar

Anonymous said...

You continue to be an inspiration to me--you are kind and compassionate, smart, beautiful and make the world a better place in so many ways. Yeah for your tenth anniversary--there is so much to celebrate.

Amber K. said...

Hooray for life! I'm glad you get to celebrate. :)

Christine-Chioma said...

Wow! i had no idea! SO glad you are alive! Thanks for sharing your experience. I actually love it when you get more personal on this blog.

Sunjo said...

You are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

Diana said...

Thank you, Tania, for sharing your story with us and providing us all with a much-needed dose of perspective. I, too, suffered through many years of an illness (though it was not nearly as serious as your own experience), and it makes me grateful every day for each moment filled with friends, family and learning. May you have many more decades to celebrate your health and well being!

Anonymous said...

Wow what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing!

Also do you think you could share links to non-fashion blogs that you like? I seriously only like your blog when it comes to fashion but I love reading blogs about people's lives and would love to know what you would recommend.

danielle and dinosaur toes said...

i think is a great post, and i love that you came away from a dark time with that sort of positivity!

H said...

I'm sure I won't be saying anything that hasn't already been said, but thanks for posting. You're passing on a lot of positive vibes and helping your readers at least stop for a second and think about appreciating things more.
Keep it up. :)

Whitney said...

This (seriously) made my day. I just celebrated two years after my diagnoses with cancer - diagnosed at 25 - and I was overwhelmingly happy to see that date on the calendar. 10 years! I'm thrilled for you. I can't wait to get there myself.

Joanna said...

I just want to celebrate your life with you! It's amazing that you went through that and came out with your life and your spirit so strong. I sincerely applaud you.

Thank you for sharing.

ModaMama.blogspot.com

bella said...

Thank you for sharing. Your posts about your journey to fight, defeat and survive cancer are very inspiring. Here is to a long and healthy life!

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

I am so overwhelmed by your kindness, thank you all so much for adding so much joy to this day!

@3:20 anonymous--yes, i'd love to. some of my recent favorites are annehelenpetersen.com, e-tells-tales.blogspot.com, thehairpin.com, slate.com, rockstar diaries, a cup of jo, wit and delight, you are my fave, and simply bike.

@2:07 anonymous--it sounds like it's been a really hard year for you, that sounds incredibly overwhelming. i think going through those big hard things has helped me take grad school woes with a grain of salt--i've paid the price to meet life this way, but it is a hidden blessing of those hard times. i hope that life gets easier for you, and your mother's health continues to be good!

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

@anja--i'm sure you understand it well! i hope your health is doing well today.

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

@emma--no, thank you!! i am protective of my long hair because of what it symbolizes now and i love getting compliments about it--it's a sign of life :)

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

@alayne--wow, that sounds like a really stressful time for you. i hope you can be gentle with yourself in what must be an overwhelming situation. and good luck with your thesis--i hope you enjoy the triumph when you finish!

the other emily said...

Congratulations T on ten years of health, and here's to the many, many more amazing decades still ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. As I'm currently clawing my eyes out over a chapter from my own thesis, it was a timely reminder to take a a deep breath, count my blessings, and not sweat the small stuff.

Mary said...

I think you're an incredible lady, Tania, and I'm grateful for your life as well! So happy you are alive and well, and that I get to know you a little bit. {And hooray for long hair!}

Anonymous said...

You are such a beautiful inspiration. Wow!

Sarah-Anne said...

i had NO idea that you had leukemia! what an amazing story.

Abbey Rose said...

You're so amazing! Way to fight and come out stronger. This makes me admire you more than I already did :) Thanks for sharing that with us!

Samantha Manzella said...

This is incredibly inspiring, and you are so strong and brave! I had no idea that you ever had leukemia! Thank you for sharing something so personal with a place as impersonal as the internet. I'm so happy that you are alive, happy, and in good health. <3

- Samantha
http://www.nerdysam.com

Terri said...

Happy Anniversary!! Congratulations on continuing to make the most of your life. Thank you for letting us in!
http://stylishsass.blogspot.com

SoFashionistica said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I really think that not only are you a great fashion inspirator but you must also be a great person as well. I know I couldn't imagine going through what you went through but I am so happy that you made it through and you continue on living each day with a hopeful mind. I remember reading your blog in your early posts and I remember wondering about your illness and how you coped. I'm so glad that you are a fighter and that you inspire not only people who are going through the same thing you went but anyone who has ever been at their lowest. Thanks for everything!

AmberRay said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. It really makes you think how precious life is.

Reaction said...

I admire your courage!you will give an example for your strength to other people that are sufferimg!I am watching you some months and I could not imagine!Thank you for sharing it with us!and keep walking of course!Happy anniversary girl!!!

kenda said...

this is such an inspiring post. thanks for sharing & congratulations on ten years!

Linley said...

Tania,

Thanks for sharing this! When reading fashion blogs, I always find it nice to not see an outfit and hear about the individual - and I loved hearing this about you! Congratulations on how far you've come - 10 years is amazing! And I love your thankful spirit - we all need more of this!

Have a GREAT day!! (:

Anonymous said...

What a remarkable post. If I were in your position 10 years ago, I don't know if I could be the smiling girl you are in your pictures. Truly wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Deidra said...

Thanks for opening up and sharing. It's a great reminder for all of us. It really is such a beautiful life!

Sweet Laundry said...

What's so great about all of these photos of you in the hospital is that you have a smile on your face. It says so much about the kind of person you are. You are wonderful :)

Lisa said...

Wow, so inspiring. I had no idea. Thank you for sharing. You are very strong!

Vivi K said...

This is beautiful. I'm so happy you shared this personal part of your life!

Much love, Vivi

Kat said...

I don't know you but I love your blog! I am so thankful you shared this because it reminded me to enjoy life's blessings and burdens. Seeing beauty in both is truly living. God bless you with continued health.

xoxo, kat

elbee said...

Holy crap, I didn't even realize. Thank you for sharing, and happy 10th re-birthday! <3

Joanne M said...

Wow, thanks so much for sharing that with us. Happy to know you are healthy and kickin' it with us:) You're a trooper!

Mrs. Baker said...

I never knew this about you-thanks for sharing! happy 10 years!!!

Sidewalk Chic said...

*Hugs* I'm so glad to have known you, Tania. Thank you for sharing your story and your photos and your writing -- it definitely drives home how precious and fragile and beautiful life really is.

Here's to the next 10 years.

The Learned Lady said...

Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story. Makes my own worries about my dissertation seem petty as well ;)

sam, elias, atticus said...

One's health is so easily taken for granted, but is one of our greatest gifts. It is so often hard to appreciate it until it is threatened. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing with all of us!

Girlie Blogger said...

What a wonderful post. Certain things put everything into perspective. You looked beautiful even in a hospital gown, by the way.

www.thegirlieblog.com

Emily said...

Look at all those big smiles you've got on, even in the hospital! I really love the picture of you bent over your notebook in your hospital bed-- you look so absorbed in your writing, as if you're completely unaware of both the photographer and the gloomy hospital surroundings. It's very innocent and sweet and sad. I'm so, so glad that the story it tells has a happy ending. Here's to many more years of health, strength, and perseverance.
-Emily W.A.Q.A.W.V.W.W.W.

Gina said...

Wow. You are amazing. Congrats, girl! Here's to the next ten!

Nancy L said...

oh my goodness, you're such an inspiration, tania, thanks for sharing. here's to many more 10 years! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats! My sister was diagnosed with lymphoma two years ago but she's off chemo now is back in law school. Anyway, she reminds me of you (partly because I think law school is like grad school and partly because she also took up literature in college). I'm looking forward to reading another post ten years from now!

Sugandha said...

HUGS

Louise, Raspberries In Winter said...

You are one seriously amazing woman Tania. Seriously! You are an inspiration to many I'm sure. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, and what a blessing to all who know you both personally, and through your blog, that you are among us! I have my own "before and after" signal moment of near-tragedy, and I agree wholeheartedly with you that the appreciation for the little things in life never again leaves us, even if it's not always at the forefront of our consciousness. Wishing you many more beautiful and fulfilling years!

Mica said...

What a beautifully written post, what a blessing and inspiration.


awayfromtheblue.blogspot.com.au

Elegantly Academic said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us & congrats on your milestone. Here's to another 10 years!
Kelly xo

Amy said...

This is lovely, thank you for sharing the day with us! This is the sort of thing that makes our little victories everyday worth it xXx

blackberryhorse.blogspot.com

Job and Rachael said...

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Bridget said...

<3

Laura said...

You have an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing...you are very brave.

http://thescenicroad.blogspot.com/

Office Worker said...

Congratulations and I hope you have many, many more years of health and long hair :)

carmen st-cyr said...

Je comprends maintenant pourquoi tu respires la fraîcheur!

Branka said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, I wish you many many healthy and happy years, hugs and kises <3

Via Los Angeles said...

Just found your blog today. Truly amazing! Sending you best wishes!
Daniela

Messy Jess C. said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I will definitely keep your message in mind next time things tough. Thanks again!

Issa Lou said...

What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing such an amazing and brave story. It's very encouraging!

www.issalou.com

sgriffis said...

Wow. What a beautiful message. I got a little choked up when I read this. I've been in a funk for weeks because of how hard I'm working, how hard my program is, blah blah (I'm in a masters program at Harvard). Reading this really put things in perspective, and you're right- I am actually blessed to be going through the difficulty of my school. You're such a positive, kind person (yeah, I know I've never met you, but I follow you here); I never would have guessed you'd been through such a thing. So happy you're alive and well.

whatamandawore said...

thanks for sharing and for the message. I approach life with that philosophy because I know it can all change in a spilt-second. Here's to another 10 healthy years and many, many more :)

A. said...

I love this post, your blog, and our shared love on danskos! Thanks for a greatly needed reminder about life.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It was a honor to read such a personal post. Here's to health and academic writing!

K said...

Wow. Great news. Health is a gift and not to be taken lightly. Thank you for sharing!

Jolayne Whitmarsh said...

i just want to say that you are an inspiration.

Simply Bike said...

Oh Tania, when people write in comments on people's blogs, 'this made me tear up,' I usually think, really? Did it really? Because you don't even know this person. But I think I might just have had that moment with this post. I know we only know eachother through the blogosphere (I can't believe I'm writing that either, and not in an ironic way), but I feel like I've come to know you as a friend or at least a kindred spirit and I am so happy that you exist :)

I wish you many many more years of cancer-free living (until you're old and wrinkly at least) and celebrate with you this huge milestone from afar!

S.

Betul said...

I had no idea.... I am so glad you shared this.. Thank you.

Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing this incredibly personal story--just really encouraging and such a positive message.

Claire Girodie said...

Waouh... This is a amazing and inspiring story... and a reminder to enjoy each tiny moment in life...

Natalie said...

Congratulations on 10 healthy years! Wow, Tania, you are so inspiring in so many ways! Thank you for sharing this, and for really putting life in perspective for a fellow grad student!!

All the very best in your many years to come! x

Cait said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cait said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I was really touched to hear you're doing well 10 years later! I'm a student at Penn State and this weekend we're having our annual dance marathon, known as THON, to celebrate this years efforts for raising money for kids with cancer, so this touches home. Last year we raised $9.5 million for cancer research and funding, so I hope someday kids won't have to face cancer, but you're an inspiration, because look how far you've come!

Rebecca said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad that you are healthy now!
Best wishes, Rebecca

Cynthia @ Go Chic or Go Home said...

Beautiful post, Tania. Simple and perfect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing! Here's to many more decades of gratitude and strength!

Anonymous said...

Wow! As someone who has been reading your blog for only a little while, I appreciate (and feel honored) you have shared these personal details. I wish you continued good health and good luck with the disseration! You've already made it with your clothes in my opinion!!

Anonymous said...

You really are inspirational. Your retrospective comments and your blog and person shine through with sweetness, strength, and kindness. Thank you for being so generous in sharing.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness! i'm just an occasional reader but what a beautiful post. you're so right to recognize the privilege of having bad days! i'll be sure to bear this in mind in my own life (and similar gradstudent experience).... thank you!

also, on a more superficial note, you look just like you did ten years ago; it's like you haven't aged a day!

steph said...

halleluja. thx 4 sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful sentiment. I hope you have many more blessed years ahead :)

Anonymous said...

You know what? You really inspired me today to get off my own behind and do stuff. I've had health issues during my PhD, I had so many cancer tests... but most of my problems now are because when I was going through all of that, I had no support network. Anyway, I shouldn't complain because I'm alive, right? It's good to be alive. Thank you so much, you are beautiful inside and out!

Lexi said...

Tania,

I echo the sentiments of all those above and want to say thank you for sharing. I work as a fundraiser for a children's cancer hospital and stories like yours make me feel so happy to continue the work that I do. Thanks for putting a little bit more motivation in my day to raise more money to help those kids so they too can celebrate 10 more happy years. :)

-Lexi

Elizabeth said...

I wish you many, many more decades of health and happiness! :)

Nicole said...

You are so inspiring. Thank you for reminding me what a beautiful life this is. http://roccitystyle.blogspot.com/

Kym ((bitty)) said...

well. if that ain't touching, i don't know what is.

Jadekitty said...

Thanks for sharing your anniversary with us.

Jenny said...

Very inspirational!
Here's to your health happiness!

koko mo said...

aw thank you for sharing something so personal, your are such an inspiration! what a blessing you truly are, i am so happy for you for overcoming so much!! :)

Hira said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. You are an inspiration! May you always be happy and healthy =)

MEG said...

Inspiring. Thank you. I'm so glad you overcame the illness and have such a healthy, admirable outlook on the experience. Best of luck and happiness to you!

C said...

duh.... as with everyone else, no idea about this hidden triumph over adversity. So many times people think that fashion bloggers (if you consider yourself one) are superficial, but so many times, they are not at all.

Unknown said...

Aw, crap! I'm a 50-something grown man and you've got me bawling like a little girl!~

Danie at Pasadya said...

Oh, wow! I'm so glad that you got through such a difficult time. My heart goes out to you--my dad was diagnosed with cancer about a year and a half ago. He got through it, and It truly is an eye-opener. So very happy for you! :)

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