Today I am grateful for life. My own life and the wide variety of life surrounding me-human and other. I am also grateful for time with our grandson Leo.

There may come a year when I don't feel the urge and motivation to write about the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. This isn't that year. Some use the term "cancerversary."  Some choose to celebrate it. Others choose to try to put it behind them. There is no right or wrong way. There is only each individual's own way.

I choose to write about it because cancer has left an indelible mark on my life in many ways. Since this marks the 7th anniversary of "D-Day," here are seven ways cancer is a permanent part of who I am:

1. The obvious: two mastectomy scars on the flat terrain of my chest.
2. The less obvious: the four smaller scars below the mastectomy scars, from the drain tubes that helped me recover and heal after surgery.
**But I have to tell you that even though I see my scars each day, they don't glare at me. They just are.
3. Cancer became a catalyst for the writer within. Long a poet, I am now a blogger and columnist writing essays with plenty to say, from the heart. The heart that lies beneath those mastectomy scars.
4. There is a fear that lurks in the back of my mind, moving to the front from time to time. Fear of recurrence or the scarier metastasis. But I face fear with faith and I try to do what I can each day to make healthy choices. (I mess up plenty, but I think my healthy choice column is ahead of my unhealthy choice column.)
5. That same mind is able to give a deeper and wider focus to prioroities and to gratitude for the gift of each day.
6. My soul is more in tune with my body, mind, and heart because of the experience we all went on together with scans, waiting, biopsies, waiting, surgeries, waiting, chemotherapy, waiting, healing. In losing body parts, I gained soul parts.
7. Indelible memories remain. From hearing the words "you have cancer" to the sharp pain of having those drain tubes removed; to the love, support, and prayers I received and continue to receive from others.

And a link to my post from two years ago today here. The poet has not left. She lives on. Just like I do, ever grateful for the opportunity to do both-live on and write on.