I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) at the age of 20. I started the first of 7 rounds of chemotherapy a few days before Christmas, 2008. While days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, I fought a physical and mental war that took it’s toll. While my friends celebrated their 21st’s throughout the year, I fought an aggressive illness that takes too many, with a 5 year survival rate of just 26%.
After 244 days in hospital I was told I was in remission and sent home. I never lost hope, but somewhere along the way I had lost meaning. In the maelstrom of my fight I’d lost sight of my purpose here on Earth, or maybe I never had one. It felt like my soul had been broken up and scattered beyond my reach. I’d lost my happiness. It was only when I took my first tentative steps back into the world during a brief trip to New Zealand that I realised the joy that had escaped me for so long was out there, every time I travelled, in the world. And if it wasn’t going to come to me, I would go and find it myself.
Because I’m more than a survivor. I don’t just want to survive. I want to thrive. I want to chase down happiness in every corner of the globe. I want to live a thousand lives by seeking the pieces of my soul that went missing all those years ago, so that when my time comes I will have heard infinite voices around the world to help me scream at the universe, “It was all worth it”.
To borrow a quote that fuels my search for meaning, “Time is something that cannot be bought. Cannot be wagered. And is not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.”
This collection of stories is how I live my life.
This is my journey at finding happiness after the chaos.
At finding meaning in the madness.
Thank you for being a part of it.
Yours in time,