As I lie on the bathroom floor in the middle of night, sick to my stomach and pressing my face into the welcome cool of the tiles, it is hard to think of getting cancer as a gift.
And again, when I'm strapped down into the radiation mask and it is digging into my increasingly red and sore neck - the idea that cancer is a gift can seem very far away indeed.
I'm tired all the time. Typing this post will take me several hours, because I can only get a few sentences in before I drift off to sleep.
I try to sit with Steve and the kids as much as I can while they eat their dinner; sometimes it's the only way I get caught up on the kids' busy days. But sometimes the smell of food is too much, and I just need to curl up and sleep until dinner is over.
The world swirls around me, moving at its usual hectic pace, and I feel frozen in place, taking it all in, from a mental space that is very far removed from everyone else's reality.
Cancer has reduced me, as a corporeal being, down to four bare essentials: eating, sleeping, medicine and pain. My body is weary, and the most basic task can reduce me to tears of pain or frustration in an instant. My body is not enjoying this cancer experience one bit.
I don't want for anything. Everything in my life is perfect just the way it is, even with the cancer, because the cancer is the instrument that shows me - like a treasure map - how valuable every single moment truly is.
I know how hokey that sounds; how Hallmark Card-y. But it's absolutely true: cancer has enabled me to treasure my life, my family in a way I'm not sure I could have without it. Cancer brought me right up to the this-could-be-taken-from-you-edge, and instead of fear, what I found was gratitude and grace.
Cancer is taking a profound physical toll on my body, which I expected... dreaded, even. What I did not expect was this feeling of completeness, of understanding that I have all that I need, right here, right now, and that I always did.