I wrote this post to my Facebook friends on July 31, 2019. I am choosing to share here, after many people have suggested I share in more places. I am also choosing to not edit the post as it is raw and real the day everything happened. Here’s what I learned the day I almost died.
Trigger Warning: Death.
Do you take your life for granted? Please don’t. None of us are promised tomorrow. I almost didn’t get a tomorrow during chemotherapy today. Most people know me as a fairly private person and few get to know me well. I only share this as I hope it will help others.
Today, I almost died during my chemotherapy treatment because the medicine (which I have had twice before) caused anaphylaxis. As a person who has lived with severe allergies (food, medicine, and environmental) my entire life, I have always known how precious life can be. However, this time I experienced anaphylaxis was different because it was so rapid. It was the most painful and scary one to date. I’m thankful for the team of nurses and doctor at chemo who quickly and calmly reversed the reaction and saved my life this morning.
If you have ever wondered if a person who is passing can hear you or feel your touch, they probably can. At least this was true in my experience. Before the reversal medications worked and my life was fading away, I could still feel whoever it was holding my hands and talking to me. It was very comforting and made me feel that if these were my last moments, I was not alone.
In a moment, everything can change. If you can, don’t sit back and think of what you would have, could have, and should have done. If you can make a positive change, do it! Go after your dreams, apologize when necessary, repair relationships that are worth it to fix, step out of your comfort zone when necessary for growth, and most importantly, learn to love yourself – I think it is the most important relationship you have.
Every time I have had a near death experience, I always reflect (long after the shock and recovery is over!) about my life and think about who I am as a person and whether or not I am proud of the person I am and the life I have led. If today was my last day, I can honestly say that I am proud of the person I am and the life I have led. Sure, there are many mistakes made, but I’ve grown from them and continue to learn how to be a better person every day. I know I have more work to do, and I hope life continues to give me that opportunity.