A few weeks ago I got an email from a woman who is a 9 year survivor of a rare, aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. She was diagnosed just three months after her baby was born and was told she had 15 months to live. That was 9 years ago. She wrote to me sharing her story and telling me that at the moment of her diagnosis she decided it was all or nothing. That she would fight to beat the cancer with everything she had, and that's exactly what she did. She asked me if I would participate in writing something today to celebrate All or Nothing Day--a day I knew nothing about and still don't really know much about, but to my understanding it's a day to remember to think about how we live each day. It's a day about celebrating impossible moments, being grateful for what we do have, and making a commitment to going after what we want in life. We've got one shot on this earth, so we've got to follow our hearts and chase our dreams.
When Noah and I set out to make a family, we didn't know it was going to take this kind of all or nothing attitude. We didn't know we were going to have to be determined and not take no for an answer. We knew we were in it to win it, we wanted a child and we became insanely focused on how we were going to have a child given our various limitations. What that meant was that we had to let go of certain things, embrace other things, and in the end redefine our idea of family.
It took years of nothing. Of coming up empty handed time and time again. But we never thought of throwing in the towel. Sometimes the decision to walk away is the best one for you. Knowing when to let go and redefine your life once again is an important thing. It doesn't mean giving up, it means choosing a different path. But for us, though the path kept leading us in circles, eventually we found our way to our baby girl. It's been four months of exhausting deliciousness with her.
It's hard to keep going some times. It's hard to believe something will finally work or fall into place when most of your experiences have showed you otherwise. But if you want something, go after it. Accept whatever limitations there might be and then find a way around them. We only live once, why not give it our everything.