Five years ago, I was in the Iraqi desert, an embedded journalist with the 3rd Infantry Division. None of us could have imagined back then that the war would go on for so many years, and that the costs would be so high.
That experience tested and challenged me.
Five years later, I'm in physical therapy. Standing for a few minutes without holding on to anything, getting up from a chair without help ... these are new triumphs. How things have changed.
Trying to cope with my cancer is the hardest thing I've ever done. Harder than any war. The toll on my body has been substantial, greater than any hardship I've endured.
And like those other major experiences, it has taught me things. I've learned more about who I am, more about strength and courage, more about life.
My career prepared me for that war, five years ago. I don't think anything can prepare you for cancer.
I look back on the war now and think how easy it was for me. These last couple of years? They've been tough.
But all these experiences have made me who I am. And for that, surprisingly enough, I'm grateful.