No longer did I take for granted the sunlight on my face, the touch of a caring hand, the sound of laughter or the taste of a tear. This battle, this journey, this pain were a constant reminder of how precious the gift of life was. It was that revelation that gave me the strength to fight, to hold my head up high and embrace what dignity I had left. The dark circles that shadowed my tear stained eyes, the outline of bones protruding through my red, welty skin. The sores hidden beneath my now thin hair….the absence of my passion for life were a result of the pain hidden deep within. It was there, with each beat of my heart, with every breath I took. There were few who stood beside me sharing yesterdays pain, todays fears and tomorrows uncertainty. Those who did not understand the nature of the beast chose to turn their heads, it was perhaps easier for them. It was then I learned what loneliness felt like, after awhile I had become numb realizing it just didn’t matter anymore…….