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Fresh Ink: 2023

A sparkler is held by a hand against a black background.

We are proud to share the work of our Cactus Cancer Society community writers here on our blog, including this piece, which is part of a series entitled Fresh Ink.

We value the voices of our community members and would love to share your words. If you would like to contribute to our blog here at Cactus Cancer Society, please email 

2023 by Dee

2023. This year I’m fully embracing & accepting the craziness of my inner child, she runs wild & free. No tethers, no shackles, no shame or guilt. 

I have learned to better understand the patterns of my anxiety, depression, fear of abandonment or the insecurity that comes with a cancer diagnosis, I’m struggling with chronic illness, & know what to do when I am stuck on the painful chaotic rollercoaster.

I have found my triggers and grounded myself by telling that 6 year old littlest me (one hand in your heart, one on your belly& breathe) 

“you are safe, you are loved, you are enough, nothing & nobody will get you today or ever” 

This year I’m able to lean into the nuance & duality of things with grace, love & empathy.

I know the pain comes & goes but calmness soon follows. 

I sit with it, let it chit chat a while, comfort it, acknowledge it & let it go judgment free.

I turn towards my pain with compassion, gentleness, love, empathy & find a path towards healing.

This year & going forth I am my own best friend, I am the parent I never had. I am that love that I give unconditionally to everyone around me. I ask for what I deserve. I have firm boundaries & little windows in my heart. I have control over how much access I give folks, it’s no longer 24×7 free access, it has to be earned. 

I value myself & my time. I prioritize myself & I’m vocal about my needs. I’m a better communicator & I understand you are not a mind reader. 

I relish my solitude, & find solace within me.

I am connected with like-minded peeps & created a safe haven for myself. I have gotten out of my fear cycle & asking for help is not so difficult anymore. I have the right people around me… my tribe is my pride.

I know I’m loved & I’m not alone.


Maybe a bit too much….. & totally fine with it!