Life had begun anew. On my twenty-first birthday, I received the news that I had been cured. No, I knew the moment the first dose of treatment hit my bloodstream, I had won. It was merely required that I survive the ordeal. Time was lost to me. I had heard that treatment lasted 6 months, but it seemed only a day, and yet…a lifetime. I felt as though I had woken up after a long dark sleep.
My senses returned to me. The world seemed brighter, more vibrant than I could remember. Scents hung in the air, colors leapt out at me. Memories etched themselves into my mind. I felt renewed. My mountain had not claimed me. Proudly I stood at its peak, the conquerer and not the conquered. No more would I struggle. No more would I wonder if I could survive the night. My life was my own.
Every test proved my life was back in my hands. Every scan looked normal, every doctor visit returned positive results. Slowly, surely, I made the trips less and less. It was hard at first, not having anything to do every other week. Some times I would look at the clock and think that I had better get ready, it was almost time for treatment. And then I would remember that those days were over. I no longer needed those training wheels. I no longer needed that weapon to keep me alive. I WAS the weapon.
Some things, however, had to change. There were parts of me that would never go back to the way they were. I was irrevocably changed by this chain of events. For better or worse, there was no turning back. I could only go forward each day, as the man I had become.
I had danced with death and lived. That fact had rooted itself in my very core. I slowly began to realize the truth of what had happened. Colors were more vibrant because I had lived in darkness. Sounds were more distinct because I suffered in silence. I saw life for the value it held. This one life I have, became the greatest treasure imaginable.
It was at that moment that I had truly awaken. When all other lights had faded, mine burned even brighter.