I remember so clearly the day the doctor told me I had melanoma. Suddenly, life was serious. Initially, I remained calm and clear. I approached my illness the way I was taught science in college ­— gather the facts and look for a solution. I occupied myself, dilligently researching every medication and procedure.

There are times when I feel overwhelmed, when the grief crashes down on me like a wave. I learned that you can’t ignore grief, because this feeling is serious, it’s real, and it deserves respect. Now I know that when the water reaches high tide and I see that wave coming, I put on my goggles and dive in.

You can’t stop a wave, but you can start swimming.