Where Are They Now: Justin Ozuna
I’m sorry for my absence. Something happened and I need to tell you about it.
A little over a year ago, I walked into a clinical trial without having any idea what to expect. Last October, I finally learned I was in a deep state of remission and felt, for the first time since my diagnosis, that I could begin the passionate pursuit of life again. I was stuck for 7 years and finally received permission to experience the freedom I wasn’t sure I remembered.
I didn’t know where to begin, but I used my fourth enrollment in school as a guide to pursue that which I enjoyed. I loved my classes, my major of emerging media/communications, and acquiring the tools to sharpen what I had essentially been doing for years – working, creating, and marketing in the digital space. I loved it so much that making all A’s became easy (As I wring the neck of my 21 year-old self).
I began to use those skills in my volunteer work with local and national nonprofits. I developed digital marketing plans, built blogs, helped to develop online communities, managed social media, and so on. I began to acquire clients and address their digital needs, as well. I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished in the past year alone.
Ironically, personal blogging once again became difficult. I built a following through my cancer trials and further developed this blog to offer an optimistic voice to the cancer community, but as I transitioned back into the life that you’ve probably experienced all along – daily chaos, stress, work, and fast-paced environment – I felt like if I wrote about cancer, I’d be holding on to something I was desperate to let go of.
Looking back, I’m grateful for the voice that I shared. Sometimes, I can’t believe I was the one who wrote what I did. To have walked through those experiences and allow myself to be transformed by them is something I’m very proud of. It’s a great foundation for a new life, a new career, a new outlook.
As for now, Katie and I are getting geared up with our wedding planning. I’ve developed our wedding website and am in the process of designing our invitations. I’m optimistic about my immediate future and feel incredibly grateful to have so many options in front of me. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this happy with every aspect of my life. I feel like that storm has passed, the sun has risen, and we’ve made progress in the rebuilding of our city.
I’m not sure where this blog will go from here. Because I have a heart for the cancer community, I don’t feel removed from my obligation to share my voice. I still want to offer encouragement, hope, and optimism to the world, in whatever capacity that may be. I’ll likely continue to do that here. But I’ll probably write about things unrelated to cancer, as well. I hope you’ll continue to be a part of that. If not, I completely understand.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. Your encouragement and support played a significant role of my life, and it will always be a part of me moving forward.