Blessings of Cancer
It might sound cliché or trite, but I really did find blessings through having cancer. With Christmas approaching, I figured it’s a perfect time to share the ways cancer has truly blessed my life.
1. I no longer take anything for granted.
Before my diagnosis, I took a lot of things for granted. Life was, for the most part, easy and my fears and problems, looking back on them now, were just not that serious. Then so many of these things became not so easy and a lot more serious, and I realized how much I had taken for granted. Over the past few years, I have become far more aware and appreciative of every relationship, every milestone however small, every act of kindness, every laugh...all of it.
2. I have a new perspective on life.
Being diagnosed with cancer at 29 forced me to stand toe-to-toe with my own mortality. It put my life into perspective. There was a period where we weren't sure just how serious my diagnosis was and the harsh reality that time is finite was uncomfortably clear. How much time did I have? How long do I have before it could come back? How can I make sure I’m living each and every day to the fullest?
3. I learned so much about myself.
I have always tried to be as authentic as possible, but at times I used to feel like I had to be someone I wasn’t. Once I found myself on the breast cancer roller coaster, I uncovered a deeper understanding and clarity about myself. This continues to shape who I am as a person and has instilled in me a newfound sense of self-confidence. I am who I am and I’m proud of that.
4. I am putting myself out there.
I am more open to receiving love, to giving love, and to sharing my story…not just my breast cancer story but the story of ME. The community of breast cancer fighters, survivors, caretakers, friends, and families spans the world and it is a community of love, support, and positivity. I want to grow and strengthen this community and connect with people through sharing my story.
5. I slowed down.
Some may disagree with me that I slowed down (I can see my mom’s eye roll from a couple hundred miles away), but I really DID slow down. I understand the value in living in the moment and cherishing the now. As much as I love a good detailed plan and sense of order, sometimes (well, many times) things just don’t go as planned. Cancer taught me that you can’t control everything and it’s ok, maybe even meant to be, to take the scenic route or a completely different path altogether.