In my post on April 4th, I shared that I was diagnosed with cancer. On July 26, 2016, I was given the all clear from doctor. There was no cancer detected in my PET scan, and the chemo was officially over. The previous 4-5 months seemed like a really bad dream, and I was finally waking up. As I write this, I am only a few months away from the anniversary of my diagnosis. I can’t believe almost a full year has passed since this life changing experience. So what have I learned from this experience?
- Take nothing for granted. While in treatment, I could not eat very many foods that were raw. This included sushi and salad. I never knew I like salad so much.
- It is never too late to do what you want. There is no benefit to putting off working for you want in life. Whether it is as small as trying a new food or changing careers, the time is now.
- Nothing is like your inner circle. Friends and Family. These two words go together in our modern vernacular. And they are usually cited on lists of things we are grateful for. However, something like this makes you really aware of who is in that inner circle. The people who stick by you and are willing to see the hard to see are those who matter. These are the people who you already know will be there for the bad, so they will definitely be there for the good.
- Always listen to your body. I think that in this day and age, people don’t want to go to the doctor for a variety of reasons; fear of seeming like a hypochondriac, not wanting to pay the copay, lack of time or it may not seem important enough to go. But the truth is, is that you should never ignore either a chronic pain/sickness or persistent illness. It could literally save your life.
- The small things are the best things. In a world full of turmoil, one can take comfort in the small things that happen every day. There is something about taking pleasure in the new drink at Starbucks or just having a casual dinner with family. While I was laying in bed, sick from the chemo, I would not think about how to solve world hunger. I would think about how nice it would be to go to Starbucks and order a latte or to go back to yoga. These things are what cause “normalcy” in our lives. They may seem unimportant compared to bigger, more global issues. But I assure you, in that state, they become very, very important. And to this day, they are still very important. I acknowledge every time how lucky I am to be able to enjoy the small things.
I wish I didn’t have to get cancer to realize these things. If I have found any silver lining in this really bad cloud, it is the realization that I wasn’t paying attention. My life is beautiful and I didn’t realize how beautiful. But I do now.