Cancer is one of those things that changes your life in an instant. Whether it’s a positive or negative change depends on your perspective and your attitude.
My cancer diagnosis was certainly life altering in the immediate sense. I’m sure there will be ways that it’s changed that I don’t know about yet. The ones I do know about amount to speed bumps in the greater scheme of things. I’m not traveling, but I am still able to work. Later this spring, I won’t be able to work for a good 6-12 weeks. I have short-term disability insurance to cover that time. My body will be forever changed. I am 52 and never had a desire to be a model, so I’m more concerned about what my hair’s going to do than I am how my breasts will look when I’m done. Sorry, Ms. Surgeon!!
How did I get to where I can shrug off some of this stuff? First, there isn’t a lot of point to being bitter and angry about it. There’s not much use in crying over it all day, either. I’d just end up with a plugged up nose and red eyes. In the end, feeling hopeless, angry, bitter and sad all day doesn’t make for good company. Besides, laughter is the best medicine, right? So, why not make the best of the year I’m going to struggle with this and be happy I caught it and still have a fighting chance to be around for a long time.
Also, I decided a long time ago that my goal in life should be to be happy and do whatever I can to help others feel happy, too. In the past couple of years, I’ve paid attention to the people in my life who are happy, and I found that they were, for the most part, people who were grateful for what they have. They don’t focus on what they don’t have, and they don’t compare themselves to others. It wasn’t long after telling people of my diagnosis, that I found myself thinking about how I was grateful for all of the support I was getting from friends, coworkers and family members and not focusing on how much cancer sucks. The people I know that have survived crazy odds were people that had this kind of attitude. They never let cancer take away their joy. So I’m not going to, either. Sure, there will be days that suck and I feel like crap on a cracker. There will be days that I feel “almost normal” like I have for most of this week. I don’t have a choice but to take the good with the bad, and I’ll be happy for as many good ones as I can get.