“You have cancer.” Those words will never be easy to hear for anyone. When you get diagnosed with cancer, life changes in so many ways. You change as a person — from the way you think to the way you approach your future. While all this change is happening, sometimes you feel lost and alone. It can make you feel isolated from the rest of the world, almost as if the moment you heard
“You have cancer,” someone pushed the pause button on your life. You tend to freeze up and wonder why is this happening? How are you going to get through it? Why now? Why ME?
Once you get past the initial stage of shock and fear, you start to live again and realize what’s really important in life. Maybe you stop sweating the small stuff and put the focus on the bigger stuff. Maybe you slow down when sharing special moments in life with family and friends, where before you didn’t take enough time or make the time for those moments. Whatever your cancer story is, we all are learning new ways of living. Here are 3 ways cancer has changed other peoples lives.
We’d love to hear your own cancer story. Please take a moment to share your personal cancer story with the community in the comments below. Knowing that we’re not alone on this journey and that someone else has “been there, done that” can help in so many ways.
One amazing thing that people often say is that cancer has given them an opportunity, whether they wanted it or not, to start living life through a new lens of gratitude. Being thankful for a new day, another moment to spend with family and friends, another opportunity to continue building your legacy, a chance to make a difference for those near and far. Each waking moment is built around being thankful for another opportunity to continue on your journey and making the best of every moment.
We all have dreams and goals, things that we want to accomplish “one day.” Cancer can definitely accelerate your plans and dreams — speeds up all of those things that you have been saying you are going to do “one day.” The diagnosis turns that “one day” into “today” and you no longer wait for the “right moment,” instead you just push through and make all those beautiful moments happen. It’s something that you’ve always had inside you to begin with — whether you were diagnosed with cancer or not.
Cancer is often a life-changing experience, whether we like it or not. It not only changes your life, but can change the lives of those close to you who are hearing the news that someone very near and dear to them has cancer. It can often cause everyone to pause, evaluate their lives, and look for ways to rebuild or improve the path they’re headed down. Having a chance to rebuild yourself again isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the things that you’ve taken for granted in the past and focus on what’s really important to you. It’s a chance to look at the positive side of everything and become better as a person. Learn from your experiences and think about the wisdom you are gaining. One step at a time can help you rebuild and move forward. If you need some support while going through this, try joining a cancer support group where you can talk to others and hear their experiences too. Sometimes strength comes in knowing that we are not alone.
“I took it as an opportunity to make myself better. I liked myself before cancer but I love myself now. Everything is an opportunity to be better, you just have to choose what you do.” ~Cayci
“Rebuilding for the second time. This time around I’m having to rebuild my finances, learning to talk “disability talk” and find a new career/purpose for the time that is mine. I’m more scared of my reality than I am the tumors in my liver.” ~Rebecca
“I’m a colon cancer survivor, diagnosed in August 2010 and off treatment since May 2011. Yes, I’ve had to rebuild myself, and am still in the process. I’m not sure that it ever stops, especially when you get to know so many others with some type of cancer and they don’t survive the battle. It truly puts your life into a different perspective.” ~Chris
“Lost my job, lost my friends, almost lost myself. 12 years later I think I’ve been found. Different but better. Cancer sure does change a lot.” ~Jennifer
“Cancer made me more appreciative of things I used to take for granted. Eighteen years later I am a proud survivor of breast cancer.” ~Carole
“Cancer helped me focus on my journey & realize how little time we have here & what matters in this journey that you cant go back, you can only move FORWARD from where ever you stand.” ~Maha
“Cancer changed everything for me. I appreciate and enjoy everything so much more. I’ve changed the way I take care of myself. I’m healthier now than I was before my cancer was discovered. I love my life!” ~Carmen
“Crawling back from death, minute by minute then day by day. Months turn to years and now I look healed. Inside I live these memories and lessons daily. I would not spare me the pain knowing the wisdom it brings.” ~Terri
“I can’t rebuild what cancer took away but I can be grateful for what I still have and that’s the rest of my life.” ~Robert
“This is exactly where I am today! Starting over…being honest with every one in my life! Had to remove the negative people and start all over again!! I have an awesome group of people that love me unconditionally !!! Everyone have a great day!” ~Laura
“Cancer forced me to rebuild myself and ten years later, I’m not done building. There are so many changes and some of them you don’t see for a long time. I felt sometimes like I went through the five stages of grief. Denial that I had changed and that these changes were permanent. Anger that I had ever had cancer and that it had done so many things to me and that this is who I was. Bargaining with the Universe that since I went through Stage 3 cancer treatment with my head held high, that I should have to put up with change. That I should just be able to snap back to who I was. Depression that lasted a long time. A few of my changes were not good. There are side effects from chemo and radiation that have never gone away. There are horrible scars left from surgery. There is still pain in what is left of my breast that no one can explain. And now there is Acceptance, which I still work with. I had cancer, I got through treatment and it left its mark. I realized I can only do what I can do and no amount of pushing can make me do more. That was the best thing. There is no guilt. I can only do what I can do. End of story. This is my new normal.” ~Sarah
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