It would be easy to complain about having cancer right after I fought through depression. But helpful? Probably not. I don’t want to get back down in the depths of depression, so I am focusing as much as possible on the positive things, like the three things listed below. If you are facing a fight with cancer or another chronic and serious disease, I encourage you to do what you can to look on the bright side. Are we always going to be happy little Pollyanna’s as we battle our condition? No, that’s not realistic. But as long as I am alive, I will get the most enjoyment out of my life that I can.
1. I am rethinking my priorities. All of a sudden, being caught up at work does not seem like such a big deal and I could care less about pleasing people that don’t matter to me. I am spending more time with the people and things that open the door to joy: Family, friends, and my dogs. I am getting out in nature and basking in the serenity of the natural world. I am making time for joy and I find that joy is making time for me!
2. I am learning to let go. I don’t just pray the serenity pray, I live it. There are things life that I cannot change, including my cancer diagnosis. There are things in life I can change, my attitude, my diet and my activity level. This blessing goes hand in hand with rethinking priorities. I am realizing what a blessing physical activity is and how sad it would be to lose the ability to move.
3. I am finding peace and support in my faith and my community of friends and family. what a blessing people can be! This diagnosis has been a wake up call for my whole family and we are appreciating each other more and spending more time together. I am amazed to see what responsible, loving adults my children can be when the chips are down. I am so proud of them!
And, here is a freebie-I will add a number 4. In addition to the important blessing above, I have gained the comparatively trivial benefit of increasing my Scrabble vocabulary. Now, if I could just get the right letters to put some of these fancy words I am learning to good use!