Cancer is scary.
It evokes fear of the unknown. You worry about the pain and losing your hair. You worry because you don’t even know the questions you should ask. You worry about how long you have left to live.
Cancer attacks the old and the young, the strong and the weak. It cuts short many beautiful lives. Children grow up without parents, and parents say goodbye to their children way too early.
But it also does something else…
Cancer creates survivors.
BE A SURVIVOR
A person is a cancer survivor immediately from the day they are diagnosed.
Yes, some will eventually lose their valiant battle against the aggressive spreading cells of cancer. But they are still survivors until they take their final breath.
There are many who are diagnosed with cancer, successfully treated, then go on to live with their cancer in remission. There are also many who are cured, and their cancer never comes back.
They are all survivors.
I am one of them.
Twice cancer has touched my life. I was 27 the first time when a lump in my neck turned out to be Hodgkin’s Disease, a type of cancer impacting the lymphatic system. I was 50 the second time when a small sore behind my ear turned into Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer.
Fortunately, in my case, both were routinely treated and thanks to good doctors and many prayers I have been a cancer survivor for nearly a quarter of a century.
Now that I think about it, that sounds like a long time! I guess it really is.
THE NUMBERS LIE
The American Cancer Society estimates 8,500 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease in 2018. Skin cancer, on the other hand, is estimated to touch 3.3 million people a year. Most other cancers are estimated to be another 1.7 million cases. Still, in the big picture, all cancers put together are only about 1.5% of the U.S. population.
But here’s where the numbers lie.
If cancer has touched your life, it’s 100%. If you’re a family member or a caregiver, it’s also 100%.
Cancer is a journey, one many have gone through. It’s a daily journey at first, sometimes feeling like you’re living moment to moment. The fear of the unknown is a constant companion.
Yet, it’s just a journey.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not making light of the journey of cancer, especially for those who’ve gone through it or are going through it now. Remember, I’ve gone through it myself and I was a caregiver as it took my dad away.
Each journey we take, as well as each moment of the journey we’re currently taking, can give us strength, hope, faith, and courage for the next journey and the next step.
One way I’ve discovered to help me through the most challenging part of a difficult journey is to look for the richness and the joy along the way. It’s very easy for me to see all the tough parts of the journey. I must put forth consistent effort to see the richness and joy.
CREATE JOY & THRIVE
Focusing my thoughts on being a survivor helps. Elevating my thoughts to the next level by focusing on a better story helps to survive transition to thriving.
When I keep my chin up, as my dad continually encouraged me, my vision is clearer.
The journey through cancer is tough.
But then again, we all have our own tough journeys.
Totally our own.
Whatever your journey, whatever challenges you, you are a survivor.
Some days, surviving will be all you can do. Other days, you’ll wonder if you can even do that. I promise you can.
You can wake up, get up, think up, rise up.
When it seems too hard to do on your own, reach out. There will be a hand to help. Sometimes that hand to help will be your own strength growing stronger because you reached out.
Some days surviving will be enough.
Other days, you will tell yourself a better story and you will create the ability to thrive.
Be filled with hope my friend. Create the joy in your journey.
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to create the joy in your journey today and thrive!
If you would like help to clarify what matters most for your passion — in business or in life — sign up to receive the Monday Morning Boost for inspiring ideas along with the Gain the Red Edge series featuring success stories and specific ideas for clarifying your passions.
If you’re ready to take the next step, private consulting and group coaching available. If your business, group, or organization is looking for a speaker for an upcoming event I would love to have a conversation.
Drop me a note, text or call… 435-757-4242.