Having breast cancer is really a learning experience. You’re not limited to learning lots of medical information. You learn about life in general and about your relationships. You learn a lot about yourself and how you react to a stressful situation.
Before I had cancer I never…
Now that I’ve had cancer I have a new appreciation of my mortality. I still wonder if I will be here to watch my second son get married. I wonder if I will get to see any grandchildren from either of my boys. I even wonder sometimes if I will die before my parents, who are both in their 80s. But these are fleeting thoughts and I don’t dwell on them. The issue is that those thoughts are always there in my subconscious. Prior to cancer, it would never have occurred to me that I might never reach my retirement age. My ignorance was bliss, but now that I have opened Pandora’s Box the thoughts have been released and cannot be completely put away.
On the plus side (and it’s always good to look for one) I’m more aware of what I can do. I’m more in tune with my feelings and have a better appreciation of when enough is enough. Life is too short to allow people to treat you with disrespect. You deserve more. Demand more. Recognize your worth. Be empowered and do all those things that you never thought you could do. Take this opportunity to learn not only about cancer, but about you as a person and what you can achieve.
Just as each of us is unique, so is what we learn from our cancer experience. The important thing to remember is that cancer can be an opportunity to learn and grow, even when you just want it to go away so that your life can go back to being normal.
Over 30-years of writing experience, over five years as a cancer survivor, and a lifetime purveyor of wit and laughter.