I remember seeing the tear in my physician‘s eye that she so desperately tried to conceal. I remember the stuffiness and the heaviness that filled up her small downtown office space, on that otherwise warm, sunny spring day in 2012; that heaviness that was almost palpable. I remember the piercing sounds of the horns honking loudly in the downtown core below and the sounds of sirens from ambulances that streamed into the hospital across the street on a continual basis. I remember my husband squeezing my hand tighter by the second as we sat across from her, at her desk.
And I vividly remember the very moment she uttered those dire words “you have a very rare version of acute myeloid leukaemia- a blood cancer”. She continued to say that she shared these results with great certainty after she herself double, even triple checked my results with the pathologist as I had otherwise presented so well, so healthy and so strong.
My mind almost went somewhere else then...As my husband started to ask his onslaught of questions.., just as any caring husband would do, it was as though I could hear his words but at the same time, I couldn’t. It all seemed to unfold as if we were in a slow motion video- the words were all distorted and all tainted. I sat quietly, seemingly stunned. I was consumed by flashes all around me of my two, wee boys and their big, beautiful smiles.
I remember turning my gaze towards the window, to the bustling downtown sector below. An energetic woman walking along the sidewalk immediately caught my eye. She wore white sneakers with professional attire and had on a bright yellow backpack. Her dark hair bounced with every step she took as she walked with so much him and vigor, happily greeting everyone she passed en route. It seemed as though she was walking home from work at the end of her day and it seemed as though she didn’t have a care in the world! I desperately wanted to be just like her, right then in that moment.
It was a walk I too had done so many times before, with that very same spunk and that very same beat in my step. I watched her intently. I fiercely yearned to be out walking with the same beat in my step, happily greeting everyone I passed, without a care in the world. I wanted to be anywhere aside from where I sitting at that moment. I knew in my hearts of hearts I would have the fight of my life ahead to “get“ to do just that once again.
This woman became a powerful vision on my journey from that very moment onwards. She powered me through some of my most trying of times when I didn’t think I had the strength to stay the course. She still powers me on today- If I need any added motivation to get up and get outside, no matter what is on my plate, she fuels me with all the motivation I need!
I’m thrilled to share that I do walk with that same spunk in my step! I do so after surviving a once expected two month terminal prognosis, a bone marrow transplant, a double lung transplant, a multi drug resistant viral strain and divorce.
Cancer does bring the power to steal so much. Be real about the very real hardships. Allow yourself the space to be vulnerable, to truly feel and express the hurt, loss, grief and fear that comes in tow. Do so through music, through community, through exercise... through whatever means you do... just let yourself feel it.
If you are hearing these words “you have cancer” I urge you to choose the lens through which you choose to see your cancer through very wisely. Choose your brightest lens. Find the silver linings, find opportunity in challenge to better yourself and choose to hear the many lessons that come to achieve greater levels of happiness, wellbeing and success today! nd project this positivity that I truly didn’t feel early on. But those negative emotions only grow, they fester and they eat away at your soul. This lesson was one that almost came too late for me. Acceptance is allowing ourselves to feel negative emotions and experiences without letting them control our choices.
Yes, cancer does steal the stories we once knew of ourselves, but cancer also gives us the chance to transform our minds and bodies, and to hear the lessons we had perhaps missed earlier. Maybe cancer doesn’t steer us away from reaching our potential. Maybe rather it was a needed challenge to reach our full potential. Find the opportunity and develop your growth mindset. A static mindset is one where we feel helpless, out of control. Take back the control- be educated, be empowered, nutrify your mind and your body and be inspired by Inspirational role models.
If you are hearing these words “you have cancer” I urge you to choose the lens through which you choose to see your cancer through very wisely. Choose your brightest lens. Find the silver linings, find opportunity in challenge to better yourself and choose to hear the many lessons that come to achieve greater levels of happiness, wellbeing and success today!
Use those dire words “you have cancer” as your ignition to transform, to truly come to live your best version of yourself and your best life with the gift of today. Sink into the moment of now and stop worrying about where you think you should be. Believe in you and see your success, feel it, even smell it! See yourself walking with that beat in your step, happily greeting everyone you pass along the way!
And if you ever need support from someone who understands the hardships of the journey, I am here just for you, paying it all forward! Together, let’s write our new stories just as always wanted! Please visit RiseToday.com to learn more!