Cancer

What You Can Learn From My Cancer Diagnosis

This is my fourth October since I received a breast cancer diagnosis. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I can’t help but reflect on what this month means to me, and how much I’ve changed over the past four years.

That first October, I did my best to pretend it wasn’t Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I didn’t want to wear a “survivor” shirt or even attend any breast cancer events. I ran from the color pink. Because, I didn’t want to deal with it. I was smack in the middle of receiving radiation and was exhausted. It felt like breast cancer was everywhere and I couldn’t get away from it.

The second year, I began to feel a little better about things, had started the blog, Crazy Perfect Life and was even interviewed by a local TV station. I didn’t participate in any events, though. Everything was still new and I was learning how to make peace with what had happened. I felt vulnerable and afraid. Fear would follow me around like my shadow.

Last year, I began speaking about my cancer diagnosis and had started working on my book.

I had things to say, that I knew would help other people who were diagnosed with the “big C,” and I was ready to share them.

Which brings me to now.

This October, I find myself in a place I couldn’t have imagined. My book, Crush Cancer, has been out for about a month and I’m speaking about my experiences, in many different locations, and it feels exactly right. I’ve met many people, all touched by cancer, personally or because of a friend or family member, and I am honored to be part of their journey.

I am humbled by the conversations I’m having with so many of you, who are reading my book, reaching out to me and sharing your story with me. I never thought my life would take me down this path. But, I can’t imagine doing anything else or being anywhere else, and I feel grateful. Grateful to be where I am. Blessed to have been where I’ve been. Lucky to have learned the lessons I’ve learned and be able to share them with you.

There’s nothing like having perspective. There’s a clarity to life a cancer diagnosis will give you. Life isn’t as difficult and complicated as we sometimes make it. Yes, life is uncertain. For all of us. Yes, things occur that we don’t want to deal with. But, when that happens, you have two choices: you can deal with whatever it is you find yourself facing, or you can let it get the best of you.

It’s really that simple.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy. Or, that you won’t question yourself, have doubts or even think about giving up. You’re entitled to all of those feelings. However, remember, you get to decide what you’re going to do.

Learn from my cancer diagnosis.

Whatever life has tossed your way, move forward, one day at at time, one step at a time. Do the best you can, being open to the possibilities that can come from whatever it is you’re dealing with. Keep perspective, hope, faith and gratitude. This will help you get through whatever it is you’re going through. I promise.

I don’t know where I’ll be next October. But, I plan to keep on moving forward, one day at a time, just like you. I’m open to the wonderful possibilities life has to offer and I’m so grateful to have you walking this journey with me.

Find meaning each day,

Dara

 

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