Cancer Life Lessons

I Dance Between Different Worlds

For many years now, I’ve danced between different worlds: the cancer world and the “normal” world.

At first, I didn’t recognize this, didn’t understand the differences and it wasn’t easily noticeable. Recently, this has changed. It’s become very clear, over the past year, how different these worlds are. If I’m being really honest, it can be hard to bounce from one to the other. Sometimes, I don’t do a very good job. I get frustrated and judgmental, and I don’t like this about myself.

As many of you know, it’s been almost five years since I heard those terrifying words, “You have cancer.” There’s luck in cancer, and I’m blessed to be one of the lucky ones.

I wasn’t one of those people who went through cancer and moved on. For whatever reason, I purposefully and intentionally kept myself in the cancer space. I wanted to help other people who were dealing with cancer and knew I had a lot to share. I started my blog, Crazy Perfect Life, wrote a book, and have a podcast. I also volunteer in the chemotherapy room at the hospital where I was treated.

All of this puts me in an interesting situation. I’m in two very different worlds. The cancer world and the “normal” world.

I’ve lost people I care about and watched people fight for their lives. I’ve learned of reoccurrences from friends, watched them have to figure out their treatment plans, again, lose their hair, again, and deal with side effects.

I’ve gotten to witness, first hand, these amazing and strong souls who bravely hold on to hope and fight for their lives. They inspire me more than they’ll ever know.

Then, there’s the other world.

It can sometimes be hard to dance between different worlds.

The “normal world.” The place where cancer doesn’t obviously lurk. It’s still there, and can hit at any time, but the people in this space don’t think about it. Instead, there’s the normal, day to day living that takes place. I’ve noticed there are many positive and grateful people in this space, and those are the people I tend to hang out with. The people who are grateful to be alive and know how blessed they are, even when life isn’t perfect.

I’ve also noticed there’s a lot of complaining, gossip and negative energy in this “normal” world. Especially, from people who have so much to be thankful for.

Remember, I dance in-between different worlds. I see a lot. I notice it all.

I see cancer patients fighting for their lives and then listen to someone complain about something so insignificant it’s hard to even listen. I watch friends go through brain surgery and other friends tell me how much their life sucks because their air-conditioner broke. I’m there when my friend Garth, my partner on The Thrive Podcast with Garth and Dara, is diagnosed with cancer again for the sixth time and with a smile on his face, says, “Think about it. Who else should go through this but me? I can handle it. This is what I’m really good at.”

I know I’m lucky. Lucky to see first hand all of this. Blessed to be able to notice these incredibly different spaces and allow myself to learn from what I’m seeing.

Maybe, you can learn a little bit from this also.

If you’re blessed to have your health, don’t take it for granted. Look in the mirror and give thanks for what you have, even when your life isn’t perfect. Try to complain a little less, especially about insignificant things that really don’t matter. Instead, be grateful. Grateful for the freedom to live your life without having to think about treatment, statistics or side effects. Grateful to have options and choices and the ability to fix whatever you don’t like about your life.

Try to complain a little less, laugh a litter louder and love a lot harder. Be good to the people you love, and kind to strangers. You never know what someone is dealing with. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life.

Much love to you,

Dara

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • I have always admired people who choose to encourage other people dealing with their hard situations whilst they are dealing with their struggles, convincing people there are so many things to be grateful for. Even in sickness.

    Thank you for being one more light to the world, Dara.