Photo by Travis Blessing on Unsplash
7 is my lucky number and it’s been 7 years (tomorrow) since I said farewell to my thyroid. As you can see from the obligatory post op pic, I wasn’t unhappy about it. When one has a body part this is riddled with cancer, I like to think that’s it’s a case of better out than in.
Last year to celebrate my cancerversary (that’s totally a thing!) I wrote an open letter to my thyroid and the year before that I made a reverse bucket list. This year, to mark my 7th cancerversary I’m sharing some words of wisdom. I like to think of them more like little life reminders and less like inspirational quotes but whatever you want to call them I’ve certainly drawn comfort from these words over the last seven years.
These days I make it my business to find the positive in any given situation, no matter how bad that situation may appear to be. The truth is that there is always a flip side, sometimes it just takes a little longer to find it. My ninja flip side finding skills have served me very well, through diagnosis, treatment and beyond including that one time David had a stroke.
My mum always told me that your life can change in 20 seconds flat and mine certainly changed in a 3 minute phone call in the hairdresser’s chair (true story – that’s how I got my diagnosis!) These days, I prefer spontaniety over long term plans because even though my prognosis is excellent, my experience is a constant reminder that I’m only as good as my next set of test results. Every day matters.
I am a natural born worrier and could worry for England. The cancer cloud is ever present – I’m always wondering if my cancer will come back but I’m certainly not going to worry about it. I won’t let myself worry about things that haven’t happened yet nor will I sweat the small stuff.
I’m a control freak and my cancer diagnosis left me feeling distinctly disempowered. I soon learned that my power wasn’t determined by the circumstances I found myself in, but the way I responded to them. This was a lesson that was hard to learn but it’s been worth it.
During my treatment, my psychologist recommend I read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning. This book was a game changer for me and helped me find my own “why.” As they say in Avenue Q, “everyone needs a purpose.”
Over the past year or two, I’ve embraced minimalism with enthusiasm. I’ve mastered the art of saying no which means I can say yes to the people and experiences that make my life richer. Because let’s face it, we all come with an expiry date and time is our most precious commodity. Amirite or amirite?
There’s nothing like a health challenge to teach you the lesson of what’s important in life. To this day I prioritise my mental and physical wellbeing – for me, the two are wholly connected. Over the past 7 years, I have been treated by some amazing mental and physical health professionals and for that I am very grateful. I’ve learned that if you have your health, you really do have everything.
Do you find words of wisdom inspiring or do they have you reaching for the sick bucket? If you could choose one quote, what would be your words to live by?
Linking up with Kylie for IBOT
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