We are all dealing with something and need to remember to keep things in perspective. Whatever it is, don’t let it hold you back from experiencing life. When I was first told about my second breast cancer diagnosis last year…my mind went blank for a few minutes. WTF. This can’t be happening again…
That was one of those clarifying moments. It actually empowered me after I processed everything.
The psychological impact definitely causes you to redefine your priorities and go beyond the boundaries you set for yourself previously. Was I just living too safe and hiding from what’s out there?
There is just something about facing your mortality. The cancer treatment is physically and emotionally painful. You summon the courage and determination to face things that seemed daunting before. And after losing your breasts, hair, your energy, even your sexuality in some ways — you get this urge to be more adventurous.
I haven’t scheduled a skydiving session yet (that is on my to-do list), but I continue to hike, run on the trails, watch the sunset, take different routes home, and travel when possible.
Many others have gone through similar ordeals and embrace life by focusing on what’s important. I like to call it focusing on the real things. Examples are finally leaving a “job” you aren’t really happy with or testing your physical limits by participating in a sprint triathlon. Yes, I did both after my first cancer diagnosis.
The second cancer diagnosis, eight years later, enabled me to write my first book, Real Things: 6 Ways to Embrace Life, which was also my 2015 New Year’s resolution. After telling many people that I was “writing a book”, I received an invite to New York to present the book at a Health Coach Conference in April. Oh Crap. I agreed and really had to hustle to complete it in time. What a thrilling experience and it was published right before I turned 50. Now I am motivated to start working on the second book.
Being a cancer survivor is a constant reminder to keep things in perspective – this definitely gives you clarity as to what is important. And that clarity gives you confidence.
Actually, I don’t like the term cancer survivor. Badass is a better description. None of us know if cancer is ever going to come back or how long you’re going to live. So go ahead and live your life with some meaning (and a bit of badassery).
What’s holding you back? Learning from people’s experiences on how they overcame an obstacle (or challenge) provides some clarity, can give you confidence and inspire you to do better. You are special. The world needs your gift and the world needs your story. We’d love to share your story at RealThings and help others reach their badass potential. Come visit us on Facebook too.
This was first published on the Huffington Post on October 12, 2015.