Cancer has Blessings: 3 of the 1st I learned by da-AL

Years back, I was hired to produce a video that featured people in the throes of battling cancer. On the day I was to interview them, I braced myself to be depressed. To my surprise, their wisdom uplifted me.

Each of them had committed themselves to enjoying however many days were left to them. To my amazement, they spoke of cancer as a blessing.

Nine years ago, I joined their ranks. In 2007, I was diagnosed with cancer. Like the brave people I had met long ago, eventually cancer lent me wisdom that continually enhances my life.

We all deserve to live
Thanks Folkert Gorter,


Here are the first three of the many blessings that cancer taught me:

1. Staying focused and positive leads me to my highest self.

I learned this as I waited for my illness to be categorized and quantified. Day and night, night and day, I lost a lost a lot of sleep as I obsessed: how did I get cancer? how could I get rid of it? how would I ensure that it never touches my life again? how might it hurt my loved ones? how might it kill me?

Desperate, I thought maybe I could detox myself. If the lump could be sweated out, hot yoga was the answer. Before then, I had figured that anyone who exercises in upwards of 105 degree is a nut. Crazy with fear as I was, that made it perfect for me.

Surviving the ordeal commanded laser focus. With each class, full length mirrors reflected my lesson: if, while I contort limbs into aching knots as I listen to sweat drenching off of me like rain pattering to my sticky matt and dwell only upon my misery as musty perspiration stings my eyes, I’m a mess. Conversely, if I feel positive down to my bones, I fare way better! Those ninety minute sessions of profoundly experiencing words like ‘happy,’ ‘healthy,’ ‘joy,’ and ‘love’ led me back to sanity.

2. We all deserve to live.

Nonstop worry turned me into a bore. At the height of my self-absorption, I decided that because I had never accomplished anything extraordinary and probably never would, I didn’t deserve to live.

That melodrama rocked me — clear into cancer’s second wisdom for me. If cockroaches and fleas deserve to live, so do I. If I ever make some good kind of history, that’ll be nice. My ordinary mortal best, though, is enough.

3. Sometimes happiness is easy. Sometimes I must fight for it.

Constantly imagining the worst eclipsed all the color from my life until a wise cancer warrior visited me. She asked, “Who of us knows how long we have to live?! While you’re wasting your life making yourself miserable, someone you love could be getting run over by a car this very second!”

Thanks Alex Wigan
Thanks Alex Wigan

Her words continue to knock sense into me when I get too full of myself. I’m lucky for every morning I wake and for each night I go to sleep. Pursuit of what offers meaning to my life is all that matters.

20 thoughts on “Cancer has Blessings: 3 of the 1st I learned by da-AL

  1. Non-stop worry turned you into a bore. Ha. That’s an interesting way to put it… I agree! When people became so focused on their illness, they become so self-absorbed that nothing else, or no one else, matters. And being so self-obsessed turns one into a bore indeed. It’s very important not to lose sight of the big picture and remain positive and thankful for what you have. Easier said then done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One day when I’m gone,
    One day when you’ll don’t have someone to scold,
    One day when the sky will be like it wasn’t ever before,
    One day when you find my body pale and still,
    One day when you just can’t handle yourself,
    One day when you’ll find your biggest regret,
    One day when you’ll miss me..
    On that day, you will realize that I left nothing but a mirror for you.
    In which you will see what you have done to yourself and made it more hard to breath.
    On that day you’ll see me smiling since you have entered in my life.
    I wish that you could see storms and the winds which I have seen.
    Only then you will realize,
    That I actually tried my best to live with you.
    But it could never be always about you anymore.
    One day…
    I’ll be free from this world, this life, this love, this YOU!…

    I loved this blog, thank you so much for sharing this would be useful for much people 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Akshitha, thank you so much! I just stopped by your blog & am much impressed! Would have like to have commented on some of your posts or to email you directly, but didn’t see how. Have fun with your new endeavor!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome.Thank you for the visit ^_^ you can comment on any post by clicking on it.When you visit my page it shows you all the posts and you can read them at one go simply by scrolling.But if you want to comment click on the post title and you can read the other comments as well as comment yourself 🙂 I hope this helped you.I’m looking forward to all your comments and suggestions 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing this and making yourself vulnerable… I have watched my mom battle cancer ( she’s doing great now) and know the strength it takes to keep a positive mindset when you are going through so much. Lots of love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your kindness is much appreciated, Kiki. It took a while for me to want to tell more than close friends & family about it. One of the terrible things about cancer is that it can be easy to worry over whether it will come back. The idea of people categorizing me as a ‘survivor’ can make on feel like a ticking time bomb. Wishing all the best for you & your mom.

      Liked by 2 people

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