3 lessons cancer has taught me
Hey Hey Diva friends, it’s another beautiful day….
So much has been going on since my diagnosis Feb 8th and while I’m not done with my treatments yet, I’ve already learned so many things about myself, my life, my purpose, appreciation for what I have and more! So today I thought I would share a few of these thoughts with you.
1) Appreciate all you have
As soon as anything is taken from you you appreciate it more. Kids know this right? They don’t necessarily want to play with the toy, but they don’t want anyone ELSE playing with it either!
I have an AMAZING life. We have plenty of money, a nice house, a beautiful family, the sweetest dog, careers that we believe in, great and reliable cars, and super amazing friends and family. Sounds like the dream right?
But just like everyone else, before cancer I picked myself apart. I was definitely HAPPY and quite appreciative of my life, but for me specifically my insecurity and stress points were my body and my work. I loved my work, but I also put a ton of pressure on myself. I loved my body but…..did I really? I was CONSTANTLY tearing it apart and wanting to be stronger, thinner, prettier…..perfect.
And then cancer came a long. And she took my control. She took my strength. She took my hair. She took my comfort.
After the diagnosis I knew what was coming and the months leading up to treatment there were many times I stood in front of the mirror as I got ready in the morning and simply appreciated what I knew would be taken away.
Suddenly, my hair was GORGEOUS on it’s worst day - my body was perfect just the way it was. I was appreciative for everything I could do….and I learned that we shouldn't wait until something dramatic and scary happens in our lives to really truly appreciate everything we have. And here’s the real kicker, it’s not just about appreciating everything we have but being CONTENT with it.
I was alway happy, positive, and thankful….but was a I content?
2) Let people help you
This one can be harder for some than others, but I think it’s hard for everyone at some level. We all want to be independent. Asking for help is never easy, and saying “yes” when you think you don’t need the help can be difficult.
“Hey Kylene, I’d like to support you - can I bring you lunch on Tuesday?” Part of me wants to say “no need, I can handle it but thanks!” because I don’t want to have anyone go out of their way to sere me.
But the other part of me realizes that not only would that be helpful and take something off my plate, but people WANT to contribute. They WANT to participate and help in any way they can. I would only offer to someone what I hoped they would accept.
Sometimes that means someone mails you a card or a gift. Sometimes that means people pray. Sometimes people make you food or buy some and drop it off…..
If someone has indicated that they want to support you in whatever way is comfortable for them just say yes.
I have been surrounded by kindness the past few months and it’s really made me think….would I do this for someone else? Would I go out of my way to help them somehow??? Which brings me to my next lesson…
3) Be that person
When I was going through my divorce, I learned very quickly how NOT to behave to anyone going through divorce. I was judged, mistreated and abandoned by many. I saw exactly what NOT to do and learned how to love others better by NOT being loved myself.
Through this cancer journey I’ve seen the opposite - people coming out of the woodwork to pray for and support me. People that don’t even know me have me on prayer lists and send me things like project chemo crochet blankets. People that don’t. even. know. me.
So I want to BE THAT PERSON. You know, the person that was the surprise. The person that goes out of my way to think of and pray for others. The person that hears of a need and tries to assist. The person that always encourages help out.
My divorce really shaped me in a positive way and I’ve held onto those changes in my mindset since. I know that this cancer journey will be another major shift in my worldview and thinking and I can’t wait to get to the other side :)