THE WILL TO LIVE: The Perks of Cancer Through the Eyes of a Survivor; Ages 17-117; 110 page paperback book; Self-Help/Motivational & Inspirational.
To choose happiness over misery when faced with this type of a situation is a lot easier said than done—I was 25, and abruptly thrown into a world of disease, pain and turmoil. What could I take out of the experience happily? Many things, as illustrated in my book—the negative brought full circle to demonstrate all of the positive results from my experience. Yes, I went through extreme anger and helplessness on many occasions through my various surgeries and hospital visits, but all I could think about was getting well and to continue on with my ‘new and improved’ life.
My identity became a big question mark—who was this person I saw in the mirror? Would people still love me? Might I frighten them? Sure it seemed superficial, but it was a big reality to me. It was not only unnatural to me to be completely hairless; it was always a constant reminder of the disease. Pre-diagnosis I gave credence to everyone else’s viewpoint of who I was, more than my own self-assessment of my identity. Having experienced cancer and everything that came with it brought me back to my true Self. Eventually, the physical, emotional, and spiritual reunited making me whole once again.
Through this experience, it helped me to realize that with every tragedy comes a balance of bliss—the experience has caused me to live more deeply and more intensely, and has helped me to become much more aware, present in the moment, and immersed in the essentials of my life to a higher degree than I would have otherwise been.
My ultimate goal is to empower and inspire those going through the diagnosis of cancer—to be able to help someone else through their life-threatening situation without as great a struggle. I now have a healthy respect for my life and for those lives around me. I witness miracles of all kinds on a daily basis; and I’ve learned the significance of living my life filled with love and gratitude. There’s nothing better!