Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's Really Important


I occasionally get asked about having had cancer, and how it has changed me. That’s kind of a hard question but it’s definitely not an experience you go through and remain unchanged. The scariest part was really those first few weeks, when I found the lump, called the doctor, and waited for additional testing to be done to determine what was going on. After having an ultrasound, and a mammogram I went in for a biopsy. The radiologist said something like “well we’re here today to determine what kind of cancer you have.” That was really a shocking moment. Up until that point, all of the people that I had talked with had said that there were a lot of different things it could be, it’s highly unlikely to be cancer etc. Almost everyone had some sort of breast lump story that turned out to be nothing, and that’s what I was banking on. Suddenly that was no longer an option and I had very little information at that point. Once we had a treatment plan figured out and something to “do” I felt a lot better.

Now I find that I’m easily annoyed (I’m not sure that’s really the right word) when I hear people moaning and groaning about things in their life that are actually not as big of a deal as they are made out to be. Things like their weekend plans being ruined, or their horse being a bit naughty, or their car being in the shop. I realize those things are definitely inconvenient/frustrating/disappointing etc. but in the scheme of things they aren’t that big of a deal. I feel like this has really become more apparent to me because of the experience that I have had. I’m normally a positive person and having had cancer, it has actually made me even more positive by really putting things in to perspective. I don’t consider a crazy day at work, or things not going as planned, a bad day. I consider getting a phone call that you have cancer as being a bad day, or your uncle being in ICU on life support, or being hit by the bomb at the Boston Marathon, or having someone die. I hope that I don’t ever lose that perspective and am able to appreciate every day that I am given. We never know when it might be our last, or when we wil get life changing news. We are truly very blessed, and I want to be thankful for all I have, and enjoy every day to the fullest. 

12 comments:

  1. I'm definitely guilty about whining about things that don't matter. It's so easy to lose track of what's really important in life sometimes.

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  2. A couple of years ago I found a lump and had to go in for a needle biopsy. I was so scared and I remember getting the news that it was not cancer. I felt like I had won the lottery. I cannot imagine being told that I had cancer, as you had to hear. Your story is inspiring and I am truly glad that you are done with treatment and have many happy wonderful years ahead.

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    1. I'm so glad that yours turned out to be nothing. I'm sure that was a big relief.

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  3. This is such a great perspective. I have been through some things in my life and I am grateful that I can fall back on them to remind me that today really isn't that bad. And I am also lucky to have amazing patients who remind me what real heartache is. So everyone give yourself a big hug, today isn't as bad as it could be and tomorrow you get another chance to make it better.

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  4. I agree. Having been through a lot in life myself I get easily frustrated with people who complain that their lesson has been canceled or maybe they didn't get to go somewhere. Perspective is always key.

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    1. Yes it is. I hope it's something I never lose. Hang in their! What you are going through definitely qualifies as a bad day/month.

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  5. I'm a new reader of your blog and just wanted to say hi!

    Last month I lost a very dear friend (who was like a mom to me) to cancer. So although I haven't experienced all of this firsthand, I've watched someone I love go through it, been with her for her first chemo treatments, helped her however/whenever I could, and spent as much time as possible with her everyday during the last month of her life - and I feel as though I know a little bit about what you are talking about in this post today.

    My friend taught me a lot about "not sweating the small stuff" - and I think about her struggles now when I start worrying about insignificant things.

    Your story is inspiring - thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Miss Em! Don't sweat the small stuff is a great way to put it. It's just not worth it!

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  6. You are such an inspiration. I always whine about the small, stupid stuff...Thank you for this post. :)

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