It’s hard to keep your chin up and be positive when you are going through a rough time. For me, hearing the words, “You have cancer” was shocking. But it had nothing on seeing my hair fall out, having my breasts removed and gaining so much weight that I didn’t recognize my body anymore. Those things, well, they broke my heart.
Cancer changes you. It changed me forever. I didn’t look the same after cancer. And I certainly didn’t feel the same. Now, when I want to remember the girl I was before I got sick, I have to look through pictures. It seems like another life.
Change sucks. It forces us to pivot – even when we don’t want it. Maybe you were diagnosis with illness. Maybe your spouse asked for a divorce. Maybe you lost your job. Whatever the case may be – change, or “trouble” as I call it, forces you to face a new reality, one that takes you out of your comfort zone and tests who you really are.
I had the Trifecta of trouble: I was diagnosis with cancer, quit my job and dumped my long-term boyfriend – all at the same time! I figured that since my whole word had turned upside down because of the cancer, I might as well just take the wrecking ball to it and knock out some other necessary changes I needed to make. Looking back, I realize this wasn’t the smartest move. I probably should have given myself a minute to get healthy first. Hindsight is 20-20, right?
The thing is, I knew that if I didn’t make the changes then, I never would. I had gotten too comfortable, too complacent, in my day-to-day life. I tolerated situations and behaviors that didn’t reflect my true self or core values. By accepting, even participating in them, I was preventing myself from being the woman I wanted to become. I was stopping my own growth. And it wasn’t until I had cancer – and lots of hours alone in the chemo suite – that I was able to reflect on how off track my life had become.
That’s the thing about “trouble.” It is often a catalyst to a better life. Each uncomfortable change is really a chance to transform into a better version of ourselves. It pushes us beyond our expectations. It helps us expand our frame of reference, awareness and attitude. It presents us with unexpected opportunities. Trouble is transformation.
With no job to speak of, I decided to make a list of every publication and website that I loved and I set out pitching those editors. I was also single (and sometimes really sad about it) but I forced myself to have a positive attitude and enjoy dating. And I took the time to focus on my health and tune into my mind-body connection. It wasn’t easy. It was a pretty painful process at times. But I am a much different woman today because I didn’t back down from the challenge. Now, I have an impressive resume. I am engaged to a wonderful man. And I am healthy and happy.
The question is: How are you going to handle your “trouble?” Are going to let it crush your spirit or are you going to kick its ass? Are you going to complain about your tough boss or are you going to see that person as someone who is going to push you to expand your skill set? Are you going to look at your bankruptcy as hard knocks or an opportunity to let go of burdens and responsibilities that weighed you down and have a start fresh? Are you going to get angry or sad about your cancer or will you use it to find the true purpose of your life and to help others. The choice is up to you. I know you can do it!
…Hello again! If you got all the way down here, then I’m assuming you liked what you read. Good news! There’s more where that came from – including snippets of Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer and news relevant to us Cancer Cuties. Go visit and (like!) the Pretty Sick Book FB page! https://www.facebook.com/prettysickbook/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
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