20 Lessons From Cancer
This is by no means a comprehensive list. These are just some of the more important lessons I’ve received while dealing with cancer. My hope is that I can pass on these lessons and that they’ll benefit others. Some apply to everyday lift and I think we can all use a bit more patience and practice gratitude a bit more frequently. Others like “ask every question” and “you will have to fight” can apply to any affliction and aren’t restricted to just cancer.
This list also isn’t in any specific order. Any one of these could be shifted to number 1 and honestly it just depends on the day. This list is simply just how they came to me. Number 2 for example came as I was sitting in the waiting room waiting on test results that were 7 to 10 days in getting received. My samples had to be sent off and took that long to result and get back. Then the doctor had to read the results and get them ready for me. It just so happened that on that particular day the doctor was running late. I was however fortunate to receive an apology from the doctor about his tardiness. Which is something that I haven’t received very often from other doctors in other institutions. Patience is just something that is necessary when dealing with the medical field as there are always other emergencies and things just don’t run according to schedule, especially my (or your) schedule.
Another good example is Number 10 “practice gratitude.” I was having a particularly rough day. I just didn’t feel good and all I wanted to do was lay at home in bed and read a book or watch a movie. I was however stuck in the clinic for what was probably a six hour time frame. It was one of those 2 bags of platelets and a blood transfusion kind of day. Those were the longest. I was stuck in a relatively uncomfortable chair listening to HGTV in a room full of other people. Most of these other people were also quite uncomfortable and some were vocal in just how uncomfortable and bad off they were.
I was fortunate that my wife was there. My rock. She was able to get me something to eat and just her presence alone is a comfort like no other. I was much more relaxed with her there. She had driven me so that I could rest and didn’t have to navigate traffic. I had had the foresight to bring a book so I had something to do and wasn’t stuck listening to HGTV. I had something to eat. I had something to drink. I was with someone that cared for me. I was getting products to help keep me as active as possible. I had lots to be grateful for and knew that I needed to concentrate more on what I was thankful for instead of thinking about all the things I could be complaining about.
Cancer has taken from me more than I ever wanted to lose. Despite that, I’ve learned a great deal and have a lot to be thankful for. You might have a list of your own but I hope my list can help you or someone you know. Until we get rid of cancer and most other malignancies, then we need to be prepared to fight and we need to know how to deal with it physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’ll slowly elaborate on each of these over the next several weeks. For now, look over this list and think about how you might apply it.