No person should ever have to experience cancer and all of the downs it brings. But with any life experience; there’s always something valuable you can learn from it.
I definitely wouldn’t recommend cancer to anyone… it would get 0 stars on yelp from me, alongside a very negative review – it would probably look like this.
No stars – @CancerAndNicole
– I’m very angry with this unexpected illness. You’ve caused me so much hell and pain! I mean, chemotherapy? Proton beam radiotherapy? Look what you have put me through. I’ve had a terrible experience and I certainly won’t be coming here again if I can help it. –
Not to be dramatic or anything. All jokes aside…
During these hard months. I’ve learnt a thing or two, and I will take these life lessons with me moving forward into my new normal life.
I often get asked, what life lessons have I learnt over the months of treatment etc…
Life Is Short
This may be an obvious one to some people. Coming from a twenty year old, in her prime time of life, you don’t actually realise how quickly a life can be taken away, how quickly you can become ill and how quickly an illness can stop you in your tracks. You never think it’s going to be you. People are at different stages of their life when they’re my age, personally, I was working on my career and that’s all that I thought I would have to worry about in that moment in time. When you’ve been struck with a serious illness, problems you think were major, become so small. All you are left with is, trying to survive. That’s the reality of living. Thoughts would hide in my brain all the time, if I was going to die tomorrow, would I be happy with what I’ve done in my twenty years of life? It’s a really hard question to be faced with. I don’t want to feel a sense of urgency to do things; but at the same time, I don’t want to be stuck doing nothing… So life is definitely short and your quality of life is important.
If there’s any advice I could give you, it would be: spend time with the ones you love and just enjoy life while you can. Being faced with something like cancer, can really change your outlook on life. You suddenly have a new perspective on what your life means to you, and how you want to live your life moving forward. It can be a challenge to come to terms with this, but you’ll figure out what you want to do eventually.
You could say the scaredy cat that once lived inside my brain, has died. I’ve learnt that I shouldn’t be so scared… I may have lost a few healthy cells from the chemotherapy, but I’ve gained a few extra layers of skin. I always used to fear a lot of things… and now what’s there really to fear? It’s quite a sad way of looking at life I suppose, but we all end up in the same place eventually; so why not just enjoy the most of it and try not to take everything so seriously. We remember moments of happiness, that’s what leaves a mark on our brains… achieve things you want to achieve, exceed your boundaries and strive for greatness. We only have one life, so put your fears aside and start living the life you have.
I used to be so scared of hospital appointments, and just the hospital in general: blood, waiting rooms, the people… ugh. It used to be so overwhelming for me, but now I’m so used to it… I walk into hospitals and I feel strangely all too familiar with the concept. For a period of time, the Churchill was my second home. It’s normal to be worried, but don’t be so worried that it consumes you. A hospital is there to save lives, not take them.
I guess for this point, I’m trying to say that your fears shouldn’t consume you. That’s one thing that I’ve learnt; your fears shouldn’t stop you from what needs to be done. If you keep pursuing your fears, then they no longer become fears.
People can be mean in this world. The key is to not let them get to you! You’ll be judged throughout your life: from peers, loved ones or people on the outside of your life. If their judgements aren’t adding something to your life, then it’s not a constructive judgement. Myself, I used to get torn up by what people think: oh, if I wear this, what will people think? Stupid things like that… when in reality, why would other people care? You should feel comfortable with your own decisions. Cancer has made me realise that, when you’ve been put into a life and death situation, these things feel so small. I’m not wasting my time worrying about what other people think… This goes back to my first point, life is short. I’m not going to lose sleep over worrying about what other people think, and it’s not necessarily that people have been judging me. I think I was overthinking everything, worried about what people thought of me, but I don’t have time to worry about something so small anymore.
Perspectives change, and now I don’t want to worry about something so small. I’ll stay in my lane, and focus on the things that I want to achieve.