Three months ago I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer at the age of 30.
I often describe my cancer diagnosis as a gift...yes I know that sounds a little crazy but let me explain...
We're all guilty of going through life with the mind set that we will achieve happiness at some specific point...when we get the ideal job, when we get married, when we finish the house, when we earn a certain amount, when the kids are a certain age...the list goes on and on... but what if we don't reach that point? What if tomorrow really never comes? Does that mean we are destined to be unhappy? Destined to not lead a fulfilling life?
When the words 'stage four cancer' entered my life everything changed...
...but for the better!
I'm now living the best days of my life. I'm now the happiest I've ever been because cancer has taught me to let gratitude, positivity and joy be the only goals in my life.
You see, what a cancer diagnosis does is really highlight your mortality. It makes you aware that tomorrow really isn't guaranteed. Yes we've all read the many inspiration quotes about living for today but how many of us actually do? Well a cancer diagnosis (especially a late stage one!) is a constant reminder that today really is all we have.
Many people ask how I remain so positive and I think Charlie Brown and Snoopy sum it up perfectly in the following dialogue:
Charlie Brown: "Some day, we will all die Snoopy!'
Snoopy: "True but on all the other days, we will not."
In truth none of us know when we will die, or indeed what will cause our death, but until then we are living and so we should enjoy each and every day.
There are days when I feel so ill from treatment that I want to just lie on the sofa, but I still force myself to get up and dressed and take our lovely rescue dog for a walk because it is so important that there is joy (and nature!) in every day.
I no longer take anything for granted. Least of all the wonderful people in my life or the time I have with them.
Cancer is a gift because it wakes you up to a life half lived and makes you see the beauty in every moment. It makes you savor every second. I am grateful for my cancer diagnosis because I am not sure all the motivational quotes in the word would have allowed me to see life, or the privilege it is to be alive, in the same way that I do now.
Abraham Lincoln summed this up best we he said...
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
So today, if you do nothing else, be sure to laugh a little louder, smile a little longer and hug a little closer.
Oh, and please tell someone you love them.
Love and light, Fi xx
This post was first published on my personal site "Buzzy Bee, Cancer and Me"