Life after cancer can be a very exhilarating yet complicated time in someone’s life. From the time you get the diagnosis, you become extremely focused on the fight of your life. Everyone you know rallies around you and it’s an all-out war against this invader. At the end of your journey, God willing, you get the news and results everyone has been working toward and praying for — you’re cancer free. Then, it’s back to everyday life.
I call it the “cancer hangover.” My wife compares it to the lead-up and excitement you feel during Christmas time and the feeling you have the day right after. She said the significant other also experiences this culmination of intense emotions, dedication and support.
READ MORE about Brian’s story and how he learned that it’s never too early to take care of your health.
Throughout my journey with colon cancer, I kept a journal of sorts with notes in my phone. I find it inspiring to go back and read what I thought in that moment. My notes read:
- Don’t wait until you are faced with your own mortality to be the son, husband, father, friend, neighbor and person you can be.
- Live life. Allow yourself to love, strive and achieve.
- Find patience and peace in life’s challenges. Accept your defeats and learn from your mistakes.
- Appreciate life’s victories, no matter how small, and be your own biggest fan and critic.
- Be patient and know that others are going through daily challenges as well.
- Don’t be afraid of self-analysis and to be critical of yourself. But make sure you also appreciate the positives and come up with a plan for improvement.
- Find what inspires you, absorb its strength and allow it to usher you forward.
- You can be a hero starting now.
- Your actions create the costume.
- Finding inspiration is easy. It’s remaining inspired that is the true test. Only coming from the lion’s mouth can we learn to roar.
- A day’s challenge is only as challenging as we make it.
- A worry will drag you down, confronting it will rise you up.
- Sometimes you have to ask yourself, in an honest first-hand opinion, what you can do to be the person you know you can be.
- We grow stronger in the face of adversity, wiser in the wake of mistakes and kinder with hearts open.
- The better ‘you’ is around the corner, the same one you have been around before.
I am one of the lucky ones. After a shocking diagnosis, I was able to complete my cancer treatment plan and am happy to say I continue to be a cancer survivor.
It took a lot of patience, a lot of faith, a lot of support and a comprehensive plan from the doctors to be where I am today. Listen to your body and seek help if something isn’t right. We all have our own challenges in life, it’s important to work your way through each battle in order to win the war. Take things one step at a time and prepare yourself to succeed. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my story so others may be able to learn from my experiences and know that they can overcome what lies ahead.