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The good side of cancer.........


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My girlfriend today threw back in my face advice I had given her. My mantra always was "everything happens for a reason" and "there has to be something good in something bad". I told her I was WRONG and there is NO good in cancer. She said no, there is good, you have changed and you know it. So I was forced to make a list of "the good side of cancer" and what is has done for me. I found it therapeutic and hopefully I won't offend anyone but I thought I would share some GOOD that has come from an AWFUL situation. I also recomend others make a similar list. It made me feel a bit better. Brian said I could share as long as it is good :) I am not allowed to post the "bad" list :)

1. I force myself to enjoy the daily little things I used to take forgranted such as being able to walk up a flight of stairs even though I claim to be allergic to steps. Instead of being angry that I cannot find a parking spot, I get excited that I can walk from far away.

2. I have an awareness and have learned not to judge others on outter appearances as my mom usually looks healthier than all of us.

3. I always wanted to get involved with charity work but said I just did not have the time b/c I work full time. Yes, I always donated to different causes, particularly cancer, MS and ALS (one of the most horific diseases there is), and I genuinely wanted to help. It was not until lung cancer directly effected me however that I took it upon myself to actually do something, to actually get actively involved with different organizations and take on a roll. I finally have something to say and want to motivate others to get involved. Before it was like "oh, that is so wonderful Jane Doe is doing that for the cancer society. I wish my life was less stressful so I could do it also" Now that I am stressed to the max in a different way, I MAKE the time to be an advocate b/c I am able to and many patients themselves are not. My priorities changed

4. I used to get chest pains over the stress of my job. Now, no matter how stressful things are at work, I make sure I breathe, smile and don't let it get to me. Work is JUST work. After all, I'd rather be at work than waiting for my mom to get out of surgery and hold her hand in ICU like i did in March.

5. Lawyers can heat up rooms, things can get so intense between lawyers over an issue such whether the ink in a pen is ocean blue, dark blue, or navy blue. When I witness these heated moments and see the fires flying, I have been able to say "everyone relax a second, take a breath, realize what is important, we are not battling cancer here, let's be rational". Usually I hear "you are right", I get chuckles, tempers calm and the little issues can be ironed out.

6. I am more aware of finances in that if possible, I always want money available. I want to make sure that we never live beyond our means and always have money put away in case anyone we love needs a cancer treatment that insurance will not cover. I find new meaning in the phrase "Money can't buy health". In some ways it can. Interesting how oftentimes the top doctors won't take a HMO, only PPO and how new life saving treatments are not covered and can bankrupt you.

7. I can speak firmly to my apt complex about my displeasure of mice and preface it by saying I am sorry if I sound harsh, but I am tired, my mom has cancer, my dad is getting tests, and I am stressed. It garners a bit of sympathy at time (no, I don't abuse it)

8. I have learned to really take in every day, remember it, enjoy it, and be thankful for it.

9. I enjoy my migraines b/c they are only pain and I know it won't kill me. I ask g-d daily that if I have to have anything, thank g-d it is migraines and kidney stones. Those are "easy" to cure.

10. I no longer fret the small stuff. On vacation last weekend I spilled sauce all over my outfit, we are not sure if it is going to come out and I was not concerned. It was a new outfit. My mother in law was like how can it not bother you, do this, do that. She was insinuating that I was a princess in being so nonchalant over possible lost money. I said who cares, it goes to the dry cleaner, if it comes out great; if not I go to Nordstroms and get another one. Should I worry about my mom or my outfit? I can get upset if you would like me to. And it also made her realize how insignificant the shirt was and just something to blow off.

11. My family knows who cares. I find it twisted that it takes lung cancer for me to really know, but I do know. We have been blown away by the kindness of so many and it is an overwhelming feeling of love and it makes us feel so good to realize we touched people we did not think we touched that much. On the flip side, there is the occasional surprise and disappointment in others.

12. I know how m uch my husband loves me. The more I cry, the tighter he holds me. When I have bouts of depression like we all do, he tickles me to see a smile. And he never ever gets upset at me when I get upset and mad at the disease.

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Guest KellyB

Andrea, Sounds like you have really gained new views on life. My Mother always said, if your Healthy, your Wealthy, and when her Boss died 10 years ago from cancer, he told her, no-one ever faces life's end saying " I wish I worked more and spent less time with my family"

We are facing a hardship, yes, but we have been given the gift of appreciation of the smallest of God's work as well as the moment to moment joy of family quality time.

Sadly, ther are many who loose a loved on unexpectedly and are never given the chance to appreciate and express their hearts. In that sense I feel lucky!

We need a good hearted Lawyer out there (They get a bad wrap lots of times)

My dear Grandma who passed in 2000 always told me "Everything happens for a reason" She is soooo right

Take Care! Kelly

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