Call me crazy, but in the last month, I have been pleasantly surprised to uncover the many positive aspects of getting cancer. Yes, I've had to tweak, bend, and re-align my one-sided point of view to gain a better perspective of the benefits that can arise from such a diagnosis. However, the results have been astounding and life-changing for me. Despite popular opinion, here is a list of 20 reasons that cancer doesn't suck:
1) I am gaining mental strength because I am being faced with obstacles that few 20-year-olds have to encounter.
2) I have a guinea pig. Turns out you should take advantage of every possible opportunity when your oncologist tells your parents that pets promote healing.
3) My room is always clean. The phrase "a clean room = a clean mind" has never resonated with me more than it has in the last month.
4) I am able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Ice-cream? Yup. For breakfast? You bet.
5) I've learned that it's ok to be vulnerable. It's ok to ask for help.
6) I've wiped away my disordered eating tendencies. I now understand the benefit of eating intuitively and purposefully. My body needs fuel and energy in order to fight the bad cells and protect the good ones.
7) I exercise to make myself feel good. Walks around the neighborhood have become my best friend.
8) I'm learning, more than ever before, that I don't need a lot to make me happy.
9) I am less quick to judge people or react angrily. I'm more at peace with myself and the ambience of my surroundings.
10) I appreciate my life more. Once this is a thing from my past, I will be able to take away this new-found sense of gratitude and run with it.
11) Because my diagnosis has cleared my schedule, I have a free summer. I've been able to reconnect with old friends and make new friends. I can soak up the sun at the beach or be a hermit and watch Netflix all day.
12) I've become closer to my family, immediate and extended. I have a larger support system than I ever could have thought up.
13) My Brooklyn "family" is back in my life.
14) I'm receiving a notably substantial amount of attention. Now, as I previously mentioned, I am not an attention seeker. Nonetheless, I can't complain when I tear open a care package filled with freshly made cookies.
15) I'm growing more compassionate for others and their unique struggles.
16) I've been welcomed to the world of mindfulness meditation, Reiki, and yoga with open arms.
17) Free foot massages. Thanks, Mom. Just gonna leave it at that.
18) I believe, with every bone in my body, that this experience is reinforcing my decision to major in psychology. I have never been more proud to be studying such a progressive, useful, and forthcoming science.
19) I have a free pass for many things. You may be surprised to know that "I can't move because I have cancer" can get you the remote that is a mere few feet from your face.
20) I will be a guiding, helping force for future people wallowing in a pit of destructive emotions following a cancer diagnosis. With the new skills and wisdom that I learn every single day, I will be able to help people.
Every day my fate is being shaped. I am going to turn this horrible ordeal into a supportive foundation for my future. I am going to learn from these challenges and grow from them. Who knows-- maybe these trials and tribulations will guide me in my career path. I can only hope.
Hi, I'm Lia. I have Hodgkin's lymphoma, but Hodgkin's lymphoma does not have me.