Perspective is everything.
A close friend of mine was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She started aggressive chemotherapy a week later and was told she would lose her hair within two weeks. Although she was obviously upset, she thought about an ex-colleague in her early thirties who had died suddenly of a heart attack a few weeks earlier. Leaving behind a two-year-old daughter. And my friend was thankful for the blessing of having the chance to fight.
Then, while at the doctor’s office getting her second round of treatment, my friend began talking to another young woman in her mid- to late 20s who was starting her chemotherapy that day. This woman explained that she had been eight months pregnant with her first child when she suddenly started throwing up blood. After rushing to the hospital they told her she had stomach cancer. The baby was delivered stillborn shortly after. Completely devastating.
My friend went home and couldn’t stop thinking about that young woman. And it reminded her of the premise that if we all put our troubles on the table, we would take our own back.
Perspective. She told me that when you are looking at cancer from the outside and hearing the stories of other people going through it, you believe a diagnosis would be the end of the world. But once you are inside it and diagnosed yourself, you find a kind of clarity. You see the blessings. A normal body scan or blood test feels like a lottery win. A round of medicine without nausea makes your day.
Perspective. So many of us have been touched by cancer in some way. Both my parents are survivors and my mom is going through it for the second time. May we hold space for those on the cancer journey and be grateful when we do have our health. There is always someone who would give anything to have theirs.
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