This blog was published on behalf of the author's mother, Cathy Brown
Soon after being diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, I was discussing difficulties at a support group when a woman looked straight at me and said, "Having cancer is the best thing that has ever happened to me." I thought, You have to be crazy, lady!
I could not comprehend this statement from her. How could anyone suggest that cancer is a blessing
Today, I understand her wisdom.
One of the important things I learned on my journey to the present is how to look after myself. We often put everyone and everything else before our own needs, and yet there is a little part of us that silently questions, "When is it MY time?"
In our society, putting oneself first can be judged as selfish. However, investment in our basic needs is a vital element in maintaining our health.
It was important to me not to die with regrets, so I had to find ways to be fulfilled and satisfied with the decisions I was making in life. Being diagnosed with cancer was like placing a magnifying glass over my life. Nothing was left unexplored, and I made rapid changes in response to the news that I only had two months to two years to live.
Eating Life-Giving, Not Life-Taking, Food
was an easy one. Eating healthy, live foods gave a strong message to my body that I wanted to live. My body responded quickly to being fuelled with optimum nutrition and rewarded me with more energy and a very deep sense of wellbeing. This is a choice that everyone, in sickness and health, makes many times in a day. Look at your food and ask the question “Is this food life-giving or life-taking?” If you don't intuitively know the answer, research what you're eating or make an appointment with a dietician.
Doing Some Soul-Searching
Emotional expression can be passed down through generations. Some families hold emotions in, others explode. In my family, negative emotions were buried and very rarely expressed, which is the same pattern that I followed -- until one day. I couldn’t contain this negative energy anymore and my world fell apart. After much searching, I discovered that meditation was the key for me to unlock the vault deep in my mind and access the incredible power within.
Deciding To Be Half-Full or Half-Empty
One of my big "Aha!"
moments was when I realised that we exist in a world of duality: ying/yang, hot/cold, up/down, night/day, war/peace, fear/love. I realised that I had subconsciously focused my mind on fear, which resulted in me living a restricted life. I re-programmed my mind to seek constructive and alternative ways of perceiving and responding to uncomfortable situations, and to look for the love and peace in situations
. I decided that my life was going to be an adventure and filled with wonderful experiences – whatever happened to me.
So, is cancer an invitation to change?
It certainly was for me, and can be for anyone else who decides to alter their perception of disease. It is not something I would not wish upon anyone, but what if disease is simply a messenger who is trying to get your attention? If not acknowledged, it knocks louder and louder with the message that something must change!
That something may be an imbalance within the body, mind or emotions. It may be bringing you an awareness of toxic food, thoughts, emotions or relationships which need to be addressed, and that have been ignored or buried far too long. As it turns out for me, I now consider cancer to be one of the biggest blessings in my life. Perhaps to others, I'm just that "crazy lady" that I met 27 years ago.
I will leave you with two questions to contemplate:
If you would like to know more about Cathy's journey as long-term stage 4 melanoma survivor, please read her book My Answer to Cancer or buy the book here.
- Are you living the life you want and deserve?
- If not, is there anything you can change in your life before life invites you to change?
Photo courtesy of the author