Surviving cancer isn’t about pretending and wishing and hoping. It isn’t about worrying whether you’re thinking the right thoughts. It isn’t about sweetness and light. It’s about being you! It’s about allowing your honest emotions, not denying them. This is down-to-earth and practical. It’s about learning to live, to let go, to take risks, and to be you!
If you want to survive, then you must first start to live.
This piece by Lissa Rankin is some of the best advice you’ll ever get:
When I interviewed women who had survived breast cancer for my art project The Woman Inside, I noticed that they all had one remarkable thing in common.
They had all faced down death and decided to live every day like it might be their last. And then they all beat cancer.
The more interviews I did, the more I noticed that these women were living differently than most of the people I knew who had not been diagnosed with cancer. Here’s what I learned from those survivor women. Learning these lessons changed my life, and I hope they’ll change yours.
1. Be unapologetically YOU. People who survive cancer get feisty. They walk around bald in shopping malls and roll their eyes if people look at them funny. They say what they think. They laugh often. They don’t make excuses. They wear purple muumuus when they want to.
2. Don’t take shit from people. People who survive cancer stop trying to please everybody. They give up caring what everybody else thinks. If you might die in a year anyway (and every single one of us could), who gives a flip if your great aunt Gertrude is going to cut you out of her will unless you kiss her ass?
3. Learn to say no. People with cancer say no when they don’t feel like going to the gala. They avoid gatherings when they’d prefer to be alone. They don’t let themselves get pressured into doing things they really don’t want to do.
4. Get angry. Then get over it. People who survive cancer get in your face. They question you. They feel their anger. They refuse to be doormats. They demand respect. They feel it. Then they forgive. They let go. They surrender. They don’t stay pissed. They release resentment. …