It’s been just over a year since my grandmother has passed away from CLL. A type of blood cancer she battled for several years. My mom also had Cancer as did several friends.

I must preface by saying I’ve never had Cancer.

But my life has been touched by Cancer in so many ways and at different stages of my life from childhood through adulthood. 

I’ve watched people I love suffer. I’ve held their hand and walked with them through their journey. Their pain was also my pain. I was lucky to keep some and there were others that we couldn’t keep any longer. We had emotional goodbyes and I keep them close in my heart. 

From my mom and grandmother to friends and other family members. It hits close to home. I am by no means an expert on Cancer so I ask you read with an open mind to my thoughts.

I prefer to believe there are things that illnesses of all kinds can teach us if we are willing to listen. 

There’s similarities in the challenges of life we all face that if applied we can achieve more despite our body being in dis-ease. 

Updated statistics say that one in every 2 people will develop some form of Cancer in their lifetime.

We need to do everything we can to use that pain for a positive outcome. Globally we are being asked to wake up and view dis-ease differently. 

In an effort to honour those I love and to view their lives in a positive light I want to share the lessons that Cancer has taught me: 

1) Do it now. 

Forget the fear of what ifs and the doubts in mind. No body is guaranteed a certain number of tomorrow’s so do it now. Take the risk to be greater than you were yesterday. 

2) Say I love you. 

Everyone loves to know they are loved. We need more proclamations of love today anyways. Maybe focusing on love instead of hate will actually stem the hate that is toxifying our world. 

3) Follow through. 

If you make a promise have integrity and do what you said you would do. Being there for those we love is how we honour their lives and the role they play in ours. Never forget that. 

4) Travel. 

Even while ill most of those I knew travelled for as long as possible. Feeding their souls with new foods, new cultures, sunsets and beaches galore. Travel is good for all to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Creating memories help us build the stories of our life worth sharing with others.

5) Try and then try harder. 

Some days we get tired of the hustle to achieve goals. What I’ve witnessed were those while ‘sick’ continue to work, achieve goals and give back to the world. If they can do it so can we. So keep at those goals. Challenges are the hurdles we jump to make us stronger. 

6) Be grateful. 

Our worst position would be someone else’s envy. Negativity is so toxic and having a positive mindset will always serve us no matter the challenge we face. 

7) Give back. 

Focus on the global picture instead of living with blinders on. There’s so much we can do in service of others and that in of itself is healing. 

8) Respect the body. 

We only have 1 home and that’s our body. Treat it like the most valuable possession you have because it is. Learn how to nourish it with food. Give it the movement it needs. Feed the soul with all the dreams you have. It will give back to you in spades. 

9) Things don’t matter. 

In the end it’s not the things we hold close. It’s the people, memories and intangibles that make life amazing. Don’t confuse having a lot of things with having a full life. 

10) Laugh. A lot. 

While some days the tears come a lot easier than the laughter it’s important to laugh every day. Be known for bringing joy to others and for your smile and how that brightened the day of those around you. Time to be light when there’s already so much dark. 

Cancer seems to have taught me a lot. While I’ve never had Cancer it seems that my chances are 50/50. As a good friend always says – ‘I might have Cancer. But it never had me.’

I like to think I live with some of that Mindset in my heart. A fighter for life and a positive outlook like no other. Thank you for always reminding me of the important things.