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Let's discuss the things cancer has taught us

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Like all journeys in life, the cancer journey provides lessons along the way – whether you have been recently diagnosed, are currently receiving treatment or are in remission. We asked our online community and social media fans on Facebook and Twitter to share their thoughts about what cancer has taught them. Here’s what some of them wrote:
 
Live life to its fullest
 
“My mother was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and through this journey I have learned to live by the serenity prayer. I have learned the following … To appreciate each day like it could be my last … To take time for myself … To start doing things I always said I would do and do them … To dance in the aisles at concerts when others are sitting down … To jump in a bouncy castle at my niece’s birthday … And most importantly to live life to its fullest.” – iarstacy
 
“Your life can change in a split second so do all the things listed on the link! Tell those you love that you love them every time you see them, dance if you feel like it, smile because a wonderful memory pops into your mind that makes you feel happy … Life is short, make the very most of every day and remember, you can never spend too much time with those you love!” – Susan
 
Appreciate life itself
 
Many people touched by cancer shared the feeling that life is too short and should not be taken for granted. The simplest things in life should be appreciated, they said.
 
“Slow down … smell the roses … it can happen to anyone … some of us lucky ones actually live to talk about (it) …” – Michelle
 
“Life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff and mostly in the end, it’s all small stuff, love those around you completely and fully and enjoy this life every day that you are given.” – Denise
 
“I call it a blessing in disguise, meaning it made me appreciate everything around me … truly experienced all kinds of highs n lows of life but don’t take it for granted. ” – Beverly
 
“Don’t take anything for granted … love live and laugh … tell people how much u love and appreciate them.” – Michelle D.
 
Giving back, raising awareness
 
Some community members spoke about wanting to help others who are facing the challenges of living with cancer. For some, this means taking on the role of advocate to raise awareness, which hopefully will result in saved lives.
 
“Cancer taught me to give back. Mom needed blood so often during chemo. So I give blood every 56 days … 11 years now.” – Tracey
 
“I advocate for those who think they don’t have a voice and my prime goal is to save ONE life by ovc (ovarian cancer) awareness.” – Sheila
 
“You truly should get tested on a regular basis for such things as cancer and other diseases.” – Tony
 
Stay strong and never give up
 
Along with words of wisdom, community members also offered a message of hope to others currently living with cancer. Many said they discovered their own strength as they went through their journey, but also said it’s important to accept support from the people around them. 
 
“I learned I was much stronger than I thought … I have learned to ask for help and accept it. I learned mostly to let go of unimportant things and especially to enjoy all the little pleasures that life brings me.” – Marie-France
 
“A big lesson of humility that requires us to tap the resources deep within ourselves to learn to let go … and change some habits and attitudes to help live better … and survive. I think the experience of cancer is not the result of chance but a test of the sometimes inevitable life that can be positive if we can recognize it and respect it.” – Conrad
 
“I’ve learned to believe in myself. To lean on online communities for support. To stay strong and confident every day.” – Phillip
 
“I’ve learned to never give up, lean on family for support, stay strong and keep on fighting! Show cancer who is boss.” – Vito
 
“You don’t always have to be strong, as long as you are there … And try to be/stay positive! We’ll beat cancer. Together.” - Kim

What have you learned from cancer? Join the discussion.

 




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