To help write these blogs I have been reading through my CaringBridge posts and other writing I did during treatment and there is certainly a theme that runs through from beginning to end: the importance of positivity and gratitude for the little things. These values not only helped me get through my experience with cancer, they are the way I have always and continue to live my life.
There are several passages that I wrote previously that I think express these ideas really well.
October 29, 2009 –Brain Surgery Day
This I Believe Essay
“In the hospital it is easy to be taken over by negative thinking. But I think that is a waste of energy. Instead I am planning on suffocating cancer with laughter and smiles, smothering it with hope and positivity and the love and support of my family and friends. That’s not to say that I go around perpetually grinning. Sometimes it’s a struggle to stay positive. That’s when I think of all I have to be grateful for. Today, among other things, I am grateful for non-skid socks, visiting friends, and applesauce. It’s these rays of light that help me stay positive.”
I think positivity is often confused with happiness. To me positivity doesn’t mean being happy all the time. It means looking for the best in each situation even when the situation is rough. What helped me to keep a positive attitude was to look for the light spots in the dark. The small things that made me smile, laugh, or feel warm inside. Sometimes it was having a good nurse, getting a card for my grandma, graham crackers or a hug from my family or friends. By looking for and appreciating the little things I was able to see light in a dark place and look forward to the light at the end.
August 30, 2010 – Two weeks after completing treatment
CaringBridge Journal Entry
“I really like thinking about the little things that make me happy each day. They are almost better than the big things. I think it’s because they are unexpected. They sneak up on us and fill us from head to toe with joy.”
To me, maintaining a positive attitude is a cycle. By looking for the best in a situation, we notice the little things (so all you people doing the Facebook gratitude challenge, you are at the start of the cycle). When we appreciate the little things we are able to maintain a positive outlook. With a positive attitude it becomes easier to see the best in a situation and the cycle becomes a positive feedback loop (pun possibly intended J )
|and just being outside.|
|The little things on this day were swinging|
Run of Hope Total: $1,835
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