Now For Something Different
Here is a guest post from a lady who has gone through far more than most of us ever will and has kept a positive attitude through it all. It is very inspiring and shows us that a good attitude goes a long way. Without further ado a guest post from Heather at www.mesothelioma.com.
Taking the Good with the Bad
If there is one trait about me that sticks out, it is my optimism. I am often told I wear rose-colored glasses. I do not take this in a negative way. When I was diagnosed with cancer at 36 only three and a half months after giving birth to my only child, I would never had made it through were it not for the way I look at the world.
I was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma on November 21, 2005. I did not see that coming. It was the happiest time of my life and I was being told that I had a deadly disease. I, and everyone else who has ever faced this situation, was faced with a decision. I could wallow in self-pity and anger, shake my fist at god and give in to my diagnosis. I could also face reality while wearing my rose-colored glasses. I chose the latter. It was not just about me. I had a daughter who deserved to know her mommy. I was determined to ensure that she got that chance.
Cancer certainly has strictly negative connotations, but there are two sides to every story. Yes, a cancer diagnosis is scary and horrible. However, it also gives a person an opportunity to test their strength, to realize what is important and to take control of the rest of her life. In my case, it also gave me an opportunity to support others in the same situation and I took that opportunity happily.
I am not entirely sure why, but I chose to take the good with the bad. I went to a renowned mesothelioma doctor who gave me hope that I would live. In a bout of good humor, my tumor became known as Punxsutawney Phil because the surgery to remove my tumor occurred on the Groundhog's Day following my diagnosis. Then, we decided Groundhog's Day was now Lungleavin' Day. The idea is to celebrate life in the way people celebrate the coming of spring. It is a way to acknowledge the people I met while fighting this horrible disease.
I met some great people who were suffering through the same problems I had. They are among the most resilient and brave people I have ever met. These people not only fight cancer, but they bring awareness to our mesothelioma. If it were not for my cancer diagnosis, I would never have even known these people exist. Now, I have meaning to life. I have friends that are fighters. I have a daughter who I get to cherish every day. I will continue to help lend support and continue to wear my rose-colored glasses.