April 14, 2010

it's how you face each day that matters

with cancer, it is well known there are many things you cannot control...however, there are lots of things that you can. and, you can certainly control the way you wake up and face every day...

i don't want anyone to think i'm saying that this is by any means easy to do...but, however hard it is, it's still a choice. it's a choice whether or not we wake up every day and choose to face it with hopefulness and optimism or fear and resentment. and, it's in that moment we make that decision that the day begins.

that said, there are many things, especially with cancer, that get thrown into our days and steer us one way or another...and, our attitude usually follows. if your day starts off with a negative attitude, then there's really no place to go from that point but into a further state of negativity. not only does this make the day - the day that's not going well - seem to drag on forever, but it affects the quality of life. on the other hand, if you start off the day with an attitude of positivity, then you're better poised to face each challenge that's thrown your way - kind of like having reserves of energy, when you use a little, you still have some to keep you carrying on.... and, sometimes, it's your ability to simply carry on that makes all the difference.

of course, my statements are based on nothing more than my own experience and observations.... on the days that i've woken up feeling sad, scared and upset, i've had a really tough time clawing through the day - let alone recovering any optimism. but, on the days that i've woken up and reminded myself that every day i simply wake up is a day to be excited for - i've been able to carry through with a strength and outlook i didn't know i had. it's just that one moment, that quick decision to wake up and choose my attitude - the one thing i really have control over - that has made all the difference.

so, if i could offer one piece of advice to fellow cancer warriors, friends, family, and anyone else who's reading this...it would be to wake up every day and make a concious decision to face the day with optimism. none of us are promised any of these days we're living, so whether or not we have cancer, we ought to be so grateful to simply wake up. and, i know this isn't easy. i get it...i've had really, really tough days, and tough circumstances. i've had to make really difficult decisions, endure really difficult treatments, and live with a really difficult reality - cancer. and, each of those things has torn me down a little bit. i certainley haven't finished each day with such tremendous optimism...in fact, i've ended lots of days in fear and sadness. but, that's not the point...the point is that i've made a challenge to myself to go to sleep, and wake up in a new day. and to not just say that i'm in a new day...but to live it. sure, the same reality follows us day to day...just choosing to start the day with a fresh attitude doesn't change the fact that i had cancer, or that i had to go to treatment - those things are still very real. but, the realities of life have nothing on our choice of attitude...

...and as scarlett o'hara said, "after all, tomorrow is another day".

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