Written by Head for the Cure Ambassador and Anaplastic Astrocytoma Survivor Molly Marco
To be honest, I never really liked it when non-cancer/non-brain tumor folks immediately, knee-jerk advised me to, upon hearing of my grading and diagnosis, “Be positive! You got this!”
Yes, no kidding: I GOT this. I am absolutely positive I GOT cancer. That being said, I’ve been guilty of telling others the very same thing. Often, we simply don’t know what to say and we’re trying to give you the most unobtrusive, helpful few words we have at the hand.
But I have learned one thing over the last few years– the positive mindset can be quite useful. I wouldn’t call it a “fix” or a “cure”, but it can help you play the cards you have better.
Life is a total hodge-podge of things that happen and keep happening, and while it doesn’t often seem like it, we can only really control what we’re going to do with the hodge-podge pile of things that appear to randomly be tossed at us.
I have found that the best way for me to tackle challenges, disappointment, fear and grief is to allow myself to have those feelings. I cry. I acknowledge the jealousy I feel toward those who appear to have no real challenges or viewable disappointment. I feel those feels! I acknowledge my ugly side, my fearful side. But after giving myself however long I need to have those feelings I move on. Because, after a while, those feelings have no other use. I have stuff to do. Even as simple as laundry or making dinner or walking the dogs. The diagnosis and difficulties may interfere with goals and plans, even time-tables, but the diagnosis doesn’t own YOU.
Sometimes the worst things that happen to you can be flipped. It’s completely within your wheelhouse. You must find the way to get yourself there, but eventually after the fear, the hurt, and the anger your best side, your inner best, it’s there. You have a choice. To continue to mourn the life you might’ve had, OR, live the life you are given with all the love and juice and passion you have. Time is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. It’s neither here nor there, nor a thing we can control. We control our NOW. That is all. And that can be enough.
Upward and onward. Ever, ever onward!