How do you find the positive and grow appreciation when diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. As I see it, I have a choice in each moment to choose how to see any situation. Do I choose to give in to a negative perspective and complain or do I choose a more positive viewpoint and find things to appreciate? While many might say it is normal to complain when dealing with this, what does that approach really do for me? I will just feel poorly and as I focus on negatives I will see more of them. So why not choose to look for things to appreciate and find more of those, that certainly feels a lot better. So what are the positives I have been able to see.
If nothing else, I have such strong appreciation for my wife who has been by my side through all of this. Cancer is not something you experience alone. She was with me every step of the way and I would even argue that it was more difficult for her than for me. I had a team of people caring for me and looking out for me. She had to navigate the world of doctors and hospitals while managing everyday responsibilities. She saw things she can’t unsee and had experiences that were deeply traumatic. She is the one that came to the hospital every day to support me. Woke up early to prepare cooked vegetables to bring with her and went to bed late after making sure I was doing ok. Melissa reminded doctors of our treatment plan when they tried to go in different directions. She dealt with uncomfortable situations helping me do coffee enemas in my hospital room in between regular nurse visits. She keeps me in line when I wanted to stray from my daily healing schedule. I don’t know how she did it and I appreciate her very much for being there for me during what was probably one of the most difficult times of our lives.
This experience has opened new channels of communication between me and my family (we all live in different states and even different countries). Prior to this, we connected via email and spoke over the phone occasionally. We now make it a point to connect regularly and I look forward to our talks. It is as if we have given ourselves permission to show more love and appreciation for each other and while this was triggered by this unfortunate diagnosis, the result is something beautiful that is helping all of us grow in love and appreciation of each other and ourselves.
New places new faces
This experience has exposed me to places and people I would have never met in my previous routine. Hospitals are amazingly complex entities with so many moving parts and yet regardless of what looks like chaos, I always got my lab results and the nurses were always on time to check in even though they might be dealing with unplanned emergencies. While I did not get to meet them, I now have a strong appreciation for those working behind the scenes, making sure everyone is taken care of in such a potentially chaotic environment.
I have met some pretty amazing nurses and caregivers. How can you not appreciate them and the work they do. Somehow, they always managed to be pleasant and provide care with great attention even at the end of a demanding 12-hour shift. While I may not always agree with their practice of healthcare, their professionalism and the difficulty of their work has to be acknowledged. I appreciate everyone I had the opportunity to meet from the nurses to the ambulance drivers and the social workers.
Path of least resistance
Before this manifested into a diagnosis, I felt in a rut. I caught myself regularly feeling a powerful desire to stop working. I did not feel fulfilled in my work and felt a strong need for something different. On one end I had that strong desire and on the other, I had a strong belief that I could not be supported without working. So I attracted something that removed me from my job and allowed me to still be somewhat financially supported. Sure there could have been many other ways to achieve the same results. I have to appreciate how this manifested and answered what I was asking for.
This experience has allowed me to be exposed to alternative therapies I knew nothing about. I would probably not have been introduced to. I have a growing appreciation for Taheebo tea which has supported me and helped me heal. Much more than the traditional therapy I am following. After only a couple of weeks of drinking it, I had a strong series of eliminations. It felt like part of my tumors had been dissolved and were being pushed out. Ever since that evening, my abdominal tumor has gotten smaller and smaller with each passing day. It went from being the size of a football to what now feels like a baseball. (January 2019). Two years later, I still drink at least two cups of Taheebo tea per day. It is an essential part of my daily cancer prevention routine.
Love and support on a global scale
As the news of this spread to family and friends via email, social media and our GoFundMe campaign, I was showered with messages of Love and support in a way I could have never imagined. Friends from high school, who I had not been in touch with for over 25 years suddenly reached out. Members of my extended family, who I have never met, emailed with words of support and encouragement. While I would have preferred to spare all of them the fear and concern this may have caused; I truly appreciate the wave of support and love they have put into the universe for me and all those dealing with Cancer.
An opportunity to share
Another thing I can appreciate is giving myself permission to create this website and share my experience. If this can help just one person gain a different perspective about their situation and perhaps even help them heal faster, it is all worth it.
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As a cancer patient or caregiver, what are some of the things you appreciate? Share your comments below:
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