Different as the title states, yes, I did learn A LOT from my experience with having cancer! I truly believe that it set me on a whole new path in life. However, I am writing this article to share with you more than just the regular ordeal of my cancer journey. Instead, I would like to share with you the invaluable gems on What I’ve learnt from cancer and gained through my experience, and hopefully you may learn from it too and practice some of it in your everyday life…
1. Newfound appreciation for family and friends
I would say this was one of the most important values that I’ve learnt. We always say we appreciate the people around us for what they have done, but do we really express it, or is it all in the mind? Many of us forget appreciation when we are too caught up with our hectic schedules be it studying, working, or just our daily lives.
When I was afflicted with cancer, I realize how much people loved, cared, and supported me, and their love was clearly unconditional, from my fiancé to my mother, family members and friends. That was when the Áha moment came, that I had not clearly appreciated these people enough. Through my cancer journey, I developed a newfound appreciation for all the people around have done for me, from visiting me and to checking up on me. Truly, words cannot express how thankful I am, but now I always send them little reminders or make an effort to meet them even at my busiest moments to show my thanks and appreciation.
Remember guys, appreciation for people around you, or the little things you do for them is a conscious effort, and it takes commitment to practice it.
2. The importance of exercise
Before I had cancer, I viewed exercise as a chore, and I was always too tired by the end of the day to even get up and do some simple exercises. As fatigue is one of the side effects of surgery for most cancer patients/survivors, I knew I had to start exercising to gain back strength and energy. Even while I was wearing the colostomy bag, I was eager to exercise to feel stronger, and not weak, hence I started off with slow walks around the park, followed by bigger ones with my dog, and finally the occasional jogs 3 months later, after my 2nd surgery.
Exercise is something all of us should practice, and a tenet of health that we should maintain physically. Exercise gives me tremendous boost of energy because endorphins are released every time we exercise! Start small, and it will get easier day by day.
Plus, exercising helps you not just physically, but also mentally as well because it allows you to think faster due to the rush of adrenaline.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Yes, that is true to the core when we read quotes like these. How can I not agree after going through a critical illness? Things that I sought to achieve and was worried about constantly became not only unimportant but was pushed to the back of my mind when I was battling with living, and fighting for that second chance in life! Don’t go to bed with worries, but rather when you leave work, just go home, spend time with your loved ones, and treasure those moments you have with them.
Another thing I’ve learnt which I am not sure if it would apply for everyone is the fact that I found out how much inner strength I had as I went through my cancer journey. Truth is, the fighting spirit in me just jumped out of nowhere when it was confirmed that I had cancer. We human beings are stronger than we think, and we should never underestimate our abilities to fight, recover, and be even stronger than before. Always believe in yourself, and be strong mentally to battle any challenges that come your way. That realization of my own strength is what pulled me through, and still helps me even up till today…
Many of us have had someone or knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. The pain is unbearable. Therefore it is important to make a stand to cancer. Share this article and AXA AFFIN will donate RM1 to National Cancer Society of Malaysia……