Positive learnings from my incurable cancer diagnosis

Happy Easter!! In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d share a post that I’ve been working on for a few days. The blog title says it all – here are some positives that have come out of this sh*tty diagnosis and have made me a happier person. 🙂

I’ve learned that family is everything.

21462987_10101570616498986_3741919700921090535_nI’ve always been close with my family, but I’ve needed them more in the past 12 months than ever before. After a seizure, your driver’s license is revoked for 6 months. During that time, I was going through radiation, chemotherapy, and support group. My family spent hours driving me to appointments, attending support group with me and keeping me company. Aunts, uncles and cousins dropped off meals, my brothers and their significant others let me vent whenever I wanted, and the whole family came together to participate in events like the MGH Everyday Amazing Race to raise money for MGH’s cancer center. My husband has supported me more than I thought was possible, and I’m finally confident that I made the right choice in marrying him. (Joking, Steven – I’ve always known!).

 

I’ve started taking much better care of myself.

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Prior to my seizure last April, I don’t think I had been to the gym in 6+ months. My husband and I had temporarily relocated to Denver for his job, and then when we got back, I moved to a new company. We bought our first home which was a very stressful process, and with everything we had going on, I had stopped exercising and eating well. I definitely put on some weight. In November, when I was finally cleared to exercise again, I decided to set a goal for myself – to run the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in February of 2019. It’s a race I’ve always wanted to do, but have never been fit enough to participate in. I’ve been working with a personal trainer (shout out to Semaj!) and am doing great – in fact, I’ve shaved 8 minutes off of my 5k time in just 4 months. I’m feeling healthier than ever, and am excited to continue this journey which also includes eating healthier and getting plenty of sleep.

 

I’ve started living in the moment.

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Disney trips, hibachi dinners, taking Mickey to the dog park, paint nights, plant nights, Oscar movie marathons, exploring Nashville, summer concerts…I’ve started really living in the moment. I used to spend all of my time and energy chasing things. Trying to close the next business deal, buy a nicer car, move to a bigger house… and because of that, I wasn’t really enjoying life in the moment. While those things are still on my radar, I spend much more time enjoying the people I’m with while I’m doing fun things.

 

I’m finally taking real time for myself.

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Getting to the gym 4-5 times a week, finally reading books that have been on my reading list for years, getting into a good skincare routine, spending time painting and crafting…it’s such a nice change. I’ve been spending more time doing meaningful activities and picking up new hobbies (like blogging!) and it’s made me a happier person overall.

 

I’ve learned who my true friends are, and I’ve ended toxic relationships.

This entire year has certainly shown me who my true friends are. They’ve been there the entire time, offering advice, support, and a listening ear. Some people have seemed to disappear from my life, while others have stepped up & told me to stop throwing a self-pity party and come out with the group for the night. I’ve also noticed some people in my life were very negative and toxic, and I’ve stopped surrounding myself with them. Although the number of people I hang out with has grown smaller, the friendships I do have have grown stronger. I also have to mention, I’ve made a lot of new friends in the brain cancer community and I value those new friendships very much.

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Happy Easter everyone, hope the Easter Bunny is good to you!!

Becca

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