Sitting in that hospital bed, being checked over and over again for signs of bleeding in my brain, I thought about how unhappy I was. I had spent my life believing that achieving success meant following a specific formula. It was something like, work as hard as you can to make lots of money so you can have lots of expensive things and then you’ll be happy. At times, the knowing that the life I was living was not meant for me would bubble up but I would push it back down because I had worked so hard to become that version of myself-the version I thought I was supposed to be. Yet, at that moment, when the likelihood of my continued existence was bleak, I could no longer deny what I had always known. That everything I believed would make me feel happy and fulfilled was total bullshit.
To the nurse standing by my bed, I proclaimed, “I’ve lived my entire life doing the things I believed I needed to do to be successful and I realize now it was all a lie. When we’re done here, I’m going to write a book and tell the whole world. They need to know that they don’t have to live by anyone’s standards but their own.”
Nearly five years later, that’s exactly what I did. Introducing, The Road to Courageous Living: Learning Audacious Self-Love and the Skills to Harness Personal Success, available for pre-order on Amazon and Kindle on October 18th!
I felt guilty for doing what was natural to me all too often; sharing. I heard it often enough that it became part of my internal dialogue. I started scolding myself for sharing, questioning everything I said to my friends, and at times even felt shame for sharing. At some point over the years, I decided to give myself grace and settled into the type of comfort only people who genuinely know and love themselves can understand. After my diagnosis, I began noticing how people reacted to my honesty. It is no surprise that people are uncomfortable with talking about ‘the big C’. I am acutely aware of this, as I used to be one of those people. I also recognized that people just do not like the feeling of experiencing someone else’s negative feelings. It’s never pleasant and many people default to fixers. Still, I had this driving need to honor myself, to speak my truth, and, maybe most importantly in this case, to raise awareness of an illness I never even knew existed until I was sitting in front of a doctor telling me I had it.
As a human who knows what it’s like to feel marginalized by disability, discriminated against, alone, different, in danger, helpless, I hope that you can see the commonalities in the experience of racially marginalized people and just how different we are not. I hope you will join me for this article and the others coming to tackle this issue. I hope you will join this revolution. The time is now.
Here’s the deal, 75% of Adolescents and Adolescents & Young Adults (AYAs) will experience a chronic disease by the time they are 40 years old and about 50% of all long term survivors will experience moderate to severely diminished health. So, while it’s never too late to start exercising, the sooner the better.
The Changing Face of Cancer Care in Canada Since 1993, Canadian Cancer Society has been honouring exceptional Canadian scientists with peer nominated awards annually. These scientists are recognized for their significant contributions to cancer research and cancer control. On Wednesday November 21, 2018, the annual ceremony was held at the CIBC Head Office building inContinue reading “Canadian Cancer Society’s Awards of Excellence in Cancer Research”