now reading:

Life Lessons That Cancer Has Taught Me

share post:

back to top 

Life lessons that cancer has taught me | As a cancer survivor, I can look back now and see that a positive outcome from the experience is the many life lessons learned. Whether you're fighting cancer now, a survivor, or simply on a mission to live your best life, I think you'll find both inspiration and motivation in this post. Click to read it now or pin it for later! | The Dimple Life #thedimplelife #lifelessons #cancersurvivor #bestlife #inspiration #motivation

Self Growth

Life Lessons That Cancer Has Taught Me

December 30, 2018

by: The Dimple Life

Cancer. I had it. And then I didn’t. It was a very surreal emotional roller coaster I was on earlier this year. I’m happy to be closing out 2018 with that part of my journey in the past. While the diagnosis, surgery, and recovery all occurred within a matter of a few months (thankfully!) I walked away with a whole long list of what I learned about myself. Cancer is good for some things – it’s taught me a lot about what I value most in my life. Here are my top 10 lessons I’ve learned.

I hope that some of my learnings I share below can help you in some way in your own journeys!

Time is precious and limited. Use it wisely.

When I was getting my CT scans done, or lying down on the surgery table, flashes of time were zooming around in my head. There was so much more I wanted to do and see. This just couldn’t be it! I told myself that if I were to recover from cancer, I would be intentional with my time. The time we have here is never guaranteed. Anything can happen to anyone at any moment. How you spend your time and who you spend your time with is what makes life, life.

True friendships will always rise to the top.

When you’re in good spirits and always happy, there are so many people that want to be around you. It’s natural – being around positive people lifts everyone up! But I’ve realized, when you’re going through a trauma or a hardship, the people around you tends to shift a little. I can’t say I’m not bummed by having to let go of certain friendships. People I’ve known for years… but when you’re on the verge of a breakdown and it’s silent or close to silent on the other end, it’s a little bit easier to walk away. Your real friends will step up for you. Cancer is not a fun or comfortable topic but the people that matter will reach out to you and support you in the ways that you need.

Take your health seriously.

That nagging pain you have in your lower back, those stomach aches you always seem to get, the irregular menstrual cycle, whatever it is. Your body is telling you something. If you don’t know why any of it is happening, then I urge you, that if something about your body feels off – look into it. This is not meant to scare anyone at all but it’s just to be more mindful. Our body speaks to us in so many ways. When we eat something, when we move, when we don’t give it the rest it needs, our body has a response to all of it and it either tells us it’s happy or feeling sad. Take ownership of your health and your body. You only get one.

Let go of the B.S.

The day to day stresses don’t matter. Honestly, I do find myself having to check myself on this daily and it’s not something I’m always successful at. But I always some how come back to – “it’s only [fill in the blank].” Because it’s true. There’s very few real things that matter. The traffic, being late, someone flaking on you, not booking that project, whatever it is – ask yourself if it’s something you will be upset about in a week, a month, next year. If the answer is probably not, then it’s time to let it go!

Learn to ask for help.

There’s nothing like cancer that makes you feel vulnerable. For a while after my surgery, I wasn’t able to walk, so I had to lean on my mom for the most basic help of getting up to go to the bathroom. We grow up and work so hard to become independent. Sometimes it can be foreign to lean on others again and ask for help but it’s not only necessary but it is also a sign of your own strength. Asking for help means you’re strong enough to know when you need it.

Positivity counts for a lot.

I feel like my years of being optimistic and positive have been the training ground to get me through cancer. Cultivating positive thoughts and emotions takes work. Over the years, I’ve developed an “everything will eventually be great” mindset and I can honestly say it helped me through this. It certainly wasn’t easy the whole time – with feelings of despair, death, exhaustion in my head – but I tried to be resilient and fill my time with building positive habits like meditating and reading books and articles on strength. I truly believe that if anyone in my life had to get cancer, I’m so happy it was me because I have the skills to get through it!

Allow yourself to grieve.

When I first got diagnosed, I was shocked. During the first week though, I was joking about it and making light of the situation. Friends and family thought I was weird, why was I joking about such a serious health concern? As the weeks went on though, there were fewer jokes and reality for me set in. I hadn’t allowed myself to grieve and be sad and confused. Once I allowed myself to actually feel these scary and confusing mix of emotions, I cried. I cried a lot. And the act of shedding tears was so therapeutic for me. To actually feel, made me feel like I was not only accepting my reality but that I could start to cope with it too.

You are made up of more than you think.

When you feel like in your daily life you can’t possibly handle anymore – trust me, you can and you will be able to. The tools and strength you have in your heart and soul will get you through the most trying times and when you walk through all the hardship – on the other side you will see exactly what you’re made of. And it’s a lot!

Stay present.

You’re not getting this moment right now back. Stop multi-tasking, stop thinking about one thing while you’re doing another. Enjoy the company you’re with, the activity you’re in the middle of – be present with the now because the now is the only guarantee you have.

Have gratitude for life.

Gratitude and “being grateful” isn’t just an Instagrammable thing to talk about or post. It’s a way to live your life. I’m so grateful to get to go on hikes with my dog, to get to eat my mom’s food, to get to make future plans with friends. There’s so much in our lives that are good – I choose to not focus on what’s not going right in my life. What is going right is all that matters!

Life lessons that cancer has taught me | As a cancer survivor, I can look back now and see that a positive outcome from the experience is the many life lessons learned. Whether you're fighting cancer now, a survivor, or simply on a mission to live your best life, I think you'll find both inspiration and motivation in this post. Click to read it now or pin it for later! | The Dimple Life #thedimplelife #lifelessons #cancersurvivor #bestlife #inspiration #motivation
Life lessons that cancer has taught me | As a cancer survivor, I can look back now and see that a positive outcome from the experience is the many life lessons learned. Whether you're fighting cancer now, a survivor, or simply on a mission to live your best life, I think you'll find both inspiration and motivation in this post. Click to read it now or pin it for later! | The Dimple Life #thedimplelife #lifelessons #cancersurvivor #bestlife #inspiration #motivation

Life lessons that cancer has taught me | As a cancer survivor, I can look back now and see that a positive outcome from the experience is the many life lessons learned. Whether you're fighting cancer now, a survivor, or simply on a mission to live your best life, I think you'll find both inspiration and motivation in this post. Click to read it now or pin it for later! | The Dimple Life #thedimplelife #lifelessons #cancersurvivor #bestlife #inspiration #motivation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Important lessons to remember! I had cancer when I was 19 and I’ve been cancer free for almost 10 years now. I tell people I don’t regret having cancer because it has taught me a lot of things I don’t think I would have learned at 19 if I didn’t go through this experience. The most important thing it has taught me is how to be brave and positive despite facing seriously challenging and scary situations. Now I have the comfort of knowing just how resilient I can be. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Rachel says:

      Gosh, first of all – Congratulations on being almost 10 years cancer free!! That is incredible and I hope you do something to celebrate! I absolutely know what you mean about not regretting it or resenting having it. I feel the same. It’s definitely made us face mortality in a way that many others haven’t had to. We are stronger for it 🙂 Sending continued good health your way!

  2. Brenda Anderson says:

    Yes it is important

I'm looking for support with:

explore the blog

More on the Blog

I'm looking for support with:

self growth

career + finance






do good

It is hard to know where to begin with volunteer work. Here are a few resources that can help you find the cause that is right for you. #Volunteerism #Volunteer #SocialImpact #NonProfitOrganization

There are so many opportunities to become involved in our communities to really make a lasting impact in our world. It can be overwhelming though when you don’t know where to start. If you are someone with many different interests and don’t know which cause specifically would be best to get involved with, starting anywhere […]

Non profit organizations that support teachers and education.
Where to purchase a coronavirus non medical grade face covering or mask. Here is a round up that can help protect you and your community. #COVID19 #coronavirus #healthylifestyle #TheDimpleLife
It can be daunting to make friends as an adult with limited outlets the older you get. But that doesn't mean it's not possible. It takes getting out of your comfort zone and knowing where to look but know that it is possible with the following tips. #Friendships #Relationship #MentalWellness #MentalWellbeing #TheDimpleLife

It can be really daunting to make friends as an adult. As you grow into adulthood, it seems like there’s more opportunity to create relationships with your classmates in school, with your coworkers at work, and through various social settings. As you fully step into adulthood and enter different phases of your life though those […]

Why teaching 'family first' doesn't work all the time. #FamilyRelationships #HealthyRelationships #Boundaries #TheDimpleLife

Ever since I was in elementary school, I can remember a school project where I presented that the most important motto to me is “Family First”. This thinking was engrained into my upbringing from a very early age. On surface level, it’s quite beautiful. Family truly will always mean so much to me. However, at […]

The five love languages explained so you can discover your own.

Do you know how you appreciate receiving love? Do you know how you appreciate giving love to others? These are all tied to your love languages. This may be from learned behavior you’ve seen or experienced growing up – knowing you loved when the special people in your life showed love in specific ways or […]

This post is about Lauryn from Clear Complexions Co

When I think of a girl boss, Lauryn from Clear Complexions Co immediately comes to mind. I came across Lauryn’s business on Instagram, and I was intrigued. Facial treatments from a home studio? AND, she lives nearby? That’s a double win in my book. Needless to say, I had an exceptional experience during my hydrofacial […]

This post is about Taylor Swift's outfits for less.

Calling all Swifties: this post is for you! If you’ve ever admired Taylor Swift’s fashion choices, you know that her outfits are often nothing short of glamorous. From dazzling stage costumes to stunning red carpet gowns, her style is a testament to elegance and sophistication. Read on to see how you can recreate three of […]

This post is about casual work outfits for the corporate baddie.

In an era where corporate culture is evolving, the traditional office dress code is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. Today, more and more workplaces are embracing a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, allowing employees to showcase their personal style while maintaining professionalism. Whether you’re navigating the tech industry or a creative agency, we’ve got you covered […]

Caring for plants throughout changing seasons takes patience and intentional effort. Learn the tips it takes to manage your indoor plants throughout the seasons.

As the long summer days wind down and give way to a cooler temperature and changing seasons into autumn, your indoor houseplants enter a different phase of growth that requires your intentional effort and attention. Transitioning your indoor garden for the autumn months requires a thoughtful approach to ensure the well-being of your planty friends. […]

Tips on how to update your home for the fall season

We spend the most time at home and with the season changing soon, it’s time to update some home elements to feel warmer and cozier. Whether that’s with plush blankets, warmer colors around the home, or cozy candles, embrace the season with fall home decor elements that can transform your space. Below are some tips […]

Round up of house plants that will grow well indoors in the fall season. #HousePlants #Monstera #SnakePlant #IndoorPlant #TheDimpleLife

Adding houseplants to your home or apartment is a great, low cost tactic to brighten up your space and increase the air quality. Filling a room with green and colorful plants can really lift the mood. However, having them all die when the winter months roll around is a sure way to do the exact […]

This post is about activities to do in the Fall in Vancouver.

What sets Vancouver apart from all the other cities is its ability to seamlessly transition through all four seasons, offering a diverse range of activities and festivities to match each one. As we transition into Fall, there’s an abundance of exciting screen-free activities awaiting us. Whether it’s visiting the pumpkin patch with your family or […]

This post is about the top 5 fitness classes in Vancouver.

Elevate your fitness journey in Vancouver with a diverse array of classes that cater to every preference and goal. If you are looking to build body confidence, we are here to help! Dive into the high-energy world of Rumble Boxing, sculpt and tone at Lagree West’s reformer Pilates sessions, find balance with Oxygen Yoga’s hot […]

For anyone in LA that has never thought to try a boxing class but enjoys group HIIT workouts, I highly recommend checking out one of these boxing studios. #gymbox #bestgym #gymslosangeles #losangelesathleticclub #gold'sgym #bestgymsinlosangeles

After moving to Downtown LA I found myself getting tired with the monotony of the standard workout I was completing in my small apartment gym. In my efforts to branch away from the standard routine, I visited multiple local gyms. I eventually found a love for group High Intensity Interval Training sessions. This new found […]

This post is about date night restaurants in Vancouver.

For those who have quality time as their love language (or their partners), getting to share a romantic night out will always be something special. Whether it’s a first date, an anniversary, or a celebration, I have compiled some of my favorite date night spots in Vancouver. Whether you are craving Italian, hot pot, or […]

This post is about lunch meal prep recipes.

Ever had that dreadful morning when you oversleep, leaving no time to pack your lunch? The struggle is real as you grumble while getting out of bed, knowing you’re going to have to pay for another overpriced salad at work. We understand the lunchtime dilemma all too well, and that’s why we’ve put together a […]

Anti-inflammatory juice containing beets, carrots, ginger and more to protect against illness. One of the most refreshing juices I've ever had! #freshjuice #antiinflammatory #guthealth #TheDimpleLife

Beets have always been a staple in the refrigerator, whether it’s eating them as beet chips, roasted beets in a bowl, or pickled beets in a salad, there are so many different ways to be able to enjoy this root vegetable and today we’ll explore a beet and carrot juice recipe. They are known to […]

This post is about how to get organized for back to school.

Getting a jumpstart on preparing for the upcoming school semester, especially in college or university, comes with some great perks. First off, it helps you avoid stressing out as the start of classes gets closer. You’ll also have time to plan things out, set goals, purchase the essentials, and figure out a study routine that […]

A young woman is looking down at her laptop trying to figure out her finances.

Taking control of your finances is a crucial step towards achieving your life goals and building a secure future. Finances can be confusing, especially if you are a beginner, but with just knowing a few basic, key steps, you can lay a much healthier, solid foundation to your financial well-being. Keep reading to learn the […]

This post is about college essentials for back to school.

Ready to conquer college like a boss? Preparedness is the key to success in any academic journey, and having the right essentials and being a mindful shopper can make all the difference. Equip yourself with all these college essential tools for back-to-school success. Backpacks and Bags Your trusty backpack or tote is a back-to-school essential, […]

This post is about a 5 day itinerary for San Diego.

Last week, I embarked on a quick getaway to San Diego for a memorable girls’ trip with my mom and sister. With careful planning and enthusiasm, I’ve meticulously put together a day-to-day itinerary that encapsulates the essence of San Diego’s charm and attractions. From culinary delights to beach escapades, cultural exploration to retail therapy, this […]

A joyful, pleasing aesthetic that can invoke joy in life

If we’re not intentional with the joy that is in our lives, we can go days, months, or even years without realizing that we haven’t incorporated this pure state of being. Joy is getting to the core of who you are. Being joyful is about aligning your thoughts and actions with your truest state. Sometimes […]

What is a gratitude journal? How do you start a gratitude journal? Here are tips to help get you started. #Journaling #GratitudeJournal #PositiveAffirmations #TheDimpleLife

Do you often times find yourself feeling down about where you are at, focusing your attention on what you don’t have in your life, and unsure of how to turn your mindset around? Perhaps you got laid off, got ill, had an argument with someone you care about. This is where a practice of gratitude […]

© 2023 3R Media. All Rights Reserved  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions

Site by Sunday Stories

© 2023 3R Media. All rights reserved.
Read our Privacy Policy & Terms & ConDitions