More Than Conquerors: Life Lessons From Breast Cancer Survivors
Recently, I got the chance to spend the day at the American Cancer Society (ACS) to help prep for a breast cancer fundraiser. As I spray painted wine bottles pink and decorated them with elegant ribbons, I absorbed wisdom from other women who’d come to help. Fortunately, most of them being survivors or “close calls” of breast cancer. I began to think of members of my family who had also battled this disease and became instantly inspired to take on the world because of their bravery. Whether you have any experience with breast cancer or not, here are two ways these survivors have equipped us to be more than conquerors:
1. Let your circumstances fuel your victory, not your defeat.
Often, when we hear someone has a disease like cancer, we begin to unintentionally pity them. We confuse helping them with constantly reminding them of medicines they need to take, their dietary needs and not putting too much work on their bodies. While those with cancer know that we care about them, it can be a downfall to the person who’s trying to maintain a positive mindset to get through it. But, this applies to any situation. In life, allow your circumstances to fuel your victory, not your defeat. Don’t focus on the odds that are stacked against you. Acknowledge them, then focus on tearing them down. Remind yourself of all of the things you’ve gotten through previously, and rest assured that you will get through it.
2. Your Sorrows Will Be Someone Else’s Saving Grace
Have you ever visited someone who was sick in hopes of encouraging them only to find that they ended up encouraging you? They leave you in awe because of how strong they truly are at such a challenging time. That’s how I strive to live my life. Grateful.
I know I tell you guys this a lot, but it’s only because I know it to be true. People are always watching us. The paths we take, the choices we make and how we play with the hand that life deals us are examples that help others get through their own struggles. It also serves as a reminder that we should be more thankful for the lives that we have been given. From here on out, let’s try taking on problems with confidence. Not because we are prideful in assuming the result will be in our favor, but because no matter what, we know we’ll grow stronger because of it.
I applaud and admire anyone who is a survivor of breast cancer and of anything that was put in place to challenge them, test them, and change them. Because of women like these, I understand what being a woman is: courageous, resilient, transparent and powerful wrapped in one. Forever irreplaceable. Beautiful. This week, this month and so on, own your power. Take pride in yourself and be proud to fight like a girl. :-)
Just in case you’re unaware, here are 3 ways to screen for breast cancer: