Twenty-two is such a strange age to get cancer however, I couldn’t think of a better age for me to have dealt with a life-threatening disease. If you’re going through something excruciating right now, I want to tell you to trust that it’s supposed to be in your life.
I was almost twenty-three years old, and from down the other end of the phone from a doctor who was almost not going to bother running tests because I was “so healthy”, told me that it was cancer. A late stage, but curable, blood cancer. I was too young to have wisdom under my belt, as were any of my friends trying to comfort me. I was too old to adopt the method of my youth and excitedly stay home from school and watch TV. So where does that leave one? Too young to look after me, too old to be mum’s baby girl.
How dare cancer interrupts my social life. How dare it interrupt my progression. How dare it interrupt my relationships. How dare it interrupt my degree. How dare it interrupt my whole life!
A disease like cancer doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter your age, race, ability, gender, manner or your postcode. It will strip you raw. Grind you in every way possible. Maybe though, maybe this is the point. As the great Tony Robbins describes, “life happens for us, not to us”.
This is what I held on to:
There were so many moments I wanted to jump off the train when I was in a dark tunnel, but I had to learn to trust the driver.
I had to learn to trust the universe.
I had to learn to trust in something greater, that this was happening for me.
To take me to where I am meant to be.
To show me my way in life and to allow me to grow.
I am only 25 now and I wouldn’t know myself like I do if I didn’t endure this disease. I believe, like everything that the lessons we need to learn in life come in a variety of ways, and experiences are never “bad” unless we see them this way. Everything is neutral until we judge it differently. Which is a massive game changer when you start to think this way … if you really think about it, people who have been through hard things often say “it was the best thing that happened to me” … I didn’t believe such a cliché, not until I went through it myself.
I was told that I probably wouldn’t be able to have children after the strong chemotherapy. Imagine that, before you even entertain the idea of recreating, you’re told you probably cannot. However only months after chemo, my loving partner and I, who held space for me through my whole journey, conceived not one, but two baby girls. Our twins are now two years old. We would have never been ready for the ferocity and the deliciousness of our girls if we didn’t have all those lessons in the year prior. Counting our blessings daily is truer than true for us.
Using a mind frame of viewing everything as neutral or at least teasing as much good as I can possibly see out of all situations is imperative to my conscious way of living now. When I meet a challenge I ask myself “why is this showing up for me?” “What is it that I must take from this?” This is what helps me to reduce overwhelm because if something is tough, I look at how much more tools I’ll have afterward. This is what helps me to know I am not a victim, and in fact, I attract into my life all the challenges I need because they serve me. Therefore if something is triggering me, I use that as a muse for an area I must need to work through.
I have a life now that I have consciously created because I know what can happen if I don’t live congruent to my values. Cancer showed me the path I am supposed to be on. I couldn’t think of a better age for me to have been dealt with the life-threatening disease.
I do not see it as a gift because I would not give it to you, but I am thankful every day for the blessing.
If you are going through something excruciatingly difficult, you need this. Ask yourself why … be so very open and the answers will come in perfect timing.