This may seem like a crazy question when diagnosed with cancer…grateful? What do I have to be grateful for with a cancer diagnosis? It is easy to become overwhelmed with a diagnosis and lose sight of your blessings.

Step back and assess what you are thankful for and let go of the past. There are blessings to be found in a cancer diagnosis. They may be hidden, yet, there are many blessings!

Affirm: I know that all experiences are opportunities for me to learn and grow.

~Louise Hay

I am thankful for this winter wonderland of freshly fallen snow with my pups!

I am thankful for this winter wonderland of freshly fallen snow with my pups!

Wake-Up Call

I have to come clean and admit that it has taken me a while to be thankful and grateful for a cancer diagnosis that came two times! Enough already…right?!?

To be honest, if I could change the past… I wouldn’t. The cancer diagnoses have been a much-needed “wake-up call.”

A wake-up call that has forced me to make changes that needed to be made. As a result, my life has become richer and more rewarding.

Before my diagnoses, I was coasting and “getting by.” Life had become routine.

Well…God wanted to shake up my world and my family’s…I can’t think of a better way than with a cancer diagnosis!

After I was diagnosed, my family’s world was rocked. The teenager years are challenging enough. Then, my boys were faced with my diagnosis. I can only imagine their fears and worries.

My boys, however, have shown insurmountable strength that I could only pray for and imagine. I am so blessed to have such courageous young men!

My family is forever changed…for the better.

Through the peaks and valleys, we have learned to rely on one another, ask for help when needed and to seek God/Universe with each step on the healing cancer journey.

A very humbling journey, yet, so many life-lessons along the way. We have been made stronger and more resilient from my cancer diagnosis.

“There are blessings to be found in a cancer diagnosis. They may be hidden, yet, there are many blessings!.”

It is easy to become bitter, defeated, overwhelmed…but, I encourage you to look for the good in your diagnosis.

What are you able to do to improve your life?

What lessons are your family learning?

What are you able to do to help others?

This is an important time for self-reflection and to make changes that need to be made.

Instead of begrudging your diagnosis, what can you be thankful and grateful for?

I am grateful for so many things!

A few follow:

Braces off after 3 years. Will Ferrell agrees!

Braces off after 3 years. Will Ferrell agrees!

Both boys braces off on the same day! No more ortho payments...yes!

Both boys braces off on the same day! No more ortho payments…yes!

My husband coaching both boys' hockey teams.

My husband coaching both boys’ hockey teams.

Enjoying a beautiful winter day on the lake.

Enjoying a beautiful winter day on the lake.

Christmas morning with Auntie.

Christmas morning with Auntie.

Enjoying our rescue pets.

Enjoying our rescue pets.

Reacquainting with old friends and having FUN! You can have fun with cancer.

Reacquainting with old friends and having FUN! You can have fun with cancer.

Taking winter hikes with my pups.

Taking winter hikes with my pups.

Developing an “Attitude of Gratitude” in the New Year

What are you grateful for?

Take a few minutes and reflect on how your life and your family’s has changed for the better with your cancer diagnosis.

Simple exercises to practice gratitude:

  • Write down 3 things you are thankful for every day. Reflect on these often.
  • Send thank you’s to those that are helping you & your family on your journey. Emails are acceptable! Or, send fun, colorful thank you cards.
  • Reach out and connect with other cancer patients. Everyone has something to share about their journey.
  • Before bedtime, have your children share something they are thankful for in their lives.

These exercises will create a “shift” from poor me to appreciating life and what comes your way.

Be Thankful & Grateful

As we start a new year, focus on your blessings.

Life is not perfect. As Joel Osteen shared in one of his messages,

“What may seem like a setback may actually be a setup.”

What setup does God have in store for you?

Stay open, listen and be thankful and grateful…no matter what comes your way.

Affirm: Today, I create a wonderful new day and a wonderful new future.

~Louise Hay

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