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Celebration of My Life

This month is a time of celebration for me. It’s not my birthday, or a wedding anniversary. It is even better than that! 12 months ago, I was diagnosed with a melanoma.

It seems like yesterday when I received the phone call. My husband and I have yearly health checks, and I have had moles removed from my body before, so I wasn’t overly concerned with what could have been. However, I wasn’t really prepared for that phone call when I was told I needed to come in the next day to have further surgery.

It is quite amazing the effect one word can have on you – cancer…it puts fear among most of us. I have had nursing experience, so I knew that people can and do survive cancer, but that first day I walked around in a daze. I just wanted the growth cut out of my foot, and then I would begin to heal.

My children were all overseas traveling at the time, so I made the decision not to tell them until I knew the prognosis. This was probably harder to deal with than my healing. I was determined that this was not going to beat me, so after a few weeks on crutches, and daily trips to the doctor for dressings for 6 weeks, my wound started to heal.

Interestingly enough, my daughter phoned me about a week after my second surgery to let me know she had booked her return flight home. She had a dream that I was diagnosed with cancer, and I needed her. I don’t know how to explain that one…….I think I will leave that for a whole new article.

It was during this time, when I couldn’t walk around, and certainly was unable to go to the gym that I spent a great deal of my energy on healing my body. Meditation was a fantastic tool for me to help my body  and my spirit heal, and it was a reminder that life is short, and it shouldn’t be wasted.

My diagnosis of cancer could have been a perfect excuse for me not to keep working on the things I enjoy, but I will not let an illness or disease stop me living every day as a special day.

Are there things in your life that you have allowed to be excuses and reasons why you haven’t achieved?

Yesterday I posted on the Mind Recipes Facebook page a video of a young 31 year old man who had half his tongue and all his lymph nodes removed after being diagnosed with tongue cancer. He was told that he probably would not be able to speak properly for at least 3-4 years, and would never be able to sing again. Yet, 15 months after his surgery he appeared on the auditions of the X Factor, and sang beautifully.

Does this say something about the determination and drive of people to continue doing what they love, no matter what the odds. There is no guarantee his cancer, or mine will not return, but I am not wasting my time lamenting what could be, and am busy working on what is and where I want to be.

Life is a miracle – one that many of us take for granted. Fortunately I have had a reminder that our life on this earth is limited, and there is no way that I will waste my time worrying about petty thoughts or unimportant occurrences.

Live your daily life with pleasure – enjoy the moments, and look back with happy memories. I will look forward to many more yearly celebrations of this month. My celebration of life and inspiration!

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36 Responses to Celebration of My Life

  1. Sue Mitchell says:

    Brenda, that is a very moving story. I’m absolutely sure you’re right about how determination can affect your outcome, and it’s such an important reminder to not take our time for granted.

    Interesting coincidence…my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May 2009. A couple of days before, I had a dream not specifically about her having cancer, but with lots of symbolism that I felt represented the cancer and my father being left alone.

    I’m happy to say that now she is 91 and has been cancer-free for a year. I believe her determination helped enormously. She feels very strongly that she wants to write her memoirs before she goes, and that sense of purpose probably played a big part in her beating Stage IIIc cancer.

    Best wishes to you, Brenda, and thanks for the heads-up on not wasting our precious days on trivial things.

    • Thank you Sue. It was an interesting time for me. I believed for a long time that your attitude can affect the outcomes of illnesses – not necessarily how long we are on this planet for, but what we do with our time, and the affect our illness can have on others.

      However, it was quite daunting when faced with that decision myself. As many people were not aware of my situation, I then had to decide whether to write about my private celebration in this site. I can only hope that people benefit from my story because it is a story with a happy ending.

      Glad to hear that your mother has been cancer free for a year and is writing her memoirs. I am sure her story will be one to read and enjoy.

  2. Val Wilcox says:

    Brenda,
    Thank you for sharing your celebration with us! Congratulations to you! Life is so precious and I am so glad you have such a beautiful outlook on it. Your determination and beliefs have stood you in good steed.

    Have an awesome day every day!
    Val ;)

  3. What a wonderful reason to celebrate! Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff. So often we let tiny things overwhelm us and don’t think about how lucky we are. Here’s hoping you celebrate for another thirty years or so :-)

  4. Brenda I am so happy for you. Cancer is not a killer anymore thank heaven.
    Yes, life is short and we all need to live it and enjoy it. A quote that I came up with when it comes to happiness is, “Happiness is living in the present moment, having fond memories of the past and looking forward to the future without taking away from the present.” by me(Debbie Bills; the happy maker)

    May you always be cancer free,
    Debbie

  5. Cheryl Field says:

    Brenda if u have problems with any cancers of any kind again there is actually a REAL cure called black salve google it and the guys who sells it is Bevan Potter (you can google him to if u like but I think that his site is the first one that comes up) it is so interesting and the medical industry has so much to answer for. I only wish I had known about it before I had my op for colon cancer in April this year. good luck
    Chez

  6. Ingrid Lee says:

    Great post Brenda- I also reconciled this early on seeing my Mum develop a chronic illness and being disabled by it at 30 yo (now diagnosed as Lupus and fibromyalgia among other things), and now I have the same illness (Fibro, lupus hasn’t fully kicked in yet). The past 5 years have been challenging in turniing around my illness to seeing as a gift to change my life and create new pathways, and continue to live my ‘outside the box’ philosophy, and not be boxed in or defined by an illness that can become more of a disability than the illness itself. Thanks for this site.

    • I like your quote above that says “boxed in or defined by an illness that can become more of a disability than the illness itself”. I have seen this so often when people allow an illness to define who they are and what they are capable of.
      I wish you good health and great adventures in creating new pathways in your life. Sometimes it is not easy when things like this come to you. I allow myself “some” moments of sadness, and then move on to things that give me strength. This not only relates to illness, but in anything that life can throw at you.
      Thank you for your comments

  7. Lannie says:

    Heading through life with a purpose and enjoying the ride – that’s what it’s sounds like to me. Well done for your courage and inspiration

  8. Hi Brenda,
    Your story is quite touching and an inspiration for so many. I have a dear friend that was diagnosed with cancer and given 3 months to live. Through changing her diet and switching her focus on nutrition, she has been cancer free for over 10 years now. I have another friend with a similar story.
    You have such a strong spirit Brenda! I love that you are celebrating your Life!
    HUGS!

    • Thank you Roshanda for your kind words. I decided to tell my story as the emotions I felt initially when diagnosed were far from “positive”.

      I have had moments of “why me”…….I am human after all, and soon realized that it really doesn’t affect what I am capable of – only if I allowed it to.

      My only wish is that we all celebrate our lives every day – we all have so much to celebrate :)

  9. Brandie says:

    This post bought tears to me. My best friend was not as fortunate as you. She did not survive her melanoma even though they thought it was in the early stages initially.

    Thank you for this post and your attitude to what has happened to you.

  10. Wisalia says:

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational and emotional story with us

  11. Barb says:

    This is an amazing story – best wishes to you in your continued health

  12. Shamira says:

    Great website and I especially loived this post. Continued good health and best wishes to you

  13. Jeremy says:

    I agree – best wishes on your continued health path…….thank you for your insights and life philosophies

  14. Charles says:

    Thank you for sharing this celebration with us all….wishing you continued good health to continue sharing with us all

  15. Britany says:

    Appreciate you posting this personal story – continued good health to you. Love and blessings

  16. Bethany says:

    Thanks for sharing this very personal story. Wishing you well with your continued good health

  17. Travis says:

    Having overcome a serious illness myself I can relate to your celebration. May there be many more years of continuing celebrations for both of us

  18. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for your personal celebration. Cheers to you

  19. Ashleigh says:

    So very inspirational – thank you for sharing this with us and your bravery shines through

  20. Thank you all for your continuing support – coming up to my second year anniversary next month – and loving each day

  21. Isabella says:

    Keep up the good work! Loved your story that you so generously shared:) Isabella S.

  22. Addy says:

    How refreshing to read a story like this – congratulations and wishing you continued good health

  23. Margie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My niece wasn’t quite as lucky – she only survived for 6 months but she certainly taught me how to live my life. RIP Josie.

  24. Mona says:

    A truly inspirational and encouraging post

  25. Peter says:

    As a survivor myself, this was a great story to read. I think there should be more publicity with this rather than the doom and gloom

  26. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us. I am struggling with my health now and was getting pretty down – this helped me see the end past my illness to a better future.

  27. Richard says:

    Best wishes for your continued good health

  28. Ebon says:

    Hey, I’m Ebon Talifarro, my class (8th grade) wants to interview you, would you have time to answer a few questions?

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