Silver Linings

"Every cloud has a silver lining"...this is something people say in dark times to try and shine some light. How can we possibly find the positive when the world in being so unfair? Yet a number of cancer survivors say that they found a "silver lining" in their cancer experience. Being diagnosed with cancer changes your perception of time. You no longer put things off because you now know that time may not always be there. After the trauma of diagnosis and treatment, many appreciate simpler things. Some families become closer, spending more quality time together. Your priorities change. What you once thought was important may not be anymore. You discover inner strength. You don't realize how strong you are until you have no other choice but to fight.

For myself, cancer taught me that things can change overnight. To take pain and suffering and not let it define me, but to let it help me grow into something better. I had the ability to control my attitude toward what was happening to me. One bad day doesn't equate to a bad life. It taught me that sometimes things turn out better. Since diagnosis, I've had irreplaceable moments, and have met people I wouldn't have had it not been for cancer. Cancer has had lessons and blessings that I wouldn't erase it, even if I could.

Cancer made me stop to ask myself if I was living my best life? Do I have any regrets? What changes can I make? I have the power to live each day to the fullest, no matter what else is happening. Bad days make good days brighter. I appreciate those days. I find joy in every day. Even on the darkest of days, I can always find a reason to smile.

Post-traumatic growth is a mental shift as a result of trauma and challenges we are faced with. Focusing on positives instead of negatives aids in recovery. Not everyone has the ability to easily find a silver lining in their experience. For some this grueling time of their life is so dark, its hard to find a shed of light. But we all have the power to change our mindset. Maybe you can help someone else through their battle. Maybe you've met new people during your treatments that will become beautiful friendships. Try to find one reason why your suffering has meaning to it. Always, no matter what, find your reason to smile.

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