I read this tweet from I Had Cancer on Friday:
“Cancer taught me…(finish the thought).”
I had to think about that for a while. Cancer has taught me so many things that I struggled to find the best or most meaningful lesson. What I finally settled on was this:
Cancer taught me…to look beyond the surface because you never know what struggles others are facing.
With all the things I’ve learned – medical terminology, reasons to make healthier choices, getting as much joy out of each day – the most valuable lesson I’ve taken away from this experience (so far) is to not be so quick with my judgements. We ALL have struggles. We ALL are living with difficult circumstances of some sort. We ALL have burdens. Cancer opened my eyes to this reality.
It occurred to me one day while I was sitting in the waiting room before treatment that if you didn’t know I had cancer, you wouldn’t know I had cancer. There was nothing about my appearance that gave away the battle going on inside my body. I never lost my hair. I didn’t get so sick that I lost a ton of weight. I appeared healthy and normal (as normal as I can appear! ha ha!!).
And then it hit me. How many other people that I see every day are dealing with struggles that I know nothing about? I bet a lot. And how many times have I passed judgement on them for the way they were driving or the way they seemed to ignore me or the way they were rude to me? A whole lot.
Everyone may not be dealing with cancer, but I guarantee you there are people I encounter every day who are facing challenges greater than mine. I know it’s Monday and we all have a lot on our plates today. If you can, consider what others may be facing that you do not know about. Choose to be kind in the face of negativity, frustration, and rudeness. I’m pretty sure you will feel better today if you can take a few seconds to look beyond the surface of what you see in someone. I’m going to give this my best effort.
If you have or have had cancer, what has cancer taught you? What have you learned by living with someone who has cancer?
Love you guys! Thank you for reading, for encouraging, and for inspiring me to grow each day!!