Looking Beyond the Surface

16 Apr

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!!
♥ Rachel


5 Responses to “Looking Beyond the Surface”

  1. Tranquil Moments Photography April 16, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    I am a firm believer that everything happens in our lives for a reason. You have embraced the challenges of Cancer and turned it into a life learning lesson. Bravo, and good for you. I have to say that I enjoy reading your blog and find it to be quite uplifting. Have a marvellous Monday Rachel. ♥

    • rachturner April 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Thank you for your encouragement, Daphne! I really appreciate it.

  2. Claudia Schmidt April 16, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Great post. I feel the same way, after my experience.

  3. Susan April 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    This is how I feel also. I smile much more often. In the grocery store there seems to be a lot of people rushing around and abusing the poor people at the tills. I go out of my way to smile and enquire how their day is going. It does seem to make a difference. Once I stop needing the bathroom so much and feeling so tired I will go further in my little world and try and be as kind as I can to everyone I meet. Your blog is so inspiring. Have a wonderful day.

    • rachturner April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      Isn’t it wonderful how something so terrible as cancer has brought about such good changes in us? Love it!!

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