10 Great Things That Happened to Me Since Diagnosis

Posted on: September 22nd, 2013 by

This post is not about seeing breast cancer as a positive experience. Nor is this post about seeing cancer as a gift.

Breast cancer is a horrific experience.

Breast cancer is no gift.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I’ve been thinking lately about how rich my life has become since diagnosis. Prior to cancer, I took life for granted and settled for an unfulfilled life.

Cancer taught me never to settle.

So here are the positive things that have happened to me since diagnosis. They are not listed in order of importance. There are way more than 10, but I have to start somewhere:

1. I got out of a bad marriage.
2. I became a mother of a wonderful girl.

My daughter, all ready for ballet

My daughter, all ready for ballet

3. With the freedom of leaving a stifling marriage, I became an artist and learned how to oil paint and draw better with the help of master artists. I am so grateful for all they taught me.
4. I left an abusive job for one that is fulfilling (teaching).
5. No longer isolated by my marriage, I ventured out and formed many long-lasting friendships.
6. I started this blog and, through it, met many wonderful people whom I consider friends. I treasure this online community.
7. I disassociated myself from people who were toxic in my life. I have no room in my life or patience for those who drag me down.
8. I appreciate life more fully than ever before.
9. Painfully shy before diagnosis, I became more outgoing and social after diagnosis. Compared to having cancer, socializing with others was easy.
10. I’ve learned how to advocate for myself in the medical arena.

Appreciating sunset amid the darkness.

Appreciating sunset amid the darkness.

What positive things happened to you since diagnosis?

What are you grateful for?

I would love to hear from you.

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13 Responses to 10 Great Things That Happened to Me Since Diagnosis

  1. Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC) had this to say about that:

    Love this post Beth. I discovered my love of writing again. Through connecting online with blogging and other social media, I also fell into a whole new career – which has really given my life meaning.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      I’m so very glad you enjoyed the post, Marie. Thank you so much for including me in this week’s round-up. Discovering your love of writing again is WONDERFUL!! I am so glad that you found social media, the online community, and a new career. So awesome.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  3. Kathi had this to say about that:

    Beth, I think many of us share several of these. Cancer can be a big wake-up call that can help us rearrange our priorities & perspective if we are lucky. And goodness knows, we need that shift to balance out the crap. I’m so glad for you that all of these blessings came to your life. And they did because you reached out & made them happen. Kudos to you, my friend. xoxo

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Thank you, Kathi! I agree that cancer is a huge wakeup call, and we do need to reach out to make good things happen. It’s definitely a lot of work, as well as a lot of heartache, but there are blessings to be had. And hopefully it balances out the crap as you say. Thanks for your input.

  4. Sarah Mendoza had this to say about that:

    Hi Beth, Before my cancer diagnosis it was more about pleasing others than pleasing me. So far I’ve modeled, been in a movie, assisted on various filming projects, and done a music video, and now my biggest project ever is Paint C Out! I’m bloody determined to get as many stars as possible to sign oil portraits of themselves as possible. I might add I only started using oil paints March 2013. This is my way of sticking the two v’s up at cancer.. We are pressurized into believing what people think matters when living out our dreams. With a cancer diagnosis the only dream is to survive. In Fact it has taught me to ignore and live life how I want to live it, with vigour

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      I think you are so cool, Sarah. I’m amazed at all you’ve done, and I LOVE watching your Paint C Out project unfold. Good for you. It’s amazing how great of an artist you are considering you just started.

      I started oil painting after the cancer crap hit the fan. I simply love it!! Keep making a difference in the world.

  5. Renn had this to say about that:

    Yup, cancer got me writing again too. And connecting with wonderful women like you! 😉 Great list.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      I’m so glad, Renn, that you are writing again. Thanks for the compliment. I admire you and love your writing.

  6. eileen@womaninthehat.com had this to say about that:

    Cancer brought a halt to my writing — and gave it back in a whole new form. It brought about a move I had wanted to make for some time. But best of all? It enabled me to identify an emotional vampire in my life and distance myself. Yeah, cancer is not a gift, but we sure can use it and any difficulties to our advantage.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Eileen, it’s amazing that your writing changed as a result of cancer. I’m glad you rid yourself of toxicity and are taking care of yourself.

      I agree that cancer is not a gift, but like you say, one can find some advantage to offset the difficulties in life.

  7. Steven Harris had this to say about that:

    I wanted to applaud you on the topics covered regarding 10 positive things that have happened since diagnosis.

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