Wow! I have been busy…between working, dating, volunteering…I am surprised I have found time for sleeping. But I am happy…happier than I have been for months. I am so looking forward to my volunteer work with the Ronald McDonald House this coming Thursday. We have gathered a good team. I know the impact will be great. Knowing that even for a second, I can help make a child smile is so rewarding. Personally, many of you know that I myself have lived with cancer so it means more to me to be a volunteer. Throughout the years, I have found many ways to give back. I have loved each and every moment of the many fundraising events that I’ve volunteered at, and making lifetime friends along the way!
I’ve grown very passionate about the work so many provide, such as the Ronald McDonald House and how they lend support to children and their families living with this cancer. So I am going to remain forever optimistic and hopeful. I am going to maintain my enthusiasm and get a kick out of putting smiles on children’s faces, and continue to reap the rewards of being a volunteer.
And as much as I want to fall in love again, I have been soooo dreading dating again. But being out in groups with my support group and my volunteering teams, has introduced me to many like-minded people. I am truly enjoying spending my time with quality people who know how to give of themselves. For now, just taking it slow. Meeting in groups is key. So volunteering may even help me find my next true love. Who knew?!
What I am learning is that cancer can take a lot of things but that it could also help me and others realize many more important things. Cancer gave me focus and determination – to live what life was given to me to the fullest. It has helped to make me deeper and wider and more impassioned than those who have not had to experience the harsher sides of life. I learned that the unexpected gift of cancer is an intense appreciation for life. I found compassion for others where there had been none before, I found strength I didn’t know I had…and I would not trade my experiences for anything.
No one would volunteer to have cancer. Even though it may seem impossible to imagine at the beginning, most people find the strength to deal with cancer when they or a member of their family become ill. I see it every day! Most people cope with the challenges cancer brings one day at a time and come out okay in the end. Overall, most children’s cancer survivors have a good quality of life and sense of well-being. Also, after getting through such a challenging experience, many people look back on it and feel that they underwent some positive personal changes as a result of having cancer. Here’s to continual hope…
It is easy to think of the negative things that come with cancer: having to be in the hospital, missing out on school, work and social activities with friends, feeling too sick or tired to enjoy life, worrying about the future. During treatment, the time is often spent managing these negative or unpleasant things. After treatment, looking back on these experiences can challenge the way people and their families think about themselves and their world. Many people begin to see positive changes in themselves as a result of surviving the cancer experience. They feel stronger. Parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and friends may also experience positive changes as a result of someone close to them having cancer. For example, some people say the cancer experience helped them focus on what really matters in life. They say they appreciate life more, have deeper personal relationships with family and friends, and find a stronger sense of spirituality. Others report increased confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations, and more certainty about their priorities; they feel more confident and have new interests and goals. Some people experience a desire to “give back” to others and work to help current and future cancer patients. These people might get involved in organizations like Ronald McDonald’s House that provide resources to cancer patients and families.
So here I am…on my journey to give back…find my way…hoping…♥