I am so happy that my dear wonderful friend Renata started blogging and sharing her life experiences with the world. Today she is my guest blogger and for that I am grateful too. Please pass on this post to the women in your life. You can read more from Renata at The Course of a Life.
Live in the moment. I hear people say it all the time. In fact, I am one of those people. Just live in the moment. But it is one of those things that can be easier said than done.
When I was twenty-six years old, I was diagnosed with cancer – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The diagnosis came two weeks after my son’s first birthday – almost eight years ago. Inconvenient, unexpected, terrifying, cancer. It was nearly impossible to wrap my brain around. Cancer: chemo, radiation, hair loss, pure and utter fatigue, and fear beyond anything I had experienced before. I faced this fight for my life all while living my life as a young wife and mother, chasing around my one year old toddler.
Having cancer as a young mother was one of the scariest things I had ever experienced. For the first time in my life, I really had to seriously think about the what-ifs. What if the treatment doesn’t work? What if I don’t make it? What if my husband has to raise our son alone? What if my son doesn’t remember me and how much I loved him? What if? Going through the what-ifs changed my life almost as much as having cancer did. I had to make a choice. Was I going to live my life drowning in the what-ifs of things that might or might not happen, or was I going to really try to make the best of today? Could I become one of those people who lived in the moment? I was determined to try.
Do I ever worry? Of course! I have my moments where the what-ifs are louder than I’d like them to be. But I have made the conscious decision not to let the what-ifs get the best of me. I like to live for today. Do I make plans for the future? Certainly. I heard a song once that has always stayed with me. The first line said, “When I grow up, I wanna be an old woman”. I love that. I dream of a day when my husband and I are old and gray, and we are sitting in rocking chairs on our front porch watching our grandchildren play in the yard. I certainly hope that vision comes true. But at the same time, I can’t guarantee that those things will happen. None of us can. For that reason, I choose to live in the moment. I can’t only plan for the someday. I have to live for today.
My time with cancer came and went. It was life changing to say the least. And, really, as anyone who has ever had cancer can tell you, it is something that stays with a person forever. I know that it stayed with me. It is always somewhere in the back of my mind, and I’m sure it always will be. It is a part of the person that I am today and it shifted my thoughts to living in the moment. Am I the most spontaneous person that you’ve ever met? I’d say no. But I definitely try to be appreciative of the life I have. I am thankful for my life. I love my family. I am grateful for my friendships. I am thankful for the little things. I am thankful for today. As hard as it can be, I really try my best to live in the moment. I work hard to find the positive. Although it can be challenging at times, I try not to spend too much time worrying about the what-ifs. And, even though I never would have imagined myself saying it, I am thankful that cancer changed my perspective at a young age. I wouldn’t change that for anything.