People often ask me how I do what I do — the basics are simple:
From childhood, I was taught never to say, “I cannot.” To this day, I excel at whatever I’m doing, especially if someone tells me that I can’t do it.
Be true to your core beliefs. Go where God leads you, even if you feel like asking “who me?” God will bring the people into your life that you need, when you need them. In short, He will take care of the details.
Aristotle said, “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling.”
Set your goals with this in mind—make sure that what you do will matter. There is no better feeling than helping people by what you do.
Take your challenges and grow through them to make HOPE lemonade. Humor is an absolutely critical element, even when your life is upside down.
Always show others your good side. Being Southern, I believe in greeting people with a smile and “how are you?” Even in the dark days after my husband died, I still greeted people that way. What would have been the benefit of showing them what was truly inside? This same upbringing taught me to treat people the way that you want to be treated.
When you or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, you’ll need the principles above and more. Advice for cancer patients, caregivers, their families and friends:
Define all of your resources and use them to find the right cancer treatment facility, oncologist and protocol. The best answers are not always the obvious ones. This is your life—invest your knowledge, courage, faith, and focus on the right goals.
Don’t believe everything that you read or hear. If your oncologist tells you that you have six-months to live, then do the following:
- Live today like there is no tomorrow (you should be doing that anyway).
- Spend time loving your family and friends (you should be doing that anyway).
- Make your peace with God and pray often.
- Use the remainder of your precious time in an effort to make that oncologist eat his words! You are not stamped with an expiration date.
Make a conscious effort to do something good for yourself every day—no matter what your circumstances might be. Many care receivers live longer than their caregivers, because you tend to lose yourself in the process.
It is part of life to lose loved ones. Allow yourself to grieve. Don’t try to hide your emotions with anti-depressants; go to the gym instead. The strength that you need to get through your grief is inside of you.
Finally, no matter where life takes you, never forget to be thankful. Remember the blessings that you have received today and in your lifetime.