Cancer & Caregiving

7 Things To Be Thankful for as a Cancer Patient

Written By:
Nov. 23, 2021
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Written By: Tamron Little,
November 23, 2021

As humans, we tend to take a lot of things for granted. Many times we do this without even realizing it.

Before I was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, I was a college student living my best life. I didn’t have a care in the world and was working on my independence.

If someone had told me then that I would have cancer I would not have believed it. But it happened! It took me into a headspace where I was in such shock it didn’t feel like reality.

Going through this battle with mesothelioma and now being on the other side, cancer-free, I have so many things to be grateful for.

While it’s difficult to remain positive while undergoing treatment for cancer, here are seven things you may be thankful for.

1. Your Support System

It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, friend or neighbor. Your support system is vital during your battle with cancer. There are going to be some days when you can’t do your usual tasks and you’re going to need help from your support system. I sure am grateful for those who aided me while I was battling cancer.

2. Prayer

I had so many people praying for me. My church family got together and prayed for me on a regular basis. I’m a firm believer that prayer works.

3. Your Medical Team

It took me some time to find “the one,” but when I did, oh boy, was it a sigh of relief. I actually found a specialist in my own town. I’m so grateful to the doctor who took on my case and reassured me that he would take good care of me. That’s exactly what he did.

4. Your Journey

I know some may think it’s strange, but trust me. Being grateful for your journey is acknowledging the fact that this is your story, this is your battle. And being grateful for your journey allows you to see things in a different perspective. Everyone is on different paths in life and this is your path.

5. Flexibility and Patience

If having cancer doesn’t teach you to be patient or flexible, I’m not sure what will. The flexibility comes into play when you’re pretty much working on the medical team’s time and schedule.

Patience comes in waiting. Waiting for an appointment, waiting for a phone call from your medical team, waiting during chemotherapy or radiation, waiting to have surgery, etc. It’s truly a waiting game that teaches you to have patience.

6. Small Victories

As a mesothelioma survivor, the smallest things are also victories. Being able to feed yourself after you just had surgery. Being able to dress yourself, even fixing your own meals are all small victories that some take for granted until they can’t do them on their own.

7. Perspective

During your battle with cancer, a lot of things are going through your mind. There can be a lot of negative thoughts plaguing your brain. But we have the power to control our thought processes. We’re able to change the course of our thoughts and our perspective on things.

We all go through things, but your perspective will change depending on how you view them. So, the choice is yours. Changing your perception can change the attitude you have toward what you’re going through.

Battling cancer is no easy task. It impacts you physically and mentally. Being able to have gratitude during your battle will make it more manageable as you walk through this journey.

Gratitude enables positive thoughts that make you stronger and have been known to improve quality of life. You should try it. We all have a lot to be thankful for! 

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