A New Year, a New Focus

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This is the fourth post in my blog series for those dealing with cancer or other illness. To read the first post, click here.

As we are already into January and have had time to reflect on last year, it is time to look ahead to a fresh beginning. If you are undergoing treatment, last year was probably one of your most difficult. You may have recently been diagnosed and are currently figuring out your best plan of action. You very likely still have quite a challenge ahead. Bearing all of that in mind, this is not the time to drum up that usual list of New Year’s resolutions.

Expectations may need to be lowered but that does not mean that you cannot continue to move forward and build on what you have accomplished in 2017.

Exactly five years ago, I heard those dreaded words…”It is malignant.” Because of that day and the year that followed, I am a stronger woman. My faith has increased. I have learned to allow others to help. l am grateful for the small blessings of life and deeply touched by the kindness of others. I am more mindful of the things that are truly important in my life.

Today, I flipped through a journal which I began in 2013 and looked over entries written just days after diagnosis. The pages revealed my many thoughts: the facts, the many doctor consults, decisions made and, of course, endless questions. However, threaded throughout those pages was hope and my need to stay focused on God. One of my favorite verses, Isaiah 40:31, provided the needed strength:

“For those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”

When I focused on this verse, I felt that surge of hope that helped me to stay positive and move forward. Because of all you have been through, you are better prepared to face what comes up in 2018.  As we know, with cancer or any disease, there are no guarantees. We do know there is always hope.

Look ahead to opportunities and do not dwell on the challenges. How can this year be different for you?

Dealing with disease forces a new reality upon us. As your body heals, move ahead with new intentions. Remember to:

  •   Be kind to yourself
  •   Surround yourself with those who love and care for you
  •   Be realistic in what you can and desire to accomplish
  •   Focus on your blessings (gratitude)
  •   Let unimportant things go

Do not let your cancer or disease define you! You are bigger than a diagnosis and stronger than the side effects. While there are sure to be more challenges ahead, you are equipped to move into 2018 with grace and courage.

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