Living Your Best Life With Cancer

I had a recent opportunity for a “life lesson” with my son and I was pleasantly surprised to see that he absorbed it instantly. As it turns out, it was a good “life lesson” for me too. I call it “Living Your Best Life With Cancer”. ๐Ÿ˜€

As you probably know already, I really like taking photographs. Almost all of the photos I have at the top of my blog posts are from photos I’ve taken. Well, my son David is getting to be quite a shutter bug himself and it’s our habit to take note of places that we should take pictures of. Any how, there’s this vacant lot with overgrown grass and an old red barn we pass all of the time. Every time we pass it, one of us says, “We need to take a picture of that”. The grass get’s all golden in the mornings and afternoons. We went past the other day and guess what? The owner mowed the grass! How dare he! He ruined our photo! ๐Ÿ˜€ ย David was so upset! So, as we drove I explained to him about taking every opportunity we’re given and making the most out of life. ๐Ÿ˜€

We have a running joke in our house. No matter what snacks are in the house I never really get any because I take too long to get around to eating them! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s really just a joke because I don’t eat a lot of sweets. Any how, I play it up and everyone laughs. So, I used that example to explain that if there’s a piece of cake sitting on the counter that you’re looking forward to then you might want to just eat it because somebody else might come along while you’re out and eat it…. AND THEN YOU MISS OUT. To my surprise, he actually got the whole concept even without the cake example. He made me proud. ๐Ÿ˜€ Seize the day, David!!!!

Living Your Best Life With Cancer

It’s so easy to give up isn’t it. All you have to do is sit down, and quit. Why isn’t it that easy NOT to give up! ย Well, it isn’t. We have to actually expend effort to continue with our lives if we want them to have any quality. We have to stand up instead of sitting down. We have to make a plan to go forward instead of quitting. We have to choose to live well. Now, there are some who would say that people without cancer face the same challenges but, let me tell you, there’s a big difference when you need to recuperate from a shower or a set of stairs or if you’re struggling to catch your breath after bending over. There is a big difference! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s my strategy.

Living Your Best Life With Cancer – Standards – For me, setting up standards has always been the thing that stabilized my life. Schedules and minimum standards and expectations for what I expect from myself. This is how I have always been and it helps me push through and feel half way decent even when I’m sick. No matter what state I am in these are the things I try to get done so that I can feel at peace with myself. Now, just to be honest, I cannot always pull this off but I always try and if I honestly cannot achieve my minimum standards well….I tried. I would give David an A+++ for doing the same on his math homework. ๐Ÿ˜€ ย These standards are personal though, don’t you agree. For some, getting out of bed and getting dressed are all they can manage but for others the bar is set higher. Setting those standards and doing our best to keep them helps to keep us movin’ and groovin’. ๐Ÿ™‚

Living Your Best Life With Cancer – Pushing It – Yup, I’ve always been that person. If I can do 10 push-ups then I try 11. ๐Ÿ™‚ You know what I mean? ๐Ÿ˜€ ย I know that not everyone is built like this but I am and it helps me expand my horizons. I like to try and expand from those minimum horizons and push into new territories. ๐Ÿ˜€

Living Your Best Life With Cancer – Good Days – We have bad days and we have good days, right?! On those bad days we need to learn to forgive ourselves for stopping, quitting and resting and for not meeting our self appointed minimum standards. Don’t just stay there and wallow in the “slow time”. When you have rested get back up! Hang in there!!! Soon enough a good day will come along.

We get them every so often. You know those days. The days where you say, “What cancer?” and buzz around getting stuff done and there is no price to pay for it. There is no fatigue, no nausea…nothing. ย You cheated cancer out of a day…you stole a day back! Those days are awesome!!! ย So, what do we do with those days? ย  I make it a point to do two things no matter what. The first thingย is to catch up on stuff that I need to get done and that I know that I won’t have another chance to get done again soon. For example, maybe some laundry that got backed up…. yes, some extra work. ๐Ÿ˜€ Don’t judge me because I know you do it too! ๐Ÿ˜€ The second thingย I do is to give my self some recreation. Something that renews my spirit that I know I could not do except for the fact that it is a “good day”. Something that re-creates, me! Something that renews me! ย It’s important that we reward and treat ourselves every so often.

Living Your Best Life With Cancer – Reset The Minimums – OK, I have always done this. ๐Ÿ˜€ I push the pedal to the metal. I’ve always been like that. Lisa laughs and thinks I’m a crazy guy. If the speed limit is 100 then I go 110. It’s just me. So, I apply that to my life. I try to continue with the previous strategy unless I can squeeze in one more thing to make me feel good. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you are able then you might want to try this strategy. You will surprise yourself with how strong you are and how far you can push yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Still, don’t be afraid to back off of this idea if you push too far. There’s nothing wrong with slowing down if you cannot do what you thought you were able to do. Just aim high that’s always been my feeling about things like this. You don’t know how high you can fly unless you aim high! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve always liked the analogy of life being similar to a mountain we must climb. We keep pushing up the face of the mountain with our bundles tied to our bodies and our loved ones tethered to us by small, thin ropes. Up, up, up we go! Let’s get to the top with or without cancer. Let’s do it! If the mountain crumbles below us then hang on, ride it out and look for a plateau to rest. When we’ve fully rested then we stand up, gaze upward at the lofty peak ahead of us and start again. Cancer or no cancer, I will not allow this mountain to beat me and I will not cease driving forward. Let’s go people! We can do it!!! Hup-to-hup-to! ๐Ÿ˜€ ย  Whoops! Got carried away! ๐Ÿ˜€

God bless and keep climbing!
Ed โ€“ To find out how to use my images on your blog for free โ€“ Click Here
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