While visiting my physiotherapist this week, I met a man who inspired me. Two years ago he was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer which had metastasized to his kidney and liver. He was given 9 months to live. This man had so much to live for with a new infant son, a loving wife, wonderful friends and family as well as a flourishing career. He was determined to beat the odds. After undergoing 16 hours of surgery where they removed a kidney and part of his liver, and after 1 year of radiation and chemotherapy, he is cancer free today. He is a very positive and happy person. I am convinced that his positive attitude and outlook on life combined with the support of his family and friends helped him beat the odds. I feel fortunate to have met him and was touched by his story.
All creatures have a innate desire to survive. Early this evening we had a visitor to our yard feasting on rotten apples while my cat looked on. Rocky Raccoon, I will call him, no longer has easy access to the vegetable bins on garbage night because of the animal proof containers now being provided by the city. But Rocky saw his own diamond in the rough, rotten apples, a delicacy to him which he thoroughly enjoyed. We can all learn a lesson from Rocky and the cancer survivor I had the privilege of meeting this week. We can choose to dwell on the negative aspects of life’s challenges and let them define us or we can choose to turn these experiences into learning opportunities from which to grow. On a personal note, some of the worst times in my life have helped to mould me into the person I am today and led me into the field of Mental Health education. I love teaching Mental Health First Aid and look forward to what each and every day brings.
I encourage all of you to love yourself for who you are. When you wake up each morning, make it a practice to think about “one great thing about you”. When you go to bed each night, think of “one thing or person in your life that you are grateful for”. You will be surprised by the end of the week how many positives are in your life. In time, you are likely to change you perspective and see the sliver lining in every cloud which can bring peace and harmony to your life.