Valuable life lessons I've learned from Leukemia
What Leukemia Has Taught Me!
I was diagnosed with leukemia on August 8, 2008. The news hit me like a brick! I had been having various problems, but attributed them to several back injuries I'd had over the years, as well as age. I had just celebrated my 62nd birthday in July. When I saw my doctor on August 7 of 2008, she was concerned about my lack of energy and the fact that I tired easily. For these reasons she obtained a blood sample and within an hour, my life was turned upside down. I was shuffled off to the local hospital for two units of blood and told I would be sent to a teaching hospital 200 miles from home the next day!
Receiving news that I had a life-threatening disease, completely snowballed my mind! The shock of finding myself in this situation affected me as it would any person...with racing thoughts that were virtually 100% negative! Over the next eight months, I would be away from my family for a full four months while I received four courses of chemotherapy...home for a month, followed by a month away to obtain chemo treatments and stay in a sterile setting until my blood counts recovered from being destroyed along with any leukemia cells! Being away from my family was the worst!
It has been difficult, to say the least, but, I have learned some valuable lessons since becoming ill, and the "positive" side of this horrible disease thankfully made an appearance. Now I feel compelled to share how leukemia taught me some very positive things, in the hopes that what I have learned so far will be of help to others who find themselves faced with difficult family situations.
#1 - I have learned to be thankful for today! Today is the only day we have to live and it is up to us, regardless of situations, to live it to the fullest!
#2 - I have learned that positive thinking ...which is a "choice"...enables us to both feel better and heal faster!
#3 - I have become truly aware, for the first time, of others... children and adults, who are fighting for their lives as well and the families who love them. This awareness has helped me take my thoughts off of myself.
#4 - I have learned patience! Had I not been stopped in my tracks, I truly don't believe I could have learned the value of patience. We live in such a "right now" society, that many of us are literally unable to "stop and smell the roses."
#5 - I have learned to prioritize what is important in my life, and what is not! For many, a spotless house, or a lot of money is the essential ingredient to happiness. But, houses get dirty and money gets spent!
Yes, bad things can and will come our way, that is life! Yet, as I've learned, there are always positives to be found in the midst of the storms of life. It is all up to us, individually, to either focus on the storm or focus on the positives that can help us rise above those storms.