a person looking at the silver lining in the cloud

How Cancer Changed My Life for the Better

You probably read that title and thought, how could cancer be a positive? When you hear the words 50% chance of survival you have to find the silver lining because what is the other option?

The day I was told I had stage 4 skin cancer (2 months later diagnosed to stage 3b) it was like I woke up. I finally opened my eyes and realized I was coasting through my life. I was just doing what was comfortable, living my life the way I thought other people wanted me to. From that day on, I decided I needed to make some big and small changes in my life.

All of a sudden I had a fire in my belly, an overwhelming scene of urgency. It wasn't about going sky diving, going skinny dipping, or visiting the Great Wall of China. It was more a sense of urgency to be my best self (sorry for the Oprah-ism but it describes exactly what I felt).

How skin cancer changed me and my routine

Here are the main things I've changed since my diagnosis:

My outlook

I'm a pragmatic person and after watching the documentary ‘Heal’, I realized I needed to do some work around my outlook. I needed to change from a pragmatic person to a positive person. Now let me tell you, this isn’t easy, how do you change how you naturally think? Well, the answer is a lot of self-help books, daily gratitude, affirmations, meditation, and self-reflection. Slowly but surely my outlook started to change.

Upskilling and growth

One of the things I felt really strongly about after my diagnosis, was that I wanted to be bigger and better at everything I did. From my hobbies to my career, I wanted to learn more and be better. So I signed up for educational courses, listened to countless educations podcasts, and read lots of books from business leaders and experts in their fields. I then realized I had a passion for bettering myself, I can’t get enough of it!

My routine

What I did day in and day out was something I started to look at closely. Prior to my diagnosis, I wasn’t having breakfast, I was working really long hours that weren’t always productive, I wasn’t cooking my food, I was ordering out a lot and I was wasting my evenings and weekends binging TV. So my morning - this was a place I needed to make big changes and it's still something I work on.

Now I make sure I start my day off right with affirmations and breakfast. Instead of listening to the radio with hosts filling my mind with nonsense, I listen to motivational podcasts. I cook a majority of my meals and I swapped Netflix for online courses. Don't get me wrong, I still get in some Netflix time, let's not get too carried away.

These are just a few of the positive changes that I have made over the past few months. I plan on making many more. In a funny way, it was cancer that woke me up to my life!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.
poll graphic

Community Poll

Have you entered our Skin Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway?