Tag Archive | cancer inspiration

You Are Blessed

If you awoke this morning with a roof over your head, you are blessed.   An estimated 100 million people around the world are homeless.

If you awoke this morning and there was food in your cupboard, you are blessed.  Every four seconds one of our fellow human beings dies of hunger.

If you awoke this morning with a spare dollar in your pocket, you are blessed.  Half of the people in the world are living below the poverty line and 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty.

If you awoke this morning and you are healthy, you are blessed.  There are countless diseases, illnesses, injuries and accidents that could change your life in an instant.

If you awoke this morning, you are blessed.   If your heart is beating and you are breathing, there is a lot more going right with your body than is going wrong. 

There is always something to be grateful for.  Let us give thanks for our many blessings.

Florence Strang

click on book to learn more

Click on book to learn more


Let me introduce you to my new friend, Denika Philpott, also known as “Overcomer”.  After reading her book, you will understand why she is so deserving of this title!   Here is a guest post from the beautiful Denika;

Denika Philpott

Denika’s story:  Lying on the cold, hard bathroom floor after chemo number four, it was extremely hard to see my purpose. I have lived by the verse from the Bible “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Don’t run away. I’m no minister and I don’t claim to be perfect in any way so when I quote a verse from the Bible, you don’t have to ready yourself for a sermon. There won’t be one. It’ll be me speaking “straight from the heart” as Bryan Adams sang way back in 1983.

That very day that I hauled myself up off the bathroom floor, walked into my bedroom and collapsed in my mother’s arms, sobbing. Most days it was being strong and leaning on the support of my team, my tribe that got me through. But some days were just exhausting and filled with tears.

It was during this time with my husband’s gently nudging that I realized, “you know what, God does have a purpose for me! I’m going to write a book.” And that’s exactly what I did. During the endless days of waiting for the side effects of chemotherapy to wear off or healing from another surgery, I could do very little. I would sit in my library and write for hours. I poured my heart, my soul and all my experiences onto those blank pages. The daunting report from the MRI that revealed the severity of the breast cancer I had, my head shaving party, my story of my mastectomy journey and what this surgery revealed; all this I chronicled in my book I very proudly titled Overcomer.

We all learn lessons from adversity. Mine was to not focus on past mistakes but forgive yourself and move on, continually living out your purpose.

At times, like when I was on the bathroom floor, this purpose is really hard to see. There are so many obstacles that can stand in our way. They can range from people who are not in our corner, to living circumstances or just our own mental well-being. To be able to heal, I had to focus on myself and not on the negative.

During the past year and a half, my heart has been molded and shaped in a way that has given me a new purpose. I have a deep hunger to pour my experience into people so they can see the importance of their purpose in this life.

During the storms, when you question so many things that are happening, trust that you are intricately woven into the tapestry of this life. With patience and perseverance, your purpose will be made known.

You can check out Denika’s blog at:   https://journeywithdenika.wordpress.com/

You can buy Denika’s book HERE

Perk # 48: Cancer Shook Up My New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year

Well, it is that time of year again, time to take stock of our weaknesses and vices and vow that THIS year is going to be different!   My New Year’s resolutions, like most people’s, have been pretty standard:

A Exercise more/ get in shape

B Eat healthier

C Drink less

D All of the above

Boooorrrring!  Even though I don’t actually smoke, sometimes I will add “Quit smoking”,  because I’m pretty sure that is one I can really commit to.   Come March when all of the other ideals have fallen by the wayside, and my friends are moaning about breaking their New Year’s resolutions, at least I can say, “I haven’t had a smoke so far this year!”

For the first time in my life, I am starting a new year with cancer.  The perk is, after twenty or more years of broken resolutions, I know that THIS is the year I will honour them.  Here they are:

A Stay alive (that encompasses all of the old resolutions regarding eating, drinking and exercising)

How can I be sure that I will really do it this year?  Well, just imagine that your resolution is to be able to run a mile.  But it is hard to train for that because, you know, you get your period, your knees hurt, it rains, and so on, rendering it impossible to stick to your goal.   Then one day, you are walking in the woods and suddenly a bear pops up behind you.  Voila!  The adrenaline kicks in and you run a mile back to your car.  Well, cancer is that bear, and I am running for my life, so I’m pretty sure I will do it this time.

Just in case it doesn’t work out, I would like to add:

B Quit smoking.

Tip:  Cancer is a great wake up call! You have to treat your body like a temple.  Even if you are like me and have been living a “healthy-ish” lifestyle, there is always room for improvement.

Perk # 39: Cancer Has Given Me The Privilege Of Having My Words Of Wisdom Quoted By Another

Tree In My Front Yard

(OK, I was quoted by Lucy Cove on Facebook….but still, my words WERE quoted!)

Well, I have decided, after completing 6 rounds of chemo, with a radical mastectomy and 25 radiation treatments still to come, that I am just going to pack it all in and accept that I am doomed.    My positive attitude can’t do a thing to save me.  Well, that’s according to a study by Dr. Coyne of the University of Pennsylvania, which supposedly found that people with a positive outlook about their cancer did not survive better than those who were depressed about their cancer.

I have a message for Dr. Coyne: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.    And yes Dr. Coyne, there is a power greater than the physical body….call it a positive attitude, the power of prayer, hope, faith, or optimism.    Can it cure cancer?  Absolutely.   There are plenty of documented cases of medical miracles which cannot be explained by modern  science.  Will a positive attitude alone guarantee a long life?  Of course not.  It doesn’t matter how positive your attitude or how strong your faith, we simply have to accept that some things are beyond our control.

So, if a positive attitude can’t guarantee a cure for my cancer, then what’s the point of having one?   It takes a lot of work, ya know.  Well, the way I see it, even if I can’t  state for certain that having a positive attitude will allow me live a LONGER life (although I do believe it will),  I can say with 100% certainty that it will allow me to live a HAPPIER life!

And here are my words which were quoted on Facebook (because when you have cancer, people think you are suddenly full of wisdom):  “If I live another forty years and I can look back on this year and say that I stayed joyful, happy and positive, that would be a wonderful thing  to say.  If I live only one year, then it is even more important that I be able to say that.”

Tip:  Don’t listen to the naysayers who tell you that having a positive attitude won’t help your survival.  Instead, prove them wrong….live to be 90, that’ll show ‘em!

Perk # 37: Cancer Has Intrduced Me to Many Phonomenal Women

Meet Beck: An amazing young cancer warrior who is inspiring me to live each day to the fullest

Through my journey with cancer, and my experiences with blogging, I have had the privilege of meeting other strong Newfoundland women, who are living happy, and fulfilling lives while facing cancer.

Rather than focus on the negatives of having cancer, Linda, blogs about her favourite beautiful things at www.beautifulideas.wordpress.com  And her site is truly beautiful (especially if you are looking for Christmas decorating ideas.)

Deb, another remarkable woman, blogs about caring for her “Miracle Man”, who was given only three months to live….and that was more than 5 years ago.  She shares tips and words of encouragement on her blog www.myhusbandskidneycancer.com

Dana, with the voice of an angel, shares her experiences with breast cancer in a moving song, “No Time For You.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EhzENwLI2k

But the young woman whose words moved me to tears, is Beck, a nineteen year old fighting a fierce battle with cancer.  She shared these words with me:

“I fight because I’m finally happy. I love living life… A lot of people when they’re diagnosed look at it as “I’m dying,” the way I look at it, I’m living until the day I die. I’m trying my hardest to stay strong and keep the people that matter to me, happy. You just have to live each day to the fullest.

Being diagnosed was the best, but worst thing that’s ever happened to me. It made me open my eyes fully and realize how important the simplicity of life is. It’s not about money or fancy things, it’s the simple things like watching my brother grow older, teaching him about the things I’ve learned throughout my lifetime, making my mom smile,  and making the best of every day so that if the day comes that  I pass away, my loved ones are left with the best of memories.

When people say half the battle is your attitude, it’s so true!  When a lot of people are diagnosed, they give up. They’re discouraged, fearful and it’s completely understandable.  But if you keep a positive attitude, I believe anyone can beat this, even if the doctor’s say there’s no chance of curing the illness. There ARE miracles!”

What amazing wisdom from one so young!  I am blessed that our paths crossed in this lifetime.  Thank you, Beck, you are a true inspiration to me.  Keep believing in miracles!

Tip:  I remember when my little two year old cousin, Amy, was sent home to die from leukemia.  The doctors said there was no hope.  She is now a happily married 34 year old.  BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!

NOTE: Since this blog was posted, Beck has started her own blog: http://notoriousbeck.tumblr.com/