Simple Things in Life Can Make a Difference

The objects that we encounter every day can remind us that the simplest things in life can make a big difference.

My daily reminders

A toothpick

The cancer patient will go through different stages during their illness and may have difficulty finding good qualities in themselves and others. The first few months after my diagnosis I was angry and bitter. A toothpick is a reminder to pick good qualities in everyone, including yourself.

Rubber band

A reminder to be flexible. Things may not always work out. We may hope that things will go as planned but invariably situations occur, and the schedule or plan may need to change. I can remember my planned chemotherapy schedule needed to be altered due to my neutropenia (low white blood count) and an unplanned hospitalization. Of course, as a “control freak”, I expected things to go smoothly. I have certainly used the rubber band analogy to remain flexible.


Coping with cancer is a stressful experience that should not be made more difficult when trying to manage emotional turmoil in others. A band-aid is a reminder to heal hurt feelings-either yours or someone else’s. I believe my first hospitalization, due to chemotherapy neutropenia (low white blood count), was intensified by my reaction to a painful emotional family issue. I certainly could have used a band-aid at that time.


A reminder that everyone makes mistakes. It’s important that we learn from our errors and do the best that we can to repair the damage. Ongoing stress over our mistakes doesn’t help us.

Candy Kisses

A reminder that everyone needs a hug, a kiss or a compliment every day. Think about how you feel during a difficult day, when you receive a smile, or compliment or a hug. For me, this hug or kiss from my granddaughter is the best candy.


A cancer patient does not want to be a burden to their family and need to be reminded how much they are loved. They need to be told that they are “worth a mint” to their family. My family has continued to share their love and provided continued support which has aided in my battle with cancer.

Chewing Gum

A reminder to "stick with it". The cancer patient and the oncology health care team can work together to achieve treatment goals. My oncologist and nurse practitioner have become friends as well as caring, and expert health care providers.


A reminder to list your blessings every day. Initially I did not feel blessed when diagnosed with cancer. However, with time and the love and support of my family and friends, I became more positive. I now journal and recognize my feelings and positive things in my life.

Tea Bag

A reminder that you must make time to relax and reflect. A cancer diagnosis can be a “wake-up” call and can help us recognize what’s important in life. I vowed to never miss an opportunity to spend time with my granddaughter. This has become my mantra and it is most appreciated.

Each of us should identify an object that is a reminder to relax, reflect and rejuvenate.

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