Thankful for Cancer? Not Yet

I had a friend call me about 3 months into the start of my chemotherapy treatment to catch up and see how treatment was going. During this conversation, he started telling me about a rough time he went through a few years ago. Long story short, he was engaged previously and went through a really bad breakup before the wedding.

While telling me some of the details, he paused and mentioned that although it was the hardest time in his life, he was grateful it happened because it made him a better person in the long run. He quickly turned the conversation back on me and asked me if I was grateful for my cancer, expecting a similar reaction from me. I already knew where he was going with this story so before he could even finish the question, I blurted out “NO!” I have to laugh thinking back to this moment because I know I caught him off guard, but at the time I remember feeling a bit offended that he compared his breakup to my cancer.

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Poor timing

To be fair, he asked me that question while I was still actively in treatment and going through the hardest time in my life. I’ll fully admit that being about 8 months post-treatment, I can appreciate some of the great things that have happened to me as a direct result of my diagnosis. The reality is that cancer isn’t something that just happens one day and then we eventually move on like we typically do after a breakup. There are lasting effects from a diagnosis that many of us have to deal with for the rest of our lives. So, would I got back in time and change my diagnosis? Absolutely. Nobody should ever have to deal with cancer. While I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, I do truly feel that you can find something good that comes out of even the most awful situations we are put through.

An uplifting thought

I was asked this question roughly a year ago and I constantly find myself wondering if one day I’ll change my mind. Will I ever look back and be grateful for my diagnosis? Will something so great happen to me as a result of everything I went through that will make it all worth it? It’s hard to think that one day I may actually be thankful for getting cancer and I can’t imagine that day coming anytime soon, but it’s an interesting and almost uplifting thought.

How do you feel about this question? Can you say you’re thankful, even in a small way, for being diagnosed with cancer? What is the best thing that has happened to you as a result of your diagnosis?

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

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