A man stands on a hill facing a sun breaking through dark clouds.

Lung Cancer Didn’t Win; I Won!

I was diagnosed with lung cancer back in 2014, and through this journey, I was afraid of lung cancer winning. Then I realized I needed to live today, this moment. Not yesterday because yesterday came and went, and not in the future because it isn't here yet.

I need to live now, right at this moment, and make the most of it. Yes, I did dwell on it and kept trying to figure out how to win, but that was driving me crazy. So, I switched it up.

It wasn't about winning. It was about living! You see, I worked my ass off and put myself through college. Got in debt with student loans, worried about every little thing.

I worried about bills, my kids, what I didn't have, and what I wanted. I was always stressed out at work and wasn't happy at my job.

Finding purpose through struggle

Responsibilities were just piling up, and my health was declining. I was in my early 40s and so stressed that I wasn't living anymore, and my kids noticed it.

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So, when I lost my job, I thought, "Okay, now I'll be happy", but it got worse because I was going to be broke. I felt my whole life crumbling down, and I was so confused and lost.

I wasn't getting what life was trying to tell me. But I picked myself up, found a part-time job that paid well, and started working out. I joined a CrossFit gym and got into the best shape of my life. Then, a few years later, I was diagnosed with stage 3B ALK-positive.

Now, I must say lung cancer shaped my life and made me the woman I am today. I know many might think this lady is crazy. But honestly, I thank lung cancer because lung cancer taught me to live now. Lung cancer taught me patience, to trust the process, to live in the moment, to appreciate the little things, and to be thankful for everything.

It taught me to be humble, kinder, and show love, empathy, and compassion. When I look back, I realize I didn't do any of that. It taught me to be me and love me.

Appreciating the simple things

Yes, I've suffered from depression because of my diagnosis, and I've gone through hell and back with this lung cancer journey, but it taught me never to give up or give in. It gave me strength and courage and taught me to fight!

Somehow, lung cancer gave me a strength that I can't explain; all I know is that I fought, and I continue to fight against this awful disease. Lung cancer helped me change my mindset. I went from feeling depressed and hopeless to looking at life a different way and enjoying it as much as I could.

I became a more positive person. I started noticing things that many people would miss or not care about.

For example, I noticed the birds chirping, and I started to enjoy their chirping and appreciate it. Yes, many hear it, but do they notice its beauty and appreciate it? Those are the things that I'm talking about, the simple things.

Gratitude among struggle

I'm not happy that I was diagnosed with lung cancer, but I am thankful that it slowed me down and helped me see life from a different perspective. I now enjoy it, every bit of it, even on my worst days.

I still get depressed, but I remember how long I've come and what I've learned living with lung cancer, and it brings me out of my depression. I've been through so many storms; some were horrible, but living with lung cancer gave me the strength I needed to overcome those storms.

So yes, thanking lung cancer sounds crazy, but for me, it taught me to be who I'm supposed to be and what my purpose is in this life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net 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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