How can I even say the words, “I am blessed I got cancer”!? How could the word blessed and cancer even be in the same sentence? I am sure many of you think I am crazy for saying I am blessed for getting cancer. I may be crazy, but I truly feel blessed.
Do not get me wrong as when I was first diagnosed, I was mad. More than mad. I still remember hearing the words, “It is cancer Kim”, and feeling like I was having an out of body experience. This was not real. Stuff like this does not happen to me (yes, I had that thought). There is no cancer anywhere in my family, they must be wrong! To feel like you are watching yourself in your doctor’s office and having a feeling like no other in the pit of your stomach was unbelievable.
My first year, and I would even say I would go as far as into my third year, I was still so mad I got cancer. I still could not believe this was my life, this was my story. It was so hard for me to be happy for other people. I am just being honest. My friends would talk about plans in the future. They would laugh and I would be so jealous, because cancer took my freedom away, my freedom to think and believe anything is possible in the world. My life went from planning our future family trips, where we want to retire, how we will look after our grandkids one day, to praying and hoping I would just live another day, another month, another year! When friends would call and complain about their kids or their husbands I would be like, seriously, I will take those problems any day! Cancer not only took my freedom, but it took my spirit, my identity. I no longer was that fun, outgoing, confident Kim. I turned into a person I didn’t recognize. I turned into a person that all they could do was focus on their health, research, learn about other countries, other treatments. I turned my family’s life upside down. If someone told me to drink this special tea and it might increase my odds of survival, that is all I would focus on. I wanted to get my percentage of survival at least over 50%. I drove myself crazy! Thank god Darren is as amazing as he is for putting up with me, but I know I drove my family crazy!
Three years in and still having ongoing surgeries, all the hype of being diagnosed with cancer quietly goes away. What people do not realize is once you are diagnosed with cancer, it never goes away. That fear is always in the back of your head. All your friends and support systems that saw you go through treatment, and see you on the other side, do not understand that cancer is always with us. So many people say to me, “You are almost 10 years out, don’t you get tired of talking about your cancer?”. They ask as if the fear of cancer has gone away. It never goes away. Specifically, in my case, I do not think there’s been one single year in the last 10 that I haven’t gone through some type of treatment or surgery. Just think about that. Every single year you are faced with another decision about what would be best for you to do to increase your survival rate. I never used to understand when people would say they just want to stop treatment, that they are done, and they just want to live. I used to think you always must fight! You can never give up! But after fighting for the last 10 years, I get it now! I am tired of fighting, tired of making decisions and worrying if I made the wrong one. I just want to be happy like so many I know and plan manicures and pedicures, talk about going on holidays, talk about our kids’ weddings in the future. It is exhausting feeling like you are constantly fighting to just make sure you open your eyes the next morning.
So, after sharing all these raw feelings you are probably thinking how can I be blessed for getting cancer and for fighting the last 10 years? Yes, cancer is fearful and brings challenges like you never imagined. But what cancer also brings are people you may have never met, ways of living you thought were not possible, a sense of contentment with opening your eyes and not caring how dirty your house is, that you don’t have all the fancy toys, trips, and houses like the Jones’ do. You don’t care about keeping up with the Jones’ and it brings a calming level of simplicity. It brings you moments of watching your children. Of true bliss.
When I truly accepted this was my life and that I won’t be one of the lucky ones to go through a year of treatment and be done, that I would have to fight every day, every month and every year to live, I had to accept my journey.
After traveling to Indonesia a few times, and working with people around the world, my life was opened in ways I never would have imagined. If I were a guessing person, and I didn’t get cancer, I am pretty sure I would still be fighting to keep up with the Jones’. To make sure my fashion was the latest and greatest, make sure my family is picture perfect, my house is a dream, and that my life would be close to what I used to think was perfect. To be able to shed the comparison, shed the need to go harder, go faster, do more, be more, is truly a beautiful thing! To truly be content with my little family, no matter where we live, what we wear, how we look, is peace I never thought was possible.
When you’re going through cancer it makes people do funny things. People who you thought would be there, are not. Family that you thought loved you as much as you loved them are not there to hold you up. Complete strangers become your best friends, become your family. Cancer allows you to see who the people are that unconditionally love you and want to be part of your life. It gives you the courage to set boundaries you never thought possible, because maybe it was not the right thing to do. It allows you to live life on your terms. It allows you to open your mind to things you would before have judged and possibly look down upon. For example, my love for essential oils and doTERRA. Before cancer, if someone would have told me that I would educate people on how to use essential oils for health, and that in doing so, I would help so many sick people with the power of essential oils and transform peoples lives with plant based medicine, I would have said they are crazy. I would have even bet a million dollars that there was no way I would ever believe in non-pharmaceutical snake oils, Ayurvedic medicine or anything that was natural to fight my cancer. I still thought this way three years into my cancer journey! But soon after it was not just the therapeutic side of natural medicine that I discovered; it was the people that came into my life because I opened my mind to something that I used to judge and this is something you cannot put a price on. Not only do I truly believe that I am still alive because I brought both western medicine and natural medicine together to give me the best result, but Darren and I also opened ourselves to a profession I used to make fun of. Fast forward to today and we are living a life we never would have dreamed of with a family of entrepreneurs that are heart based and truly changing the world. The life, the freedom, the choices we can provide for us and our children…this is priceless!!
I think back to what if I would not have got cancer?
- I would not have the career that provides in ways I never could have imagined.
- I would not have friends that are family that love you unconditionally.
- I would not have a business that I get to work from home, with my husband, that never feels like work because you are always giving people HOPE.
- I would not have had the ability to work when I want, when I cannot because I am dealing with my health, and I never have to worry about finances. This is freedom!
- I would not have the sense of contentment and peace in my family because I truly do not care what the Jones’ are doing!
- I would not have traveled to countries that literally taught me how to save my life, so I could save others.
- I would not have the love that Darren and I get to feel. When you work through something like we have, and believe me we needed to work at it, you feel a kind of love that is magical.
- I would not have set boundaries with my family and shed the heaviness of toxic, manipulative relationships.
- I would not truly have the belief that anything is possible, and I mean anything. If your mind can think it and create it, it is possible.
- I would not believe you can create and design the life you want!
All the above and many more are why I am blessed I got cancer.
Be open to miracles. Be open to hope. Be open to the unthinkable. Be open to a life you think is not possible. Don’t wait for a life event, like getting cancer, to live the life you deserve. Rather, receive the blessings that are waiting for you now!