Living with cancer blog

Making positive change helps cancer survivors

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. July 16, 2011

Last year, we had a blog discussion on "How cancer changes you" and so many of you wrote in to share your experiences. With this post, I want to delve deeper into the positive side. I realize it might be asking a lot to do this; however, while having cancer is a generally negative occurrence, some positive things may come from it.

I'll share a story of a woman I met who was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her initial treatment, she decided to reduce her work schedule and pursue her love for painting. She traveled to places she loved and created incredible watercolor paintings reflecting on the beauty of each place.

She stayed active in her work life, but was able to balance it with her dream of painting again. She told me she wouldn't have done this if it hadn't been for her cancer diagnosis. Previous to her diagnosis, she was extremely focused on her career and had put her love for painting on hold.

I'm sure this story isn't unique. Many of you have made positive changes in your life because of your cancer diagnosis. I've heard so many stories of love, courage and strength. At times, it's hard to be positive, as having cancer isn't exactly easy and the physical feelings of the body usually have a strong influence on the mind and outlook.

I would love to hear about your personal experiences. How did you transform the negative to positive? How did this experience change your life?


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

Jul. 16, 2011