Words of Encouragement to a Cousin Diagnosed with Cancer

My mother’s first cousin was diagnosed with brain cancer a few weeks ago.  After hearing of her diagnosis, I immediately wrote her some words of encouragement.

Hello my dear Cousin,

Mom told me the news about your late stage diagnosis. Having been in the same boat you are now, and beating the odds, here are a few things I learned:

I hear over and over that survivors were given 6 months… and they are still kicking YEARS later.  Just because it’s late stage, doesn’t mean you can’t beat it.

I believe EVERYONE should be prepared for their final days, even when in good health.  Don’t be afraid to let your wants known so your final wishes can be granted…this goes for your husband, too!

It’s not about the length of your life, but the breadth of it.  Enjoy each and every day, and milk the satisfaction that comes with it.  Even when going through treatments, this is still possible.  However, know it’s a skill that needs to be honed.  As you hone that skill, you will be leaving a legacy to all those who know and love you about how to do the same.

Half of the battle is in your head.  The mind is a powerful tool.  Believe several times a day that you will beat it.  Tell yourself you are strong and courageous.  Remind yourself that life is full of possibilities.  Smile everyday.  Laugh everyday.  Calm nerves with meditation.  You have no control over the cells, but you do have control over your attitude. So take control of the cancer mentally, so it doesn’t take control of you.

Your body has cancer.  YOU don’t.

I hope that these words of experience give you a modicum of hope as you forge through the upcoming treatments.  So many will be rooting you on.  As you go through this journey, notice all the blessings that come from it….how the family comes together, how love is expressed, how support is given and by whom, the power of your friendships, the surprising strength you carry within…..and so much more.

Wishing you a sailboat made of love and a full cargo of courage to carry you through the storms ahead.

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