Gratitude is an emotion. Poor health creates strong emotions and fears. Life and death decisions are emotional events in our lives. Yesterday, I experienced “life” once again after several weeks of believing I might be dying this time.
Back in 2017, without warning, I experienced breast, ovarian, and peritoneal cancers. I had multiple surgeries and treatments. Yesterday, we expected that I had lung cancer. I always say I am the sickest healthy person you might ever meet. Yet, for 4.5 years I have been blessed with good health and no recurrences. Yesterday, we decided my lung nodules will be followed… no invasive diagnostic procedures just yet. Yeah!
These past, but sudden events in my life drove me to “Gratitude”.
I am so grateful that I am alive and healthy, but I sometimes have survivor’s guilt as I know many people who have not been as fortunate as I, and have already lost their life.
So, I ask myself… how may I help? What might I say to you to cause you to be positive instead of scared to death, miserable, and so often in pain?
(BTW…Gratitude is a broad area of study and inquiry and applies to everything in your life. This blog focuses on “health”. See the other categories under which I post to find applications for gratitude to other topics in your life that are more joyful like “pets”, the arts, and/or nature.)
My cancers were not genetically based and were all different types of tumors. To learn as much as possible when I was first diagnosed, I joined the relevant FB Groups to become a part of the various communities: The Breast Cancer Support Group for Patients and Their Loved Ones (7.6K members); Primary Peritoneal Cancer Awareness (1.8K); Sisterhood of Ovarian Cancer Survivors (7.0K); Lung Cancer and Caregivers Support Group (15.5K), as well as the Polycythemia Vera Support Group (12.2K) as I have a dear friend with that cancer. These groups represent approximately 44.1 K persons with cancer which is probably just a fraction of those with similar health issues.
I am undertaking the task of learning about the pathway to gratitude with all seriousness: Offering peace and calm to many persons through gratitude.
I thank those of you who are already posting about gratitude with me.
Collectively, we can do it! See my earlier post on gratitude circles.
I regularly read your FB pleas and I try to reply as possible to “pay it forward” and to help.
I remember the fear of the diagnosis and decisions. I remember the awful pain and misery from chemo. I have cried with many families when their loved ones lost the battle. I hate the achy bones from aromatase inhibitors and the all day transfusions of various drugs that were so powerful and lethal that nurses had to gown up for protection, and toilets had to be flushed twice. Imagine those large cement buildings and huge plumbing pipes, and we have to flush twice the chemicals being pumped into our delicate veins!
I remember reading everything I could get my hands on and practiced traditional medicines as well as alternatives and integrative methods. If you refer to my earlier videos, you will find the alternatives I learned about, some of which I tried. I continue to participate in Western Medical practices, and learn about healing and wellness practices (current and ancient), including Qigong, sound baths, meditation, essential oils, diets, and care with GMOs and toxicity in my environment. I believe in mind, body, and spirit, the power of forgiveness, spirituality, prayer, and, importantly, in GRATITUDE.
I hope you see me as a testimony to the fact that gratitude will work in your life too!
As I previously noted, there is an emotionality to gratitude. I feel it when I read your posts. I wish I could sit beside you and hold your hands and cheer you on, and find little things to help you laugh, even for a moment. I wish I could reach through the internet to calm you and bring you peace. I wish I could make promises to you that you will be ok. I will surely try, but none of us know about the future of this blessing we call life.
Through gratitude I have come to an understanding that we all have a timeline for each of our lives. None of us know how long our timeline will be on this earth. I do believe that when our tasks on earth are finished, our bodies will give out and our spirits will live on.
When my sister passed away in 2004, she was young and I did not want to let her go, but a colleague told me I had to tell her it was ok for her to die. When my parents passed away, I told them it was ok, and that I had everything under control.
It is hard to do but I did it with gratitude and I believed that I offered them peace in their final days. I had time to tell them goodbye. As I heard someone say recently, I could give them a soft goodbye as a kindness when nothing more could be done. These are emotional experiences.
If you read the 30 benefits from gratitude in a recent post on November 18, 2021, you will find that gratitude does give you peace as you continue to fight for good health. If you read my next posting you will learn that gratitude provides the time for you to “interpret” your life’s goals and objectives, and to plan and manage your life, including the emotionality of not only your own gratitude, but that of your children, spouse, family, and friends. Illness lets us get our affairs in order for those we must sometimes leave behind.
Unlike those who experience a faster illness like a heart attack, stroke, car accident, or drowning, for example,
the gratitude that is derived from the experience of cancer provides the generosity of time. Use this time wisely to move into gratitude. That is what I am doing every day.
In summary, let me guide you through an introduction to the emotionality of gratitude with examples from a few of the 30 positive benefits:
Gratitude will prepare you to manage the emotions of depression, hope, stress, loneliness, isolation, forgiveness, peace, kindness, compassion, inspiration, generosity, and faith.
In addition, although you may be in extreme fear and misery, through gratitude you will learn to appreciate the goodness of life, receive gifts, build stronger relationships, and understand the beauty and miracle that life really is.
I wish peace and joy to everyone. I am so grateful that you take your precious time to read these thoughts, and, in exchange, I promise to help you learn to walk through your life in a “State of Gratitude”.
I will keep posting for you. In the meantime, blessings and hope to all!