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It's Your Future, Not Theirs

Last updated: January 2023

Sometimes in life, we have to choose between what we need and what makes others happy. Having a cancer diagnosis truly makes you realize life is too short.

I can tell you I’ve been a people pleaser for most of my life. I never wanted anyone to not like me, or to be upset with me if I did not agree with them. So I typically chose not to be too confrontational, which meant I usually was not sharing my real feelings. I would do things because others wanted to do them, not because I wanted to.

Changing my mindset after diagnosis

When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, a lot of that mindset changed. I had to stop worrying about everyone else and what they wanted. You will be forced to focus on yourself and you will not always have time to worry about anyone else. Obviously, we still cared for our spouses, children, family, and friends, but we are in the battle of a lifetime. Our focus needs to be on ourselves. From what I wanted to do, to how I wanted to take care of myself each day.

It’s OK sometimes to know that you can’t show up for everybody else. But when you’re sick and you’re fighting cancer, you need to make sure that you are showing up for yourself every day. If you don’t show up for yourself, there’s no guarantee that anybody else is going to show up for you.

Set your standards

Set the standard and let your friends and family know that you have one thing to focus on right now while you are sick, you. You need to make sure that you are healthy.

Not only is your body needing more nutrients and more rest than it did before. You also need to be filling your heart and your mind with positive things and enriching advice. There are going to be some days where you just don’t even want to show up for yourself and I’m here to say that that’s OK. Just do not get stuck there. Make sure that you still show up for yourself, even if it’s the very next day.

People will always have opinions, and many will want to share that with you. Listen, take it in, then decide what is best for you. Whether you are sick or living your life to the fullest, do it your way. Focus on what makes you happy, not what you think will make everyone else happy.

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