Cancer Allowed Me to Become More Outspoken

Have you ever wondered how you would feel after time has passed by since your diagnosis with cancer? This is a question I ask myself sometimes, especially during February. On February 24, 2024, I will have four years of being cancer-free. It is crazy to think that time has passed by so quickly. I recalled the day the doctor diagnosed me with colon cancer like it was yesterday. Looking back and seeing the woman I have become has given me a sense of pride and joy.

Now, what have I learned in the past four years? To answer that question, I want to take you back to who I was before my diagnosis of colon cancer. I was someone who had a very hard time being outspoken. If something bothered me, it was difficult to express how I truly felt, which made me feel aggravated at times because I was not being honest with other people. I also disliked confrontations so nine out of ten times, I would do what other people wanted just to avoid any conflicts. This was unhealthy because I was compromising who I was as a person. Ultimately, it made me feel sad and angry at the same time because deep down I allowed this to happen.

However, on February 20, 2020, when I received the biggest news of my life, my whole mindset changed completely. I knew that I had to take control of my life based on my personal choices. For this reason, I began to listen to affirmations focusing on self-love. I would listen to them at least three times per day. Little by little, I began to value and love myself more, which gave me the wisdom to learn that it is OK to put yourself first and not feel guilty. I started expressing myself more and realized how liberating it was when I was completely honest with the other person. So, learning to be more outspoken was one of the lessons I learned after my diagnosis.

Moreover, I began to incorporate mantras in my daily life. This helped me remember my true value as a woman. The first mantra I wrote during that time consisted of the following:

From this moment on, I will love myself more. I will attract more happiness and success into my life. I am worthy of love. I am strong, brave, hard-working, self-determined, warrior, survivor, fighter, beautiful, powerful, loving and compassionate. I am full of light with a positive, radiant energy.

By reading my mantras every day, it has helped me become the woman I wanted to be.

Another lesson that I learned after being diagnosed with colon cancer was to be more independent with certain things. I recalled moments when I wanted to do an activity or visit a place of interest and would say no since I did not want to go by myself. Over the past four years, I have explored places as well as attended events by myself and actually enjoyed them. One of the events that I did on my own was a women’s retreat in upstate New York for a weekend. It was definitely worth attending because I met incredible, empowering women I still keep in touch with today. I would have never done that before my diagnosis with cancer.

I have learned that practicing self-love is one of the most important ways to take care of yourself. By doing so, I have become more confident and my self-worth as a woman has increased tremendously. Being diagnosed with colon cancer was not the news I ever thought I would hear, but it has given me the opportunity to grow in areas of my life where I have genuinely struggled with. Indeed, looking back four years later, I can honestly say that I am a better person because of it.

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