As exciting new medical therapies in cancer treatment continue to emerge, I feel (after personal experience) these medical therapies are only part of the battle. I'd like to be the newest weapon in this war on cancer -- I'm an inspiring human face -- a young adult survivor (whose name happens to be Joy)! I want to be the personal guide to those facing cancer who delivers happiness, showing that laughter is the best medicine after all.
Many facing cancer and other serious illnesses today realize there is truth to the old adage, "Mind over matter."
From Valerie Harper "facing terminal cancer... with joy" as her People magazine cover stated going on Dancing With the Stars during treatment to little brain cancer patient Jack Hoffman scoring a touchdown during Nebraska's spring game -- and who could forget Deb dancing before her double mastectomy? Among these inspiring actions, I am emerging as a young adult cancer survivor who is your personal guide on how to have happiness with cancer.
I was diagnosed with stage four cancer at 33 years young, and I endured three years of grueling chemotherapy treatments while suffering the complete loss of my shoulder-length hair as one of many side effects during my cancer treatment. In spite of all of this, I realized, "No one's happy they have cancer!
But you can have cancer and still be happy!"
Since I haven't met a person yet who doesn't want to be happy, I've begun a movement to help others face "Cancer with JOY," quite figuratively but literally too with me as your personal guide sharing useful content on the "Cancer with JOY" Facebook page as well as on Twitter @cancerwithjoy. I'm happy to report his campaign is making quite a difference, for both cancer patients and caregivers during the journey. I've authored Cancer With JOY, published by Morgan James Publishing of NYC, now available in paperback, as an ebook, and audiobook too. I further spread cheer as a professional speaker delivering a message that's enthusiastically received at hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and churches. After requests, I now also personally coach individuals from diagnosis through treatment. Email me to find out more about that!
I believe wholeheartedly a positive attitude helped me achieve not only remission -- but a better quality of life through my three years of chemotherapy treatments. When I speak to groups, I often ask, 'How many of you think it hurt me being (mostly) positive throughout my treatment?' I see people shake their heads. Then I ask, 'How many of you think it helped me?' Most of the hands go up in the air!"
I'm a huge proponent of "Laughter being the best medicine." Cancer (thankfully) is no longer an immediate death sentence! And a big part of the word cancer is the fear that comes along with it that makes the 1,500,000+ diagnosed every year in the U.S. limit their lives. Choosing to face 'Cancer with JOY' cures that paralyzing fear and enables living life to the fullest as many days as possible. That's a life-changing breakthrough for many.
What do you think? Does facing cancer (or other life obstacles) with (mostly) JOY and a positive attitude make a difference in your quality of life? I'd love to hear your comments and personal stories!