04/09/2014 01:25 pm ET Updated Jun 09, 2014

Everything Doesn't Happen for a Reason

I no longer believe in karma. I've seen too much. I don't like the expression "everything happens for a reason." Try telling that to someone who has lost a child or a spouse or a friend. If I dissect this for myself, what exactly is the reason that I got leukemia when I was 24? What is the reason I may have heart problems when I am 40 as a result of the treatment that saved my life? What is the reason I survived and my friends didn't? I am sure most people could ask similar questions about an event in their life.

Four years after diagnosis and going into remission, it is still hard every day. I struggle with the fear of relapse less than I used to, but I now fear long-term effects. I don't feel well often, and I feel guilty and anxious when I am feeling down. I take active steps to improve on my daily life, but this takes time and work as well. It's a constant battle. Though it's a hard road, there are some positives that have come out of my experience. I met some amazing people that changed my life, I changed my career, I learned what is important and l learned to believe in the good in people again.

I try to remember that people mean well and often don't know what to say. We all have our own ways of coping and those are a personal choice. Next time you say something like "everything happens for a reason," think about who you are saying it to. Instead of coming up with a cliché to say, it's okay to just listen. In fact, sometimes that's all we need. I've learned that it's how we act after these traumatic experiences that is important, not trying to understand the reason. Do good to make a difference, not because you're expecting it to come around or are looking forward to sharing it on Facebook.