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Preparing for 2021 as a Cancer Survivor amid the Pandemic

Who would have ever thought we would spend an entire year in a pandemic? To top that off, we are also beginning a new year in that same pandemic. As a culture, we associate the new year with new beginnings. We start off with a clean slate, as if the new year hits the reset […]

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Who would have ever thought we would spend an entire year in a pandemic? To top that off, we are also beginning a new year in that same pandemic.

As a culture, we associate the new year with new beginnings. We start off with a clean slate, as if the new year hits the reset button.

But what happens when you hit reset and nothing changes? What happens when you push that reset button so many times but you’re still living with the COVID-19 virus as a huge concern?

Some people have put their plans on hold, some have given up and some have chosen to just keep going.

What Is your Choice?

As a mesothelioma cancer survivor, I have chosen to keep going. One thing I always say is, “I may take a break, or even slow down, but I will not give up.” So, I kept this same mentality as I was preparing for the new year.

Being a survivor of peritoneal mesothelioma has given me a fire that is still lit. A fire to say, “I know I can do anything I set my mind to do no matter what comes my way.” I am a survivor!

Yes, the new year is here and COVID-19 is still on the scene, but we must not give up.

I can’t compare living in a pandemic to anything else because I have never lived in a pandemic before. But one thing I do know is that, in life, things come as stumbling blocks and hinderances. It may cause us to pivot but it shouldn’t halt us completely.

Stay Ready and You Don’t Have to Get Ready

A lot of us still have some things on our vision boards – lists and goal sheets – that haven’t happened yet due to the pandemic. Some plans went unfulfilled, and some goals were not reached, and that’s OK. The important thing is to stay prepared.

Living in a pandemic has taught me how to pivot in areas of my live without feeling as if I’m not fulfilling what I set out to do. Being able to pivot has also taught me to be flexible and patient.

This past year I was taken back to when I was first diagnosed with mesothelioma. I went to one doctor who really wasn’t much help, but I pivoted and found another doctor who helped me get to where I am today.

After my mesothelioma surgery I didn’t know what to expect because that was my first major surgery. But I pivoted, learned to be patient and flexible, and kept going.

I knew if I stayed the course I would be better. I would be a survivor and be able to share my story.

Ways to Begin the New Year Amid a Pandemic

  • Have an Open Mind. This has enabled me to really embrace change and realize there is more than one way of doing something.
  • Stay Aligned with Your Goals. Keep your goals and make sure that the things you’re doing will get you closer to them.
  • Take Things One Day at a Time. We can sometimes rush things and then be unhappy with the results. But, in all honesty, good things take time.
  • Plan and Keep Notes. Since last year, I have grown to like planners – you know, the cute ones with the stickers. They have helped me stay on track and keep focused on the things I need to do.

Remember this: No matter what, keep going, no matter how hard it gets or what comes your way. Don’t give up.

Yes, we may be in a pandemic and it may have slowed us down, but we must keep moving, even if it’s at a slower pace.

Even in a pandemic, we still shall prosper.

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