I have learned life is too short to sweat the small stuff and mostly it IS all small stuff!! The secret isn’t what happens to you, but what you DO with it.
A person never knows when their reality will change drastically in a heartbeat!
Mine did on May 26, 2010. My husband and I had recently split up. Our house was up for sale, he was moving back to England and I was sleeping on my best friend’s couch. It was just a normal day in a not-so-normal time. While getting ready for work one day I found a lump! Now what?
I better get this checked out. I thought, ok I was heading to the lawyer’s today to start the separation agreement after work; if I timed it right I could squeeze in a walk-in appointment before I met with my realtor to go house-hunting. I really didn’t think that it was a big deal.
Boy was I wrong. I had breast cancer! I don’t even remember driving home. How was I going to tell my family? I am separated (alone), my house is up for sale, now I have breast cancer??? You have GOT to be kidding me! This is BIG stuff.
When I was given this life-altering news I felt like I was a fence! On one side there was a girl filled with self-pity and a “my life sucks” attitude and, on the other was the positive-thinking rockhard chick with a “getter done” attitude. Guess which side I landed on??
You need a mastectomy! Surgery is in four weeks. WOW! Ok…well, getter done. Cut the bad stuff out of your life and you are only left with good. Right ? You have an offer on your house!! Possession is wanted in 30 days. OK, focus! Don’t sweat the small stuff and concentrate on fighting! Get out there and get a new house.
Your attitude influences your world and everything you do in it. If you have a positive attitude, people respond accordingly. Look for the good in every situation because there is always something good, or at least something useful to learn, even in the most difficult situations.
Condo bought and getting ready for the move, Mom and Dad packing in the living room and I was lying in bed after my surgery. I checked out a dating website. What the heck!! I am not looking to actually date someone but having people to chat with will sure make the days go by faster!!
I started chatting to a couple of people and next thing I know I was asked out on a date! Are you serious?? I can’t date?? I have cancer and one boob!! I told him that we couldn’t meet just yet because I just had minor surgery and was moving in a couple of weeks, but that I would love to chat.
Two weeks after surgery, I moved into my own condo with the help of my family and friends and even a few strangers from work. One door closed! DONE!! On to the next small stuff!
In between packing, moving and healing, I had found a friend! We finally went on a date, and afterwards I told him that I had cancer but that it does not define me as a person. I apologized for not telling him sooner but wanted him to meet me and see that I was fine. It was something that needed to be done face to face. I cried. He stayed.
Then the results from my surgery came back! I am going to get to have the WHOLE breast cancer experience: mastectomy, chemo and radiation! It’s funny: I had no problem losing a breast…but chemo! I knew what chemo was like. I knew I was going to lose my hair. BUT IF ONE MORE person said to me, “But it will grow back!” I was going to snap! This one for me was NOT going to be small stuff! I cut my hair short and went wig shopping. After trying on a few I figured if I had to get a wig, why not get one with hair that I did not have the genes to grow? So I bought two! A long brunette one and a long blond one for when I am feeling saucy! Maybe it was small stuff after all!?
I started my chemo with the attitude that I was not sick. It couldn’t be any worse than a REALLY bad hangover, could it? I was not going to sweat the big stuff either. I was just going to suck it up. Don’t get me wrong: there were days I was definitely teetering on that fence, especially when my hair started falling out in clumps.
My new man told me that I rocked the GI Jane look! Ok, then not I’m going to sweat it! Sometimes it’s easy to get consumed by worries of everyday situations or just by losing your hair. And although these things are very important in their own way…they’re just the small stuff!
2010 was definitely the hardest year I have ever had! My family, friends and new boyfriend gave me strength! I have been given amazing support: texts, letters, emails and comments on Facebook from all over the world!! The support I got from work has been amazing; we even did the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in 2010 bald and three days before chemo round 2!
I kept living. Chemo done, radiation complete, burns gone. Tamoxifen for the next five years. But next year I am going to get a new set of tattas!! Cancer did not stop me; it just slowed me down a bit. I learned to never take anyone or anything for granted and I always tell people every day how much they mean to me and how much I love them.
I am still going to try to not sweat the small stuff. Little things can come together to be big stuff if you let them, but if you don’t sweat the small stuff, it never becomes unmanageable!