Five years since radical surgery carved out the cancer tumor and left me to heal as best I could. Five years without a re-occurrence is a milestone in the medical profession. It’s cause for celebration – if you know me, you know that I’m always up for a party so bring on the cake!
There’s no doubt about it – cancer was my worst nightmare. The fear, the pain and the suffering I experienced from diagnosis to treatment was beyond what I could ever have imagined. The resulting colostomy bag that helps me keep my “poop in a group” is a daily reminder that I am radically changed physically.
It may startle you to learn that cancer has also been my greatest gift. Nothing else got my attention the way cancer did. Throughout the whole adventure, it compelled me to look closely at the life I was leading. It forced me inward as I struggled to find answers, to understand the lessons that were in front of me, and to seek the gifts I hoped would be there. My memoir, Magnificent Misery –From Adversity to Ecstasy helped me capture the journey.
Because of all that inner work, I am now radically changed mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Cancer woke me up and helped give me back to myself – the Self that feels joy and rises to the challenge of fearlessly embracing all that life brings, the Self with boundless love and endless compassion for all of us on this human journey.
From cancer I learned that dis-ease left alone turns into disease. Inner upsets, unresolved angers and frustrations, resentments and guilt that are not allowed a voice will fester and eventually manifest. The body knows no other way to tell us that something is not right – whether an acute attack of some kind or a chronic condition, the physical manifestation whacks us on the head to get our attention.
For me, cancer has been a call to heal those parts of me that had trapped me in a misery of my own making. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew that the life I was living did not measure up to what I dreamed of as heaven. How did I know that? Because 10 years ago, a near death experience propelled me into the hereafter.
Basking there in unconditional love and total acceptance, I knew instantly that we humans are born magnificent – you, me – everyone. Whether or not we choose to embrace that magnificence is entirely up to us. In a strange and disturbing way, cancer led me to my own magnificence.
Since cancer called, I have been building my own brand of heaven on earth based on what I learned from that visit to our eternal home. Am I free of daily struggles? No, not at all – but I deal with them differently because I know I am much more than my struggles.
Today, as well as celebrating my 5-year milestone, I’m committed to celebrating every moment of every day with joy, love and enthusiasm until it’s my time to leave this earthly plane. In addition, I am having fun as I embark on a new mission – that of inspiring everyone I meet to believe in and embrace their own magnificence. Care to join me?
Growth Catalyst and Author, Sue Paulson has been inspiring audiences for years. Her latest book, “Magnificent Misery – From Adversity to Ecstasy” is available through Amazon. Her upcoming book is called, “The Healing Call of Cancer”, scheduled for release in 2018.