How many times in your life have you heard the phrase life is too short? Now think about how many times you have heard it since you’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. If you are anything like I am, then the phrase took on a whole new meaning. We’ve already learned that cancer fundamentally changes you in ways no one grasps unless they are dealing with this dreaded disease, but have you ever taken the time to notice that your perspective has changed and not reality?
I have been so wrapped up in not putting up with things that I used to because my life span has been significantly reduced and I now have the attitude that life is too short. Is my life shorter now that I have cancer or is my perspective on things changed because of what I have? I grew up believing in fate and everything is pre-destined to happen. I make the choices, but everything I’ve chosen is already a foregone conclusion. If that is true, then the number of days that I have left hasn’t changed since the day I was born…. I just have a different perspective on what to do with those remaining days…. however many that turns out to be.
Let that sink in. Reality hasn’t changed. Your perspective has. How you treat situations or react to people has now changed because your perspective is different.
The same can be said of caregivers and family members. Their perspectives have changed, too. They now have new priorities to deal with and like us, they have adjusted their views on reality.
Since my diagnosis, I don’t put up with someone being abusive because life is too short. I don’t live to work or work to live because life is too short. I don’t stress out over the little things because life is too short. See the pattern? Maybe I should have had that attitude all along. Life has always been too short. Nothing has changed there. It’s just that my perspective on life has changed. There isn’t enough time to do everything that I want to do or see everything that I want to see and I am so much more happier than I used to be. Even with this dreadful disease, life is so much better now that my perspective has changed.
There is a silver lining in with every dark cloud. Having cancer has allowed me to grow enough as a person to see that I needed to step back and look at things differently and I’m glad that I did.