This didn’t happen exactly although I have discovered some valuable lessons through cancer to help navigate life more gracefully.

  1. Trust your intuition. Nobody knows your body better than you. It took me nearly a year to convince the doctors something was wrong and the end result was a cancer diagnosis. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body and be your own advocate.

  2. Ask for help. I’ve never been very good at asking others for help yet through cancer I have learned that I do not need to be superhuman and do it alone. Ask for the help you need.

  3. Be selfish. I often struggle saying no to others and also tending to my own needs. Cancer offered me permission to say no and put my healing first. Be selfish and take care of you.

  4. Do the things you love. Throughout my treatment I focused on doing things that bring me joy. I spent time in the forest, took up pottery, and discovered art. I also learned to slow down and smell the ocean breeze. Spend time doing the things that nourish you and fill you up.

  5. Find out what works for you. When I was first diagnosed with cancer I was bombarded with suggestions about how to optimize my healing. At some point it all became too much; I needed to figure out what was best for me. While people’s opinions can be important, listen to what is best for you.

  6. Seek moments of quietude. Over the last year I’ve spent a lot of time alone on walks, meditation and journaling. Through the quiet I’ve discovered myself and feel more calm and grounded. Find your quiet and place of inner peace.

  7. Rest your body. I used to pride myself on getting “just enough” sleep to function. Now I take naps and get a good night’s sleep. I know my body needs it to heal. Allow your body to rest; it will thank you!

  8. Be gentle with yourself. Living with cancer can be challenging and scary. I don’t always handle things appropriately; I make mistakes. In these moments I’m trying to practice more self-compassion and understanding – we are all learning. Practice self-love and be gentle.

  9. Tell people you love them. Growing up I didn’t say I love you often; now I say it at every opportunity. I want people to know how much they mean to me. Appreciate the people in your life and let them know how much they mean to you.

  10. Know you are loved. As a single woman going through cancer I often felt alone, yet I never was. I had so many friends and family alongside me; it simply took me some time for me to realize it. Know you are never alone and that you are loved.

Read more from Cheryl's blog here.