I was meeting with a small group of women not too long ago. We were chatting. One of the women said something I have never heard before.
“I’m so thankful for my colon cancer,” she said.
We all paused.
“Did I not tell you about this?” she asked.
Stunned silence and shaking heads were her responses.
“Oh,” she smiled. “Well two years ago I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had horrible belly pain. Because of the pain they did a CT scan of my abdomen. They found colon cancer and they found ovarian cancer.”
She paused. We sat, still stunned. Two cancers.
She continued. “The ovarian cancer was really aggressive. It never would have been found if I didn’t have colon cancer. I would be gone by now if they hadn’t found it. Removed it.”
Some head nodding. Stunned silence continued. Two cancers.
“I’m just so grateful I had the colon cancer,” she finished, and smiled again.
Grateful. For colon cancer.
If I were my own best friend, I would remind myself to be grateful. Reassess the things I might not feel grateful for. The things that are hard or uncomfortable or challenging. The things that make me want to pull my hair out or lose my temper. The things that maybe, could make me lose my life.
Perhaps there is something to be learned. Something to be gained by reexamining those things. Those things I am usually not grateful for. Perhaps there is a glimmer of light, a gift, a silver lining.
Perhaps each of us faces something, like colon cancer, that is actually a great gift in disguise.
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