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  • Aida Sandy Sree

Does Cancer Make You Stronger?





We’ve all heard of the phrase ,‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ - but is it really true? Difficult phases, journeys and stages in our life often show us our unexpected strengths, but expose hidden weaknesses as well. So, after we overcome that obstacle - are we stronger than before? Or does the experience highlight where our weaknesses truly lie?


Having to undergo cancer treatment and diagnosis is an experience that many people go through, almost 800 000 new cases are reported in India everyday. From the shock of the initial diagnosis to eventual remission, the process takes severe tolls on your physical and mental health. However, many survivors claim that they feel like “a new person” and “stronger” after undergoing the cancer journey.


Cancer, especially the initial diagnosis affects your mind in different ways. Some of the inceptive feelings that patients face include- fear of the unknown, anxiety for what’s coming, desperation, and loneliness or a sense of detachment from society. The chemotherapy process is rigorous and often drains your energy and spirit. The journey makes you feel singled out and targeted by universal forces.


Nonetheless, a lot of patients say that the hardships they faced during the process helped them develop character, overcome obstacles, and changed their outlook on life. The constant reminder that life isn’t eternal, forced them to embrace the little things in life, and live in the moment. They prioritized themselves, spending time with the right people and making the best out of whatever they had. Their diagnosis helped them gain the will to live, and not just to exist.


These changes in their mindset eventually manifested in their lifestyle, beliefs and values. They evolved as people, and learnt important life lessons through the process. They recognized that they are more than just their cancer, but their cancer showed them the potential they had to fulfill.


The cancer process is a hard one, one that brings sadness and fear to many, but overcoming it and living through the struggle remodels your character and helps you make the most out of what life you have. In the end, “cancer is only going to be a chapter in your life, not the whole story”, as Joe Wasser once said.


 

Sources:

https://archive.nytimes.com/well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/does-cancer-make-you-strong/

https://med.stanford.edu/survivingcancer/cancers-existential-questions/cancer-will-to-live.html

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