"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go."
Martha Washington
U.S. First Lady

A positive attitude can play an important role in how you react to treatment and the challenges that it may bring. Our goal is to provide you with tools that will inspire you with ways to go through your cancer journey with grace, dignity and an attitude filled with hope for the future.

Affirmations are positive thoughts that celebrate you and your spirit. These brief phrases are designed to help you feel stronger and more in control. We encourage you to read through this list and pick the affirmations that speak most to you about your situation. You may want to pick a different affirmation daily and repeat it several times throughout the day. You may want to write your own affirmations, or you may want to rely on phrases and verses from the Bible.

I see myself as a healthy person in love with life.

I lovingly tend the garden of my mind.

I pull the negative weeds and make room for positive affirmations to grow.

A life filled with wonder is a life lived.

My spirit can never be taken from me, for it is the part of me that is eternal.

Whenever a door closes in my live, at least three more new doors open.

I am safe I am open and receptive to new fulfillment in my life.

I have all the energy to accomplish everything I put my attention to.

I know that even difficult lessons are opportunities for positive change.

Everything is working out for my highest good.

No matter where I am or what I am doing, there is beauty around me.

True living is being able to see that beauty and to take it in.

I am an expression of unlimited good.

What I choose to think and do today has an effect on my future.

I am a powerful creator.

I do matter - to myself and to God.

I am deeply loved and cherished right now.

I am an eternal, spiritual being having a human experience.

My soul rejoices in this experience.

Life's unfolding invites my participation.

Ultimately, only I can choose my options.

My personal power increases when I accept and embrace this truth.

Usually, if I am thankful for what I have,

I don't have time to focus on what I don't have.

I am patient and kind with everyone I meet each day.

I am a person I really enjoy living with.

I rejoice in the successes of others, knowing there is plenty for us all.

I am doing the best that I can. Each day gets easier.

I am deeply grateful for all the love in my life.

Kindness starts with kindness towards myself.

I have dozens of opportunities a day to laugh at myself and only a few to laugh at others. Only a fool would choose the lesser when the greater is so present.

It's important to let myself experience the grief I feel when something has ended.

Attitude determines how I handle and survive life.

You may encounter the phrase, "The gift of cancer." It may take some time, but you may come to see it this way,

After you've been frozen in your tracks with the diagnosis, perhaps sometime during the treatment period - or maybe even months after your recovery, you will discover "the gift." Every crisis contains the seed of opportunity. Open your spirit as you would open the earth to plant a flower's seed. Give yourself permission. If you will allow yourself, you can find beauty in any beast, even cancer.

Each person's "gift" differs. Cancer may be your opportunity to discover a community of caring, compassion and love made up of fellow cancer patients, sensitive counselors and dear, dear friends. The resounding grace of these individuals impacts the very essence of the human spirit. You may feel totally unprepared for the unconditional love that is available during your encounters with members of your healing community. If your own support system is small, reach out to a cancer support group. While some expect a somber, serious setting, they are often surprised to discover bright, hopeful personalities that work hard to turn pain and numbness to laughter

Your journey to these remarkable resources requires no suitcase or ticket. The only prerequisite is an openness of spirit - an attitude that seeks to find blessings in adversity. Prepare to be filled with faith and interior joy. Always seek the light: the darkness will dissipate. By being mindful of the present moment, you likely will discover a totally different world filled with abundance.

Though most likely your prognosis is good, you cannot help but question your mortality. Permit yourself to step out of the immediate terror and assess your situation somewhat objectively. Draw upon your personal faith, confidence in your medical treatment plan, and whatever else you value for strength. A world of opportunity awaits...and your cancer diagnosis gives you "permission" to go exploring!

What have you always longed to do, but haven't? What old friends have you been meaning to see, but haven't? What relationships would you like to repair? Take advantage of cancer's wake-up call, and start living your life as only you can.

Want to act a little crazy? Want to do something out of character? Want to pursue a long lost dream? The gift of cancer gives you permission. It's amazing what you can get away with now - if you really want to. Chances are what you want to do is not that outrageous - it's only convention and habit that have prevented you from stepping out of your self-imposed boundaries.

Granted, practicalities may deter you from following every whim to its fullest. But allow yourself to consider the possibilities. Dreams frequently have a way of making reality more palatable. Readjust your life as you feel you are able. Make plans for the future - because you do, indeed, have a future. Even those with the most dismal prognosis, can and should look forward. Hope always exists. Don't insist that every moment be perfect, but attempt to see the most positive aspect of every moment.

Are you cherishing each moment of your life or is it a rushed blur? When was the last time you felt awestruck by a magnificent sunrise or sunset? Have you recently savored the warmth of sunlight on your face or the coolness of wind cradling your body? Do you take time to watch the stars sparkle and dance in the sky or what about the ever-changing panorama of cloud sculpture? The gift of cancer can bring a remarkable clarity and closeness with the environment. I now have a clear appreciation of the Native American blessing "draw strength from Mother Earth while accepting peace from our Father in Heaven." Simply allow yourself time to commune with nature, and you are apt to find yourself filled with wonder, astonishment and peace.

"Inhale peace; exhale despair." "Breathe in hope; blow out fear." "Inhale healing; exhale disease." "Breathe in love; blow out turmoil." Mindful meditations. Sensory awareness. Healing touch. The gift of cancer puts you in touch with an entire community of caring individuals eager to equip you with tools for coping with everyday stress that others may never know exist.

Now may be a time that you learn how much you are truly loved and cherished. Those "others" who have avoided a life threatening diagnosis may never experience the outpouring of affection and respect that you likely will. Let yourself discover how many people truly love and admire you. Harness the energy of those loving thoughts that surround you - both near and far. Embrace this affection as an integral part of your healing.

Let yourself be open to the love that is waiting to surround you. Love is everywhere...waiting to be tapped. Don't be afraid to tell those close to you how much you love them. Chances are they need to hear those words as much as you need to say them. Likely, you will be astonished at the extent of your support system. Now is not a time for isolation. Express your feelings like you never have before. Always remember: hugs are wonderful healing tools. Allow relationships to strengthen and deepen. Now is also a time when someone close may disappoint you. Be careful. Don't let an unfortunate incident put you off the path of self-discovery and healing. New friends will emerge if you grant permission. Your circle of caring will continue to expand. Be open. Acquaintances once taken for granted may soon develop into your most cherished friends and soul mates.

On a practical side, learn to become an excellent manager. Delegate. As you are able, allow others to manage your appointments, your home, and your daily needs as you focus on healing. What complications of your life can you release to someone else? Accepting assistance is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength in that you know who you are - and what you need. In accepting offers of help, you are giving to the giver as much as he or she is to you.

The gift of cancer brings a new awareness of your body; its strengths, its weaknesses. If you use your gift wisely, you'll learn how to cope with your fluctuating energy reserves. Chronic fatigue was, perhaps, the most difficult "gift" that I had to accept. Hopefully, you will learn the following lesson quicker than I did. Think of your energy level as a bank account. More than ever before in your life, you must replace with rest what you withdraw with activity - or you will soon be overdrawn! Pace yourself. Like many of the gifts, this one translates into your everyday life - long after you complete treatment.

Recognition and acceptance of death as a natural transition of life will likely come to you sooner than most. Yes, confronting your own mortality is uncomfortable. But you must. The gift of cancer can bring a sense of peace and serenity that few know. After you have dealt with the possibility of dying, you are freed to savor the reality of living.

Live, laugh, love as though your life depended on it - it does. Wiggle your toes in a carpet of grass. Be open to the romance of life. Laugh a lot. Cry when you feel like it. Let the child in you emerge. Talk about your dreams, your fears, your expectations. Take time to listen. Discover your source of peace and strength. Spend time there. Touch and be touched.

In the end, it's love. Cherish yourself and others. Find joy in everyday experiences. Allow yourself peace. Embrace each day.
Carpe diem!

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot shut out memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the spirit,
It cannot lessen the power of God.

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