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3 Traits That Can Help You Beat Breast Cancer
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I often contemplate the traits that help people overcome adversity. I especially love to talk to people who have beat breast cancer and tell their stories like triumphant warriors. For a while I attributed their power to optimism, now I know better.
Years before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my cousin told me that she couldn’t get cancer because she is an upbeat and optimistic person. I am sure she thought I was lacking in her optimistic spirit when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. She may have overlooked the fact that although we come from the same genetic line that tested positive for the BRCA 2 genetic mutation, her father was not a carrier and mine was. The likelihood that I would develop breast cancer was 80% to her 12% risk.
Optimism really is in my trait mix, however, I am convinced that there are even more important traits that are required to help us triumph in the battle that ensues once we are diagnosed with breast cancer. In truth you are not able to be optimistic without them. Hopefulness, boldness and resilience – these are the traits that truly help us to become not only survivors, but victors over the disease.
Hope is a significant factor in helping people pursue the best treatment options and seek the next cure. Hopelessness on the other hand leads to depression. Without hope people eventually lose the will to survive and thrive. I don’t believe that people are born with hope. We choose to be hopeful. Choosing hope means listening to the positive statements; believing you are in the statistic that beats the odds. I choose to believe that I am in the percentage of people that survive 20 years beyond breast cancer! Hope for the best outcome always.
Beyond hope is boldness. Being bold can be an in-your-face attitude, or it can be quiet and polite but it is always assertive and consistent. It is knocking at the door until someone answers. It is asking your doctor the hard questions and pressing him/her for answers. Being bold is getting what you need when you need it without taking offense that people are ignoring you – in fact you don’t let them ignore you.
People call breast cancer survivors strong. That strength comes from resilience. A tree in a storm doesn’t break if it can bend. Breast cancer may bend us, but it can’t break us if we are resilient. Being knocked down is Ok, because we know it is just a matter of time before we get back up. Resilience is the trait that ensures we will thrive and shine because we do bounce back. It takes practice to take the punches that breast cancer throws and keep on shining, but we get better and more resilient each time we do.
None of these traits comes naturally. Each trait comes with the choice to look upward from the bottom and see the light shining from above. Steel yourself with the decision to be hopeful, bold and resilient regardless of what comes and you won’t just survive, you will shine!
Survive and Shine
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