Following Your Dreams After a Cancer Diagnosis

In Breast Cancer, Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

When someone is given a diagnosis of cancer, your life is changed forever. Your life becomes doctors’ appointments, testing, assessments and decisions about everything from the cancer treatment to how to handle everything else in your life. There seems to be no time for thinking about anything outside of the immediate choices that have to be made and more than likely some significant changes in your lifestyle. And everything else is set aside.

No matter what that cancer diagnosis might be and/or what the prognosis is your dream becomes more important than ever. Barbara Jacoby

This is fine as long as those hopes and dreams and goals are only moved temporarily and not permanently discarded. I am not referring to the proverbial bucket lists of things you want to do as I personally can’t even make one since I live in the moment and go where life leads me. But, beyond that, just because you have come to a fork in the road where you have to deal with the cancer, it doesn’t mean that all dreams are lost forever. In fact, that is the last thing that should happen.

No matter who you are, where you have been and what you may have accomplished in life, if you don’t have dreams that you want to pursue or new goals to reach, you will have no incentive or reason to get out of bed in the morning. You will view your life as being completed and therefore you will just sit back and watch the world pass you by. Facing a cancer diagnosis without any goals and dreams to reach will leave you without any incentives to keep going.

Just ask anyone who you know who has had cancer! It may be that the dream is to watch their children grow up and go to college and get married and have time to meet the grandchildren. Perhaps a career change has always been what you they have wanted to make. Maybe they have wanted to move to another part of the country or the world in order to be closer to family or enjoy their favorite mountains or the ocean on a full-time basis. Or maybe they wanted to spend their time hitting every karaoke bar within a three-county range so that they could socialize with their friends and sing their hearts out.

No matter what that cancer diagnosis might be and/or what the prognosis is your dream becomes more important than ever. It takes the focus from the medical and allows you to focus on what you are going to tackle first after the current round of chemo has been completed. It allows for you to think of all of the things you want to do and make an action plan to move forward as soon as you don’t have to go to doctor appointments every week or so. And if you don’t know what it is that you would like to do when you have some personal time again, you can think about it and really give it the attention that is needed to find a path to follow that puts a smile on your face just thinking about it.

Whatever it may be, it is never too late. It doesn’t have to become your future career or it doesn’t have to be something that you share with others and it is not a choice that should be made by anyone else. And if you do choose to try something that you have always wanted to do and it turns out to be something that you find that you really don’t want to pursue over a period of time, you can always walk away with the knowledge that you gave it a try and now you no longer have to wonder “what if”.

I guess it comes down to the fact that we all need motivation to take on and move through the big things in life. But, if we are able to focus on dreams and hopes for the future and how we can bring about the results that we want, we might move through our treatment and recovery with greater ease with the knowledge that when we finish, or reach some pre-set point along the way, we will be taking our first steps toward achieving our dreams. I promise you that nothing can compare with the hope for the future and the achievement of something that lives in your heart. It makes all of the difference in the world.