“The good news is you’re 17 and you have leukemia, but the bad
news is… you’re 17 and you have leukemia.”
right. I’d come home from school and sleep ’til eight. I was off my food. I’d been getting weaker and weaker, losing my strength and speed week by week despite training almost 2 hours a day. I’d put it down to exams and stress. But damn… it was far from that.
Now what? All my – and my parents’ – last hopes had extinguished with the final test; a bone marrow biopsy. It hurts just as bad as it sounds… they stick a needle through your hip and suck out what’s inside. In my case, as a healthy, strong, near-adult, it took 3 doctors and lots of sweat just to pierce the bone.
In the end though… that was all denial.
Questions raced through my mind…
I hadn’t done anything bad to anyone as far as I’d known… I was fit, hard working and I ate healthy.
FOR GOD’S SAKE… I WAS ONLY SEVENTEEN!
who smoked of something??
This man I’d met just yesterday glanced at his peers and looked me dead in the eyes.
“About 10-20% that you’d survive the next five years.”
I cried. For ages. No matter how much my parents, nurses and close friends would try and console me – I wouldn’t listen. How could I? I was 17 and probably wouldn’t live to see 21.
What would you do?
How could they know what I was going through? How could they take away the fact that I only had a tiny chance of surviving?
It’s through this attitude that I learned – there’s always a second way to look at
And when you take a step back, and question what you’re doing, you’ll be able to see the path that leads to you being happiest and healthiest in life.
From there… taking that path isn’t the brave, or strong thing to do going forwards. It becomes the only logical thing to do.
This mindset helped me find a way to deal with the cancer.
And if it could help me see something to smile about, days after being told I’d probably be dead in the next few years… It can help you accomplish whatever you want in life too.
I was fit, I ate healthy, and I could eat a LOT – so I could take the hardest treatments, and wouldn’t waste away as some people do during chemo.
But… the good news was, I was SEVENTEEN and had leukemia.
to look much bigger in my eyes.
I started reading a book given to me by my mother. It was about a doctor who’d happened to develop bowel cancer. He witnessed the grief the other patients endured during their treatment, but in particular, he was struck by how they acted like it was a death sentence. He asked himself one simple question…
Why did they feel down about something they couldn’t control? Why were they acting as if they were definitely going to die? Why did they see the treatment as only something that brings misery when wasn’t it also a medicine? The very thing that could get him through this?
You may be thinking, that’s awesome man. Good on you.
But I could never do that.
You may be thinking… that’s pretty cool… but how does that affect me?
Why wait for cancer, like I did, to live a happier, healthier life?
So, what had cancer taught me?
And how could this help you?
You can’t get everything you want, you can’t cheat death. But they will help your chances along a damn sight. And remember – you will ALWAYS have a choice on how you view your life.
A talk I did about my story… that outlines how this can help you guys too!
– There is ALWAYS a second way to look at things.
– If you’re doubting yourself or afraid
to do something or afraid of what people are thinking of you… ask yourself WHY over and over again, until you see a second way of looking at things. Something you can control. Something that may help you get your goals in life or the fact that you always have the choice on how something affects you.
Too often we don’t do what we really want to because of the fear of rejection or what others would think. Why do we have to do that? Why should we stop ourselves from enjoying who we are for others when we can disregard them and be happy with ourselves and our choices?
– Acknowledge that the journey to anything will be
hard, and plan ahead to overcome these. But instead of being scared of them, understand that just being able to foresee these challenges makes you more likely to get past them. Because you’ll have time to figure them out, you won’t be surprised and you won’t think you’ll fail in the face of adversity, but be MORE LIKELY TO GET PAST THEM.
So, here’s a few steps to help you accomplish your goals, or get out of a hard place with these ideas. It doesn’t have to relate to sickness like me (though it can) and if you ever need help getting there, post a comment down below or message me on my Facebook Page (I get messages from patients and regular people all the time asking for help or advice – and I’m glad to help).
Step 1 –> Assure yourself you can do it.
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has something about them that can help them do anything. For me in my battle, it was that I was young. For others going through the same thing, it could be their faith, it could be their family, it could be the brilliant, top class care they’re receiving. IT COULD BE ANYTHING AND EVERYONE HAS IT. For someone who may want to make it to the top of a sport, it could be their speed, strength or, alternatively, their mind and ability to analyse and act on situations quickly and efficiently. If you want to make a top school or course in college or uni, or get a new job or promotion, it could be your ability to think quickly, your dedication or YOU COULD WORK ON YOURSELF TO HAVE THESE THINGS, bit by bit.
Remember, there’s always a second way to look at things. So if you can’t see something straight away, you will ALWAYS have, or can ALWAYS develop the characteristics, qualities or skills necessary to be the best you can be. And no matter how hard times may seem, you can always bust out of them.
STEP 2 –> Acknowledge the challenges in your way. But plan ahead and know that, because you know they’re there, you’re
going to blow by them.
do it. But don’t make that mistake of getting overconfident and wasting your
opportunities because of that, and don’t allow your resolve to waver when you find
yourself facing an obstacle.
as distractions – things like too much gaming or social media or even partying too much. I should know, I spent almost a month wasting time before beginning to write this. But after a while of wasting time, ask yourself why? Why am I
having fun scrolling down facebook aimlessly when my real interest is the beauty I can make from taking and editing photos of nature? Why shouldn’t I enjoy studying maths when I can feel that satisfaction from finding out why I
was going wrong and next time getting those questions right?
look at it from another perspective. Instead of enjoying downing a box of Krispy Kremes, think instead about the pain you’d get the next day from the stomach ache. If you don’t like running aimlessly, why do it? Try playing a sport you like, like basketball for me, or do other things – like playing laser tag or paintball or even just walking with a friend or a pet for a half hour per day.
laziness, or lack of motivation. You know that on some days you may be lazy, but remember your goal and all those things you have on your side to help you achieve it. When you don’t feel like doing anything, ask yourself why? Soon enough you’ll be back on target.
write a word in a book, you should have an idea of what your actions will do for your goal and why. Going in blindly or overconfidently into anything will reduce your chances of success. But if you do your reading, and know where you’re going, you’ll get there a lot quicker.
doctors who were doing that for me, and they could answer any other questions I had on my treatment and things like hygiene and what to eat.
understand how a teacher did a problem, why should you feel stupid for asking her to explain it to you again? The second, and better way to look at it, is to ask yourself how much more stupid you would feel when you got the test back and failed because you couldn’t solve a similar problem? If you don’t know the best exercise regime for you, ask a personal trainer. They’re big, but they don’t bite.
today’s society – where information or advice can be harnessed from the tap of a few keys and the clicks of you mouse.
time, just as simple.
all your research on the other team’s players and strategies are done, all you’ve got to do is get your body and your team ready to execute moves, shots and plays. So you shoot your shots. You lift those weights. You run those sprints. You dribble through cones and cones. If you’re in the gym, worried about looking weak compared to the older kids or bodybuilders, or slow against the sprinters on the track, don’t change your technique to lift more, or worse yet, give up altogether. Why feel that everyone thinks you’re weak, or horrible at what you’re doing when, if you look at it another way, you’ll end up in front of them in time by doing it the right way, consistently? You’d only look stupid if you hurt yourself by doing it unsafely. Why harm yourself to look
good for others? Read about how Nikhil overcame his fear of judgement and became the most confident version of himself here!
know that you’ve done your practice, you’ve got your teammates, your skills.
You’ll acknowledge it won’t be easy and that the other team may be good. But you’ll remember you’ve got everything on your side. And that you won’t doubt yourself on the court because of that. And that you’ve given yourself the best
chance of winning.
happy. And I hope what I’ve written will help you do that.
I really encourage you guys to share this one amongst your friends/family in particular –> especially with those who are in really tough circumstances. Hopefully it’ll help them find a way past their sadness and get back to being their best.
https://www.facebook.com/musingsofamedstudentpatient <– If you or a loved one needs help, message me here. Same deal if you enjoy my blogs, or if you’re interested in medicinish related stuff (don’t worry, I don’t get too technical and I always keep my blogs user friendly).