Happiness Because of Illness

I don't like that I got cancer. Still, many good things have come out of the illness experience. Many joyful moments have happened because of my illness.

For example, false alarms. It's an unpleasant emotional rollercoaster to develop a suspicious lump or abnormal blood test that prompts a bunch of anxiety-provoking (and uncomfortable and expensive) tests, only to find out that the worrisome problem was totally benign and doesn't need further evaluation or treatment. Given a choice, I'd prefer to avoid all false alarms.

As a Healthy Survivor, I accept that false alarms are part of the landscape of survivorship. I try to focus on the good side of the ordeal: when I get the news that my worrisome sign or symptom is, in fact, a false alarm, my relief feels glorious. As I explain on page 111 of Healing Hope--Through and Beyond Cancer, "False alarms give me reasons to celebrate. I can stop wondering and worrying what the symptom means. I don't have to deal with new treatments. Yay, I'm okay."   

You'll never hear me say my cancer is a gift. Still, many gifts can come out of my unwanted illness. At the same time I've hated getting sick I've treasured the beautiful moments that have happened because of my illness.

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