Do you ever feel that life is unbearable because of the many challenges that you have in your life? I would like to share with you some examples of two courageous women who are overcoming their personal challenges and taking charge of their lives. It’s very empowering to see examples of how people overcome challenges, both large and small.
Mary Elizabeth Williams, a writer, consultant, and commentator was faced with melanoma. After her diagnosis, she documented her journey in a series of articles published on Salon.com and later in a book.
A year after her surgery, Williams faced stage-four melanoma and was told it had spread to her lung, back, and bloodstream. Despite incredible odds of recovery, she was able to battle the cancer by taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join a clinical trial for immunotherapy. To inspire and help others, she wrote a book, entitled, A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles: A True Story of Life, Science, and Cancer. In her book, she details her experiences as a patient and a medical test subject, reveals what it takes to combat cancer, and discusses the healing power of human connection.
Corinne Christensen, a mother of three, is a survivor of breast and brain cancer. Several years ago, she was given a diagnosis of stage-three breast cancer and later stage-four brain cancer. Dr. Helen Sidebotham, her radiation oncologist, was awed by Christensen’s unwavering optimism and appreciation for life, despite her diagnosis.
Christensen said that when you have cancer, and particularly when your cancer progresses, it is absolutely essential to keep your eye on the prize of wellness and to remain confident. She gives talks to inspire other people with cancer to keep the faith, no matter what happens. She wants to help understands the incredible healing power of a positive attitude.
Dr. Sidebotham said that in addition to treating patients medically, she makes patients aware of the emotional journey they face. She explains that being diagnosed with cancer, regardless of what stage, will bring them through a grieving process similar to that felt with any great loss, because they actually have lost something very valuable to them, their good health. She informs her patients that their grieving process will have an end, and that they will regain their strength and confidence.
Challenges are part of our lives. As these strong women have demonstrated, the quality of our lives depends on how we respond to them. Dr. Sidebotham brought out an interesting point about going through a grieving process when dealing with a challenge. There is a loss in any challenge. Our lives are not the same in a good or bad way. Change is difficult.
You can overcome challenges! Although difficult, I’ve gained strength and wisdom from them. I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.