Cultivating Resilience with Metastatic Breast Cancer

 Last month while at the C4YW conference in Orlando, I attended a talk about Resiliency. Resiliency is defined as the ability to return to the original form, or position after being bent, compressed or stretched.  The ability to recover from illness, depression or adversity is also resiliency.

     In the year 2010 after receiving a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis, family tragedy, loss of income and more you could say I was definitely bent, compressed, stretched, smashed… the list goes on, but what I chose to do with all this was what made me resilient. While I did have some terrible sadness, I chose to be grateful for what I had that was still good. I chose to be excited about my future, rather than dwelling on what had just happened in my past. I chose in no uncertain terms to have a deep appreciation for life and everything it had to offer. I chose HOPE.

     Remaining in a positive mind-set, setting boundaries against negativity, keeping humor in your life, and being optimistic are all resilient traits we should all strive to cultivate in our daily lives. Not letting the little things get us down, not dwelling on the negative, but instead seeing that proverbial silver lining are imperative to our overall well-being.

     Any one of us has the ability to overcome these things if we want to. And that right there is the key. You have to want to overcome, you have to make yourself resilient, be strong, be grateful, have faith… life isn’t always perfect, but living life is a gift and it should always be treasured.

by Norma Pitzer-Kelly

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