The song “Let it Go” from the popular Disney movie “Frozen” landed on my Spotify playlist on a day when my heart was broken after being rejected by an adoption agency refusing us to become parents because of my fatal illness”. Now, I’ve always loved that song and loved the movie, but in that moment I swore my heartache couldn’t be what killed my joy. Although my husband and I have dreamed of being parents for years and have tried every possible path to parenthood, we have officially “let go”.
We let go of things we can’t change, difficulties that make us angry, and stress that isn’t worth wasting our time. Instead, we find our joy, create happiness, and seek light in adventure.
Stage 4 breast cancer permanently scarred me with a fear of dying, but all I want to do is live and be proud when I left this life doing whatever I can to other breast cancer patients. For almost two years, I was robbed. I put everything on hold, letting cancer take the path of life.
One day in June 2020, I stood at my kitchen sink and knew that I wanted to be free from this pain and this life of cancer controlling every decision. I didn’t go through any negative thoughts, but I wanted to regain control. I had been stable for four months, had fired my second oncologist and was getting my life back together. From then on, I decided to let go of any past feelings of frustration due to misdiagnosis and wasted time.
I was giving up cancer control for the last time and putting my new priorities and goals first. I let go of the knowledge that I will never be without the anxiety of seeing my cancer grow again and I let go of the idea of a return to “my old self”. I was now focusing on the “new me”.
It’s easy to complain and be negative, but it’s hard to give up on something forever and not come back to it.
“Let it Go” gave me the philosophy I needed to remind myself that I held on to all my expectations, my struggles, my obstacles, my courage and my grace. Many times I wrote on a piece of paper what I let go, crumpled it up and burned it. My favorite was to do it with silly debt consolidation letters or free ads in the mail.
A year and a half later, “letting go” has become the best thing for my survival. A terminal illness is an emotional test for mental health, and in the cancer community, the resources are still not where they are needed for me. Instead, I’ve met online in breast cancer groups, so many meta sisters, pink sisters, and other cancer warriors who have helped heal my sanity. Keeping a journal or even listing my priorities each day, week and month in my planner really helps me focus. Above all, music is my choice for my healing and rebirth.
It’s always a hard choice to let things go and not affect me. But this philosophy is my shield; this is how I deal with difficulties and frustrations and how I protect my joy. Joy is not easily found in abundance in adulthood, and I have understood how to find more joy in these last three and a half years with cancer. Small moments of joy sometimes make the best memories because it’s the little unexpected things that allow us to become grateful, humble and kind.
My advice to anyone going through difficulties with cancer is to put on “Let it Go”, close your eyes and think of something you want to let go of.
Can you do it? Can you write it down, crumble it and burn it? Open your eyes, believe you can and you will.
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