This is me, Jenn Vance, age 27, young and feeling invincible:
I figured with it being the beginning of a new year, and therefore when resolutions are traditionally made, it would be a great opportunity to discuss the most important aspect of ensuring those goals are achieved. This also transcends into every aspect of our lives and that is the power of positive thinking and mindset.
When we first set goals and resolutions it’s exciting. We’re pumped for the outcome, and that we’ve decided on making some great changes in our lives and a lot of times we don’t count on days that will be hard or discouraging. These are the days that can make or break your resolution. They are when it’s determined how badly you want something and it takes some real grit and strong mindsets. To be honest, in this era of social media, it’s extra discouraging at these times because all we ever see is what our facebook friends are willing to share and it’s not usually the crappy times. We can feel alone and that we just want to give up. It’s normal to have these times. I remember going through cancer treatment and I would go on facebook. I would see everyone apparently happy in relationships, having kids, getting engaged, getting promotions and all the fitness people looking amazing! It would make me cry and I would just think ‘well isn’t this awesome, everyone else has a happy life that’s moving forward and I am bald, feel like crap and fighting for my life.’
It was so hard to see anything positive in these times, let alone even accomplish goals for myself. It frigging sucked!
I, however, made a decision in the beginning that I was going to live and I was going to live fully, so screw any limitations that might be as they were only in my head. I would approach this with humour, openness and positivity. What can I say… I don’t like feeling like I am not in control normally, let alone during one of the most important and impactful times of my life. Those 3 decisions changed the course of my life and didn’t just help me survive but they made sure I thrived!
This is me, 27, during my third chemo session (notice the awesome wig! Sometimes I miss just being able to throw on a wig and have perfect hair…but not having to hold it down when it was windy lol):
I hired my friend and personal trainer, Tara Minacs, to train me throughout my treatment because I was determined my whole life wasn’t coming to a halt (and at least now I wouldn’t have to worry about hair being in my face while I worked out). I told my boss I would only miss my treatment days and maybe the following business day and that’s it (it was every other Friday). I told my family I would still be living on my own, but they could watch my dog every other weekend and I wouldn’t turn down a free home cooked meal if it just happened to make its way into my fridge. I went out and bought 3 totally different wigs to wear because I was going to have fun. These can appear to be small and a part of a normal life, but I have never seen so many incredulous and skeptical looks as when I told people my decisions. Clearly, I didn’t let that stop me. This was my life and my goal was to LIVE my life, not just get through it. Because I approached it in small ways, and in a very determined and positive way, I achieved them (but that didn’t mean I didn’t have those woe poor is me days).
This is a list I found on my ipad from last year:
August 25, 2012
Positives in having cancer.
1. You get a great look at the compassion in people. Which is amazing in a time that there is so much fighting and violence.
2. Your close friends become closer, and the not so good ones get weeded out.
3. So many scary things like talking to cute guys or telling people what you think is no longer scary. If I’m not afraid of cancer I’m not afraid of anything!
4. I have a chance to inspire and leave a positive impact.
5. Facing your own mortality gives you a strange sense of freedom.
6. My boobs have been so handled, poked, cut etc and seen by I swear half of the Oshawa hospital, topless beaches are nothing.
7. I get time off work.
8. Red wine is an antioxidant as is dark chocolate….I can now drink to help heal my cancer! I’m just fighting it with the tools at my disposal.
9. Women always say they would just love to shave their heads at bad hair days….I actually get to.
10. Going with the previous, I won’t have to shave, cause it sucks when your running late and realize you didn’t shave your legs and your wearing a skirt and you’re probably going going on a date lol.
11. I can sleep in in the mornings and save like 45 min doing hair before going out cause I just get to pull on a wig.
12. I can change up my look easily, and when an annoying customer is looking for the young redhead, well I’m the blonde so wasn’t me!
13. I will win halloween costume contests as G.I. Jane. I mean I went so far as to shave my head….or really what person makes the cancer patient lose.
14. I am gonna be really awesome at selling insurance at work cause it paid off my debt!
15. I will be debt free!
16. I get fake boobs that will never sag for free courtesy of the government.
17. Would a cop give a cancer patient a speeding ticket if they say they are going to a chemo appt. Probably not!
18. I kinda feel invincible, it would be too ironic to die of anything else.
19. I appreciate my body more.
20. Did I mention I’m debt free
21. I can probably get to the front of lines now
22. If I know I am going to have a difficult client, screw the wig i will wear a scarf so they are too focused on my lack of hair and just sign where I tell them.
23. I don’t get lost walking through the hospital.
24. I am probably the only woman just under 30 who is actually excited for her 30th birthday.
25. I get to have a “say ta ta to my tata’s” party
I made the above list to help me find the positives in what I was going through and to serve as a reminder to maintain that mindset. I actually came up with 25 different things. I referenced it a bit at the beginning but then it became such second nature I forgot I even had it until the other day (fake it till you make it apparently works for this and for eyebrows!). When I reread it I laughed and cried because it was all so true. All those positives actually happened. I defied everyone’s ideas on what I was going to experience and how I would experience it, even the people who knew me best, even myself at times.
So my advice when setting your new goals for the year if you really want to achieve them, which I hope you would because why else would you pick them?would be to:
Happy New Year and Happy Goal Achieving