Getting a diagnosis of cancer changed me. This was the first time in my life where I was forced to come face to face with my own mortality. We all think we are going to live forever. I was focused on my career, my children and growing my collection of nice things. When you don’t think you are ever going to die, your priorities don’t extend beyond the next goal you have set for yourself.
I don’t know if there is a magic age where our priorities shift and you start to focus on retirement, and building and leaving a legacy for the world. But when you finally realize with certainty, that your life has a finite end, and that end may come much sooner than you expect, your focus changes. After my surgery, I asked myself a question. If I died today, what legacy would I leave to the world? What positive contribution did I make to society? I had an epiphany. I found my purpose. I realized that my purpose in life was not just to exist, but to use my life experiences to create positive change.
Many of you already know, that periods of great suffering can bring about positive change. To be honest, I didn’t realize that cancer would be the life experience to change me. Treating cancer patients has always given me great satisfaction, but I never felt that my touch went any farther than that particular family that was touched by my expertise. Now I’m creating something that will leave my unique fingerprint on the world. The Beauty of Cancer is my fingerprint. I’m filling a void that I discovered as I traveled my cancer journey. It’s a void that will be filled long after I am gone. I
How did cancer help me find my purpose?
- Cancer forced me to sit still long enough to think about what my unique gifts and talents are.
- Cancer made me remember why I chose a career in medicine in the first place.
- Cancer illuminated the teaching moments in my experience that I could use to help others.
- Cancer allowed me to see what was missing and how I could use my expertise to fill the gaps.
I’m still doing what I love to do. I’m just not a basic doctor anymore. I’m a Doctorpatient, and a Doctorprenuer. I fight the battle from both sides. I live my life on purpose, with a new purpose that I never had before. My actions are intentional.
At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; Not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Author Unknown
Getting cancer helped me to find my true purpose. I am living a life my chidren will be proud of. They will be happy to say that their mommy is The Beauty of Cancer.