Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
- Victor Frankl

Cancer Saved My Life

At the age of 23, I was diagnosed with Melanoma. 

Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers. However, it’s much more dangerous if it’s not found in the early stages. It causes the majority (75%) of deaths related to skin cancer worldwide. To be diagnosed at such an early age is extremely uncommon.

I had visited 3 different dermatologists who had turned me away suggesting I was too young, not the right demographic, and didn’t exhibit any of the common signs that would suggest it could be cancer. I trusted my gut and insisted on having a biopsy done.

Had I not insisted, I would not be here today.

The looks I get from people who find out that I’ve had cancer range from shock to genuine heart-ache, disbelief, surprise, pity, and the list goes on. I usual just ask for a high-five instead. Here’s why.

Cancer literally saved my life. 

Before being diagnosed with cancer I was living, but I was far from thriving. I knew deep down what I wanted, but was playing too small to go out and get it.

The day my diagnosis came in, I was at work (at a job that I hated) and was told to drive to the hospital where a surgeon was already booked and waiting for me. It was that serious.

I drove myself to my appointment. Alone.

This drive is the most vivid memory I have of my life to date, next to the birth of my daughter, Winslowe. 

Here’s what came up for me…

I realized that I truly wanted children and a beautiful family of my own – up until this moment I wasn’t sure if I did. I had come from a broken home and had lived on my own since the age of 17, so the idea of being responsible for another person had scared me until that day.

I realized I wasn’t living my passion or my purpose. I was drained, burnt-out and miserable almost daily with the path I had chosen.

I knew in my soul that there was WAY more I was here to do and to become.

What awake up call.

I got to see and feel in my mind and heart what I would be missing if I let cancer win.

So, I fought back.

Yep, I kicked Cancer’s ass! POWWWW, just like that.

It wasn’t easy – I felt alone, scared and defeated often. The recovery was long and painful. But I made it.

Now, I’m grateful every day to be here, to be able to make a difference, to be more , do more, have more, live more, create more, help more.

My family and friends are INCREDIBLE, I work with some AMAZING people, and I’m healthier and more vibrant today in my 30’s than I’ve ever been before in my life.

Cancer introduced me to living MY BEST LIFE.

“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

Here are some of the tips and lessons I value most today as a result of being faced with death:

  • Health is the greatest form of WEALTH: So many of us squander our health in pursuit of wealth only to spend all our wealth to later regain our health, this breaks my heart.
  • If you love someone TELL THEM.
  • You’re STRONGER than you ever imagined.
  • Wear your invisible CROWN every day and hold your head high. You are AWESOME!
  • If you want something ask for it, or better yet CREATE IT.
  • Don’t waste a moment of your life, TIME is the only resource that once spent is gone forever.
  • Don’t count the MOMENTS, make every moment count.
  • LIVE a life you LOVE.
  • Leave a legacy for those you love.
  • Ditch the negative people. Let them lead miserable lives, but not YOU.
  • Be KIND because kindness always wins.
  • Hang around people that will LIFT you higher, that inspire you and that want only the very best for you.
  • Life is short, make sure you’re choosing happiness every day.
  • Leave the world a better and happier place than you found it.
  • We are all meant to shine…if you’re feeling dull, it may be time to reassess what matters to you.

 

“When it comes to life the critical thing is, whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”

– Gilbert Chesterton

I encourage you to ask yourself the really tough questions. I’m cheering you on to create a life that you truly LOVE and deserve.

Don’t wait for life to throw you a curve ball.

Don’t wait for permission.

You are worth it and the world needs you!

In health, wealth, and badass living,

xo Lav

One Response to “Cancer Saved My Life”

  1. elle jones says:

    You are awesome. Over the past year I too went through a life changer, and adversity. I almost lost my life twice after developing necrotizing fascitis. This is rare and it is flesh eating disease. It still kick me sometimes. I’m still healing, and blessed to be alive. I lost a lot of Confide , and it scared me silly where I still fear often. I found out who I trust, live me, and still see me for me, and not my ailments.

    Tha K you for your share it has inspired me. I don’t feel so alone.

    Best
    Elle xoxo

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