Getting Through Tough Times
- 2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year for so many.
- Cancer survivors share with the SurvivorNet community what gets them through their most difficult days.
- Their words of strength, encouragement, hope, and understanding may just help you look at things a little bit differently.
Lauren Chiarello is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor
Lauren was just 23-years-old when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After her treatment, she learned to embrace her “new normal” and has an outlook on life that we envy. During 2020, a year so many of us are struggling with, she brings us back down to earth and gives us reason to stay positive.
Read More“Resilience is leaning into life’s challenges, giving yourself grace plus finding gratitude in what is present. There is an element of being relentless plus never giving up.”
Ann Caruso is a Breast Cancer Survivor
Stylist Ann Caruso is a huge proponent of gratitude for all the blessings in life. She says:
“It is especially important to take the time to remind ourselves of the things we are grateful for like being alive, the connection with family, friends, that we have a roof over our heads, etc.”
“This turns the focus on the positive which enables us to then take care of ourselves so we can be there for others. We have been shown that we have a huge resilience to heal during times of strife, it’s about finding tools to keep us sane, happy, and healthy during this time of uncertainty.”
Ramy Gafni is a Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor
Makeup artist Ramy Gafni is all about the “this too shall pass” outlook, which is so helpful when encountering tough moments. He says: “During this difficult time (pandemic, elections, crime) I remind myself that the present situation will pass and is not forever. It’s important to find your happiness where and when you can. I had a chapter called Beauty Therapy in my first book which was about how to look and feel your best while living with cancer.”
“When I went through Cancer, I looked at cancer as a big pie and decided that each day was a slice of the pie and I only needed to get through that slice each day. It made it easier to get through the pie successfully. So, get through your slice today as best you can, and don’t worry about tomorrow’s slice.”
He goes on, “Beauty therapy is about doing anything you can to lift your mood, whether it’s getting a manicure, shoe shopping, or an at-home facial. The key is to carve time out for yourself to re-boot and relax. If you watch old sitcoms and films, you’ll see that every generation thought the World is crazy and at it’s worst at that moment, yet we now know that those bad times passed.”
Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a Two-Time Colon Cancer Survivor
Danielle Ripley-Burgess was first diagnosed with colon cancer in high school, and beat the disease not once, but twice. The emotions around cancer can be overwhelming, but Ripley-Burgess looks at the glass as half-full: “As I’ve worked through the complex emotions of cancer, I’ve uncovered some beautiful things: Wisdom. Love. Life purpose. Priorities. I carry a very real sense that life is short and I’m grateful to be living it! This has made me optimistic. Optimism doesn’t mean that fear, pain, and division don’t exist – they do. Our world is full of negativity, judgment, and hate. Optimism means that I believe there’s always good to be found despite the bad, and this is what my life is centered around.”
“As cancer survivors, we have a choice to make about how to live our lives. Despite the chaos in our bodies, our country, and the world, we don’t have to live as victims or villains.”
She goes on, “We can choose to stay positive, treat others with respect, and look for the light in spite of the darkness. This type of attitude and behavior will lead to the kind of legacies I believe all of us hope to leave.”
Amanda Stanton is a Lung Cancer Survivor
Amanda Stanton celebrates her strong body with posts on her Instagram page and focuses on keeping a positive inner mindset to align with her powerful outer self. She says:
“In a world where tomorrow is not promised, we too often forget to focus on the things that matter.”
“We let anxiety and worry get the best of us, meanwhile, we lose sight of what makes life a life of quality. Those who focus on family, love, great relationships, and meaningful achievements will discover true fulfillment and genuine happiness.”
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Four + mile run, done. Anyone else just feel like it’s always a good time to be a goof? The best part of getting older is caring less what others think of you. Set, work towards, and accomplish goals for you and only you. Compete with yourself, striving each day to be a better person. #dorkface
Meghan Koziel is a Breast Cancer Survivor
Meghan Koziel must have been what Rihanna was singing about when she said: “Shine bright like a diamond…” because Koziel is all about sparkling and shining your light, even through difficult times. She says: “I get asked A LOT how do I get through my days post-cancer. My greatest advice is to #sparkleon. To “Sparkle On” means through your most challenging days, or times where decisions feel impossible, you will always have a sparkle inside your heart that will guide you to what’s meant to be!”
“No matter your dreams big or small, follow your heart to make your dreams come true. In days of uncertainty, times for change… we have to remember to look deep inside of each other’s hearts to know that beauty truly does still exist and kindness goes a long way!”
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True life: it’s almost midnight and I’m stillllll doing laundry, still have dishes in the sink, still have to clean the living room and vacuum for the 10th time in the morning… BUT… both girls are to sleep before midnight!!! Chachinggggg #momlife They say being a mom is easy… hahahaha I laugh to that. Stay at home mommas need bowed down to because this is just not for me! I love my kids… but I think I need a maid🤣 anyone for hire?