Cancer has given me clearer vision

@CoralLevang (39685)
United States
March 29, 2016 2:03pm CST
As I come up on my 4 year anniversary of a diagnosis of stage four cancer, I am so grateful to have learned how to stay focused on living, rather than dying. It hasn't always been this way, even though the outside world would never have known it. I am so amazed every day as I watch people. There are many people who are bearing heavy burdens, and unless they tell you you would never know them. Conversely, there are many people who make insignificant things (in the grand scheme of life) much bigger than they should be. Although we all have our challenges with which we must live, and it can most definitely be tough, it is wonderful when I come up with people who can acknowledge those challenges but continue to look ahead. For me, that is the essence of life. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a young woman of 25 named Haley. I asked her how her day was and she responded that it had been an extremely crappy day because of some horrible customers she had faced. She did follow that up with, "...but I'm thankful to have a job!" I was encouraged to hear her say that. I asked her then if she would consider being open to me giving her some new word choices. She agreed. " I had a great day today at work, because I am glad to have had the opportunities to how to work through some challenging situations with some equally as challenging people and I got through it! I look forward to tomorrow being easier to get through!" No matter what we have been given in life, we have to see beyond the challenges. As long as you wake up every day, you have a chance of life. If you choose only to wallow in the negative part of any situation, or only go through the motions of life, that's not really living. Perhaps you're dying the slow death of negativity, or complaining about others, or holding on nitpicking at the way things that should have been... or worry, or fear, or... or...or... Only you know what robs you of joy in your life. I am not dying of cancer. I am LIVING with stage 4 carcinoid cancer. And I see life so much more clearly than I did four years ago.
64 people like this
51 responses
@DWDavis (11147)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
29 Mar 16
Your outlook on life is a constant source of inspiration for me and helps me put my life in perspective. I try to see each day with my students as another day of opportunity to reach them with knowledge and caring. It is for them that I push back the pain, smile, and tell them that each day is a wonderful new day.
14 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
By finding a purpose, we can get through so many things that we might never have thought we could. Your students are very fortunate they have you as their teacher. I am very fortunate to have learned so many things from you. You have blessed me in ways that I don't even know how to explain.
7 people like this
@DWDavis (11147)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
29 Mar 16
@CoralLevang I feel our friendship has brought much to both of us, and I am very glad.
5 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
@DWDavis and I look forward to the day that you and I can sit down and have a cup of coffee together and meeting you and your lovely wife!
3 people like this
@Hatley (157566)
• Garden Grove, California
29 Mar 16
you have g ivemn others with that some glimmer of hope good for you all of us should reread this and give our lives another chance.
12 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Thank you. I have my own days that are very tough and I have to reread it myself, from time to time. There are some days that I have also wanted to give up.
4 people like this
• United States
30 Mar 16
Yep @Hatley one can always start over, there is no limit to how many times cause I was always told if you fall, get up and try again . . . same principle and her hope shines through here huh ?
4 people like this
@RasmaSandra (12424)
• Riga, Latvia
31 Mar 16
@CoralLevang best way to be in life. I applaud you positivism all the way. God bless you.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Mar 16
Whenever I hear someone say they are having a bad day, I tell them that every day is a good day. Sometimes there are a few things that happen that seem bad. When you open your eyes and take a breath, it is a good day. One of my favorite clients was a 100 years old when she passed. She often told me that was she wanted was to live to see her 100th birthday. She did that and then some. This woman lived alone. For the first 8 years I had known her, she was able to get out of bed on her own, transfer to her wheelchair, even to the shower from her wheelchair. She was able to prepare her own meals as well. The last year was more difficult for her. She required the assistance of others to get her out of bed and her personal care too. However, she woke every day and felt blessed to be alive. Even on a rainy day she enjoyed her life. We all need to remember that life is a blessing. My first husband and father of my children often said, "Every day above ground is a good day." He passed about 8 years ago. He lived each day to the fullest he was capable of doing. God bless you Coral Levang.
9 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
The woman whose story you have shared sounds like a remarkable human being. I love the reminder that even on a rainy day one can be glad to be alive. It's funny how we complain about the weather. I must say that I feel very grateful that the sunshine is out today however!
3 people like this
• United States
30 Mar 16
@CoralLevang she was truly an incredible woman. Lived alone for years with her cat. She had 3 daughters, one passed away and she mourned her loss for years. The other 2 didn't have anything to do with her. Broke my heart. Even so, she still enjoyed the sun on her face, the sound of the rain, the snow that fell outside her window, the smell of the lilacs in the spring, the taste of a homemade chocolate cake.
2 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
@ElusiveButterfly this comment just made me tear up.
3 people like this
• United States
29 Mar 16
@CoralLevang You remind me of things my mom and dad said when they were living their days with an illness. Thank You for your encouraging words. My father had stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer and cherished life here while it was available. My mom was on Dialysis yet reminded people that life is to be lived and disease is not who you are. You have done the same with this post.
7 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Thank you, Bernie. My mother was very ill for the last number of years of her life. She, too, was on dialysis and even before she was, she lived a very hard life and was not very happy. I saw her I'm happy for most of her life, so there were some times when I saw some wonderful joy in her. But those times were few and far between. Before my mother passed away I remember thinking that I did not only want to exist, but I wanted to live. I have to admit that I miss her and her cynicism. But I'm glad that she was finally given the peace in her life that she deserved.
3 people like this
@cacay1 (32040)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
29 Mar 16
I am so happy for you being that strong and positive person.What makes others very sick because of negative thinking.
5 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
I see so many people who are relatively healthy when it comes to physical situations, yet their negativity in their thinking is what makes them miserable human beings.
3 people like this
@cacay1 (32040)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
29 Mar 16
@CoralLevang So true, they must only react after having been diagnosed and prognosed as having a deadly disease.Others even just a flu almost choked to fear to dying that sickness which is far to 5 ft. below the ground.
2 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
@cacay1 and this is not even to speak about complaining incessantly about not being able to eat a food that they are served that they don't like or when somebody look at them cross-eyed, or when it's raining, or...
2 people like this
@Tampa_girl7 (21241)
• United States
29 Mar 16
That is a beautiful way of looking at life.
5 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
With as much ugliness that is in the world, we have to find the beauty.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (78523)
• United States
29 Mar 16
I inherited severe, agitated, recurrent, major, clinical depression. Battled that monster for 13 years and eventually won the battle. Every day is a holiday to me because I know what horror happens to be. We both have a lot of positive living to do. Downplay the negative; highlight the positive.
5 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
So no one has said that it has been genetic in my family, there is some evidence of depression that I have seen. And I, too, I have dealt with depression over many decades. I have learn to take some very specific moves when I'm getting into a situation where that is becoming more apparent. For me, medication is not an option. That means it requires me to make some cognitive decisions to assist. You said it best when you said that you know what " horror happens to be." However, we are here and able to talk to others and show them that there is a place past these challenges. Hugs. I applaud you. Thank you for sharing a part of your story. You inspire me.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Mar 16
I admire your strength and your ambition speaks volumes, thanks for sharing this so everyone who feels challenged, can realize there is hope--- and the 'carcinoid cancer' which is said to have compromised the neuro-endocrine cells of the intestinal tract, the bronchus, the ovary, the bile ducts or the pancreas cannot be starved by making that part of the gastrointestinal flora more alkaline ? I am curious @CoralLevang
4 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Thank you so much for your kind words. And there is much out there right now regarding carcinoid cancer which is a systemic cancer, as you pointed out. I think that we can do a lot too help prevent certain Cancers and an alkaline diet is certainly one Theory. The research is still out on whether or not that is something that we can do to starving, as you say. I'm excited too go to see as a doctor speak on April 24th. He is one of the leading doctors in our country regarding carcinoid cancer. You have given me a good topic to bring up in our discussion. Thank you.
3 people like this
• United States
29 Mar 16
@CoralLevang if I can help ANYWAY to extend your beautiful life, I will do what is in my power through education, research and love . . .
3 people like this
@amadeo (46045)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Good for you. Positive way of thinking loved that.I really do not know what is carcinoid cancer.If you do not want to share it.I understand.
4 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Awareness is key, and I would invite you to do your own research on carcinoid cancer and neuroendocrine tumors. Research is beginning to tell us that most people with this cancer have had symptoms of it for many years. Most of us who have been diagnosed, / 90%, have been misdiagnosed with a variety of other things for 6 to 10 years. Because of that 90% of us are also diagnosed with the stage 4 level. It is so important that we all learn about this, because I think there are many times that our friends, loved ones, and ourselves have to be aware because of these masking of issues.
2 people like this
@amadeo (46045)
• United States
29 Mar 16
@CoralLevang thank you and yes,I be interesting to check this out.
3 people like this
@DianneN (57243)
• United States
30 Mar 16
It's unfortunate that it takes something of this magnitude to make us see things in a different light. Bless you and be well.
4 people like this
@vandana7 (57186)
• India
29 Mar 16
Learning so much from you and a few others. All I can say is, I am glad I know you and I would be glad to know you better. Hugs.
4 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Thank you so very much for your kind words. And I appreciate the hugs!
3 people like this
@Jessicalynnt (48190)
• Centralia, Missouri
29 Mar 16
much is in outlook, although personality is a part of it too
3 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
I'm not so sure that I agree that personality is a key here. I've known a lot of people with a lot of different personalities, and I've seen many of them as positive and many of them is negative regardless of where they might fit on some of the personality scales. Can you help me understand what you meant by that? Thank you so much for making me think a little bit here. And I look forward to your response.
3 people like this
• Centralia, Missouri
30 Mar 16
@CoralLevang some people's personalities lends them to being more positive, looking on the bright side, etc. while others, tends to be more depressive, and encourages them to do the opposite. I still think one can make a choice and work at it, but it will be much easier for the first person than it would the second.
2 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
@Jessicalynnt I appreciate your response though I don't agree the choices are made because of a personality that one is born with. I don't know if there's been any research done based on things like Introverts vs. Extroverts being more depressed than others... what some of these people might be doing is masking it because they have to be on stage all the time and then people are surprised when they take their lives. Case in point Robin Williams.
2 people like this
@Juliaacv (22027)
• Canada
30 Mar 16
Although I do not have cancer currently, I have always had poor health. I know what you mean about looking for that silver lining to every dark cloud in our day, I try to do it also. Chin up and carry on, you are inspiring as you go you know.
3 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
We all have our challenges, don't we? Some of them are Health, family, and a whole lot of other things. I refuse to give anything like cancer the power over me and my ability to see beyond it. Thank you for inspiring me with your message.
3 people like this
@Juliaacv (22027)
• Canada
30 Mar 16
@CoralLevang I agree, and when I read your comment, I totally forgot that I have a challenge in the form of "family" or what I like to refer to them as former family. Becoming hard-hearted and greedy is actually something that scares me more then any health issue that I could face. That is what happened to most of my family after my Dad passed. And really, money cannot buy health, cannot buy respect.......and the list goes on.
3 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
@Juliaacv these are all the things with which we can struggle. Just the fact that you acknowledge that it could be a possibility is such an insightful thing. You are someone who has an open heart and an open mind. That's what gives you life. I've often said that everything you do you do out of love. When you can do it truly because you love other human beings, then the rest of it just works out. Maybe not with the people that we think it should be because that's what we were taught it should happen but we will be blessed so many different ways
3 people like this
@Drosophila (16862)
• Ireland
30 Mar 16
It's a great out look! Though I must admit trying to be constantly positive can be tiring at times. I do make sure I have a day dedicated to being self-indulging miserable. It does wonders to release some negativity.
2 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
Oh, I'm not always so positive. When I say to look beyond the challenges, I certainly am not somebody who is a Pollyanna type of person, if you understand what that one means. Am what I would call a realistic Optimist, or maybe it would be an optimistic realist. But you are so right sometimes we need that release of negativity and I have my moments. And a couple of trusted friends that I can do that with.
2 people like this
@Drosophila (16862)
• Ireland
30 Mar 16
@CoralLevang Agreed. btw as you have mentioned pollyanna. I came across this article on the indepth analysis of these type of personalities. It's probably things you have already read. Nonetheless it's good to have with a cup of coffee:
It all started with my earlier post: Happin...
1 person likes this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
@Drosophila I skimmed this, but when I get to a regular computer I'm going to try and read it. I still don't have my new glasses in yet and I have a hard time reading on my smaller device
1 person likes this
@just4him (88956)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
30 Mar 16
That is totally awesome. So many people give up. I'm glad you didn't. I do my very best to be positive. It's not easy when trouble multiplies but I leave it all in God's hands and he takes care of it and me.
2 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
I've never been one to give up, so I was very close to taking my life. But that's for another story
2 people like this
@just4him (88956)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
30 Mar 16
@CoralLevang I'm glad you didn't. You already have a great success story and I hope it continues.
1 person likes this
• Dallas, Texas
29 Mar 16
That's the spirit. Every day is a gift.
2 people like this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Thank you, Anthony. It is a gift... Every single day...
@Ishani08 (447)
• India
8 May 16
@CoralLevang .... You are surely a great source of inspiration for many of us. First of all, I am very sorry to hear about your conditon. And I pray to God that you get well soon..!! This Earth badly needs positivity. You have commendable thoughts about life and outlook is worth following. You are right. We hardly treasure this beautiful gift of God namely, LIFE.. And keep complaining every now and then. We often forget that things we are taking for granted are things that might people be longing for.... I really appreciate your thoughts and would recommend everyone to follow it. And not to forget, @Berniezeitler Thanks for suggesting me this post! :)
2 people like this
@noni1959 (2594)
• United States
30 Mar 16
This is what I needed to read this morning to remind me to look at the good and declare it so. I have several scars from skin cancer and my latest melanoma had me in so much fear. It's my second round since 2004. I had two surgeries within a week. I had so much fear and the "why me" attitude. Yet, yesterday they called telling me they got it all and the margins are clear. I have my third pacemaker surgery Friday and been in fear but telling myself you have this and looking at the beauty in life. It's not easy. May you continue with a long life and happiness.
1 person likes this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
30 Mar 16
Hugs... I definitely know how tough it is. And how scary it is. Please know that on Friday I will be there with you in spirit. You will get through this. And I want you to keep in touch with me if you're willing to do so.
@noni1959 (2594)
• United States
2 Apr 16
@CoralLevang Thank you and yes, it would be nice to keep in touch. My pacemaker surgery was cancelled because my incision site became infected. It's one of those darn if I do or don't. I'll find out Monday when my new surgery date is.
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
2 Apr 16
@noni1959 , please keep me posted.
@HazySue (16600)
• United States
3 Apr 16
@CoralLevang You are a special person. When I hear someone complaining about having a bad day, I tell them "Every day that you wake up is a blessing". Positive thinking is so important. God Bless you and keep you. Prayers and angels are heading your way.
1 person likes this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
3 Apr 16
Thank you, Susan. I appreciate the compliment, though I'm not so special. I'm just a regular old gal who tries to live her life everyday the best way she can. I try to be kind to people. But, I'm not a pushover. And Will Stand My Ground when necessary. I suppose some people would call me a special pain in the butt.
2 people like this
@HazySue (16600)
• United States
4 Aug 16
@CoralLevang you are an inspiration. Something that is need by me and many others facing cancer or any chronic illness.
1 person likes this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
4 Aug 16
@HazySue thank you so much for your kind words. I'm very humbled.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50052)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 16
An inspirational post Coral, I hope it will make people think when they complain about having a headache!
1 person likes this
@CoralLevang (39685)
• United States
29 Mar 16
Or when we complain about somebody not liking our discussions or writing something that we don't approve of! goes back to that don't sweat the small stuff that I need to be reminded of! Now, about this headache...
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50052)
• United Kingdom
30 Mar 16
@CoralLevang Not only are you brave and stoical, you are funny too
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50052)
• United Kingdom
30 Mar 16
1 person likes this