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What Would You Do If You Got Diagnosed With A Terminal Illness?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

What would you do if you got diagnosed with a terminal illness and your life changed in an instant?

Sit with that for a moment.

What changes would you make? How would you spend your time?

What would you do differently? What’s most important to you?

I didn’t expect to answer those questions at 36 years old. But I had to.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer after finding a lump myself at 33 years old. I endured chemo, a double mastectomy, and radiation. I was put on hormone therapy for another 2 years. Then in 2017, I got a pain. My little pain ended up being the most devastating words I have heard to date- Metastatic Breast Cancer. It’s terminal. It’s incurable and it’ll eventually kill me.

I have a husband. I have two young kids. At the time I had a job that I loved. But receiving this terminal diagnosis changed all of our lives. We sold our house, we bought a condo, and now we travel, and we do fun and exciting things. NOW. We do them now because we’ve learned the hard way that life can change in an instant.

Living with a terminal illness is hard and heartbreaking. It’s scary and devastating. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies but living with a terminal illness doesn’t mean immediate death. It means finding a way to live a fulfilling life while dealing with a scary fate.

Currently I’m on a trip in Europe with my mom. Then I’ll be meeting a good friend and traveling with her. Years ago I would have put off these things for lack of time, lack of money, the fact that I have little kids, of my husband having a busy time at work, but my diagnosis changed that. I’m away for 17 days. I would have never done that before. But you know what? I’m fulfilling dreams and my husband and kids are totally fine.

I share my reality with others to open their eyes to the issues that people who are young with cancer deal with. Before I was in this situation, I also had no idea.

Life is full of challenges, big and small, and we all have a choice in how we react to them. And I’m choosing positivity in the face of a very scary life situation because there is so much beauty around us all. We just need to be open to seeing it.

So now I got back to my first question- what would you do if just got diagnosed with a terminal illness? Now take away the first part of being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Think about those items and do them now! Start crossing them off your list, because no one, including you, is guaranteed tomorrow.

Author - Renee Kaiman

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