A man holds an umbrella in the middle of a dark rainstorm, and under the umbrella he is surrounded by a peaceful sky and flowers.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best
Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life

Lyrics around optimism

Some of you may recognize the lyrics from the Monty Python movie “The Life of Brian” sung by one of the “criminals” on the crosses that flanked the movie's feature character - Brian. The movie is a comedy based on a misunderstanding of the title character overhearing God talking to Jesus and thinks he is the Messiah. Hijinks ensue. For more context on the movie click here. Singing that song while on a crucifix is some professional-level optimism right?

Is optimism important in your cancer journey? I think it is critical.

Your sphere of control

A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and is currently going through the rigors of heavy-duty chemo. He provides regular updates to his friends and in the last one, he mentioned that some research he did shows that those who tend to survive also tend to have the most positive attitude.

I think that is important to understand because it is one area of your treatment protocol you have the most input on.

You can’t control how your cancer grows.

You can’t control the chemical reactions in your body during chemotherapy.

You can’t control the skill of your surgeon or doctor.

You can’t control the advancements in medicine that can lead to better outcomes.

You can’t control much in the cancer journey.

And that is a horrible feeling.

But you can control your attitude. And you should.

Making the change

BC (before cancer), I was a pessimist. I used to think that being a pessimist was the right choice because if things go bad you aren’t surprised or disappointed, but if they go well, you’re ecstatic.

But that was because the negative outcome wasn’t life or death. When one of the options is death - it’s not so good to be a pessimist.

Be the optimist. You can control it and you can be the light YOU need in your life.

If the research is right - make optimism part of your survival plan right now!


If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing
Always look on the bright side of life
(Come on)
Always look on the right side of life

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