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How Bladder Cancer Reshapes Your Mindset

When we shared BladderCancer.net contributor Renata Louwers’ piece detailing how bladder cancer completely shifted her mindset, a wave of emotion rippled through our community. So many of you responded to her piece, echoing that you related to her journey. More than 200 of you commented on her story when we shared it to our Facebook page. Here’s what you had to say about how bladder cancer has affected YOU since learning of the diagnosis.

“I am going crazy.”

This diagnosis, like so many others, comes with stages. In the beginning, it’s common to experience every emotion—from fear to anger, depression to desperate hope. For many, the only way through is to keep going and to stay as positive and hopeful as you can.

“I have just been diagnosed with bladder cancer in the last two months; I am going crazy. All I do is cry and pray and believe.”

“The past is long gone.”

This attitude of acceptance helps so many of you. Cancer, no matter what stage it is or how old you are when diagnosed, is one thing that will forever affect your thinking - but few of you allow it to shape your life. Many of you choose to see the gift in valuing the life you had, as well as the good in the life that lies ahead. The only certainty moving forward is that life will never be exactly as it had been. That said, for many people, it’s helpful to grieve the life you had, and the life you could have had. If sadness about the loss is what comes up, that’s OK. You get to decide how you respond to your journey.

“The problem with longing for the past is that the past is long gone. We all curl up with what was, as if it were a good book.”

“Cancer does have a way of making you … appreciate those blessings.”

So many people who face life-changing illnesses come out on the other side with a deep, unshakable appreciation for life. For the small joys in the everyday. For the love experienced. For every moment of being able to witness the wonders on the planet. Undoubtedly, it can be a rough road to reach this mindset, but ultimately, there is no greater gift than gratitude for living every day.

“Cancer does have a way of making you change your priorities and appreciate those blessings you have already been given!”

“We need to always focus on how fortunate we are because it can end very fast.”

“I look back on the days before cancer and it feels like we were so naive.”

For many in the cancer community, there is certainly a then-and-now divide. There is how you saw life before the journey started. And there’s how you look at life now. There is usually a vast divide between the two—and it’s common to look back and find that your attitude before was naïve, or that you took things for granted or didn’t live life to its fullest. The good news is that this awareness gives you the ability to change and move forward in a way that most empowers you.

“This is spot on... I look back on the days before cancer and it feels like we were so naive.”

We wish to say thank you to everyone in the community who shared their thoughts and feelings about this journey.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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