Musing and Curious - Cancer's 'Life Lessons'

Here are the some of the ‘Life Lessons’ I have learned as a result of having cancer:-


Material possessions are just ‘things’ no matter how much they cost - human beings are what really matter - treasure your family while they are still alive, keep in touch with them, make time to listen. Never be afraid to show compassion. Don’t be too quick to judge - people can be amazing, they are full of surprises - you think you know someone and then you find you don’t!  You can’t say “thank you” too often. When you are very ill it is not ‘selfish’ to put yourself first for a change, it is just sensible - real friends accept this - if they do not then they are not ‘friends’ at all. People who stubbornly refuse to examine their own behaviour and always blame others for arguments end up bitter, sad and lonely. It is never too late to alter your perceptions, consider your prejudices or change your style of hair and dress. Take each day at a time.  Laugh more - it is good for you.  What ‘life lessons’ have you learned?




Feistyflora, I have learned that I have a tiny core group of true friends. Others I thought were really let me down when I was diagnosed with cancer so I removed them from my life, as the saying goes,  life’s too short!  X

Excellent advice Flora! I so agree. I feel one of the most positive things to come out of all this rubbish is re-examining what really matters and ditching the things that really don’t. And that can include people you thought were friends who don’t want to know and valuing some people much more who have come through and been brilliantly supportive. I am more ready to let people know that I love them. I appreciate little things more. I try not to stress about the stuff I can’t change and give myself more time. I am starting to say no to things at work that I don’t have time to do rather than make time to do them anyway at a cost to myself. I have learnt that I am very fond of my life and not at all ready to give it up for a long time yet!! x

This is an interesting thread and very true. Cancer is a real wake up call to make you re-evaluate your life and decide what is important . I was lucky in that all my friends really supported me through the difficult times, but one or two were particularly fantastic. No one really seemed to shy away from talking about it but maybe that was because I was very open about it from the beginning, because I felt I needed to talk about it.
Makes you think don’t put off all those things you long to do, if you can afford to do them now, get on with it! I’ve decided to work less hours and try and get a better work/life balance. As you say you really appreciate the little things, sunny days, beautiful scenery, etc. Keep enjoying one day at a time. Xx

This thread has made me smile, it runs so true
Did you realise you were such a ‘fantastic’ rapper feisty flora

What I have learned is that the past 50years are the past, I have had my mind, priorities, and family sharply focused for the future. No more planning for ‘when’ we retire, ‘when’ the children grow up, in 5 years time or 10years time. I am going to work to live, and no longer live to work
I have stepped forward, and you know what, this cancer has made me stronger and I hope a better person - less quick to judge,
I so regret that I did not make time for one the mum’s at school who was diagnosed 9 months ago and died recently. She was 42, with children the same age as mine. I am not going to let that happen, using work and other commitments as an excuse
I have been bowled over by the support I have had, I did not know I knew so many
I have also found who my real colleagues and friends are. Some of which hurts.
Like you I have sat in the garden watching the baby birds - have we had more birds this year, I do not recall this previous years
Pulling up the weeds, tying back the climbers and just enjoying the sun on my face whilst the girls and husband are at school and work. I have never had the chance to enjoy life at its most simple and beautiful.
In anything horrible/terrible seeing the good/positive makes it easier to move on.

Have gone on a bit, sorry

Well I was dx in Oct 2014, had mx and recon and returned to work in march,  to be told last month my contract won’t be renewed and will be redundant from end of Aug! Instead of feeling sorry for myself I see it as an opportunity (although a bit worried about future health concerns, with a new employer,  assuming I find a job!). I consider myself lucky that, although we’ll really miss the money, we’ll cope,  I’m taking the opportunity to really think about what I want to do - although retraining as a gardener perhaps not so possible now…whereas before bc, I’d probably just have panicked and looked for another job doing the same old thing.

I’m currently home recuperating from revision surgery,  really bored so I downloaded ‘bee bingo’ sheet from friends of the earth and spent a very happy sunny day spotting and learning all different bee species in my garden! Also carried out a rescue mission of a baby robin found in the utility room, and watched over it while mum and dad flitted around feeding it til it was strong enough to fly. Small pleasures… take care ladies xx


This is a great thread. I too have changed since I went through treatment four years ago. I have a really busy job which hasn’t got less busy. I enjoy it but I’ve decided to take a career break for a year - I"m lucky that my job will let me do that so it’s a win win situation. My husband and I are going to go travelling for a year from this October - we’re in our fifties. I can’t wait!

I’m not sure I’d have done that if I hadn’t had cancer. Too caught up in life and the business of it to take a break.


All the cliches about recovering from cancer are true, I appreciate friends much more, and my family, it’s funny that so many of you talk about birds in your garden. I only have a patio sadly, but when I was having chemo and couldn’t sleep very well I’d sit in our kitchen in the early morning with a cup of tea, watching the sparrows fighting over the bird food. For HOURS! I still love watching garden birds.


I want to experience new things - I’ve never lived abroad so we’re starting with six months in one place abroad, Then we’ll decide what we want to do next - it feels so liberating. I’m not going to worry about my bleeding pension - I might not make it anyway! If there’s anything that having cancer teaches you, surely it’s that you can’t bank on ANYTHING.


I appreciate life every day. It helps when the sun’s shining mind you. 


Clive James has a terminal illness and has written lots of really wonderful poetry if anyone is interested. He has also spent hours watching the birds in his garden. 


Lots of good wishes to you all 







Hello Ladies I totally agree with all your comments. I spend time with friends I want to see and don’t worry too much about those I don’t.

I also saw on the National Trust website - 50 things to do when you are 11 and 3/4. While reading through i noticed there were a lot of things on this list I hadn’t done at the age of nearly 50! All sorts of things on there from walking behind a waterfall, lying in garden and look up at the stars, building a den…I couldn’t actually remember if I have ever done this! I wrote down all the things I want to do as soon as, rather than later I never put anything off now! I am just working my way through my list and having lots of fun. Have a look you might see some interesting things that you haven’t thought of. XX


Great thread again fiesty lady, though also one of mystery, did you say you retrained? if so, what did you become ?
Thinking of you Eileen, and sensing the love you shared x x
The 11 and 3/4 national trust post has definately got me curious. Am always curious :smiley: .
And a final share as out walking early with a friend yesterday along a broad riverside path we were treated to the sight of 2 cyclists exercising about 30-40 free running tail wagging hounds, and they were all so well behaved, only Windsor needed encouragement to ignore us!!

No worries ff, privacy respected. :smiley:
So when there is a gap, my mind, my ohh so curious mind, just wants to fill it. I wonder how close i get with the following speculations. I am most definately not stating this was you new role, purely playing.
Role A… secret squirrel. Employed to improve the lives of those within a 50mile radius of you, with special license to include all interactions via the web
Role B… Model for life studies, art students need the experiences. But this became more challenging as your need to share wisdoms made you so animated
Role C… Gardener - creating beautiful calming spaces
Role D - doesnt really matter as whatever your role, you bring such warmth and here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart x x x
LL x

Priceless x x

Wishing you a fabulous day Kiki x x

Nearly 2 a.m. & raging insomnia :smileysad: With a bit of luck typing this ‘ode’ might get the anger out of my system and perhaps I might be able to get back to sleep again. Wish me luck.


My Little Moany Poemy-Woemy

I’m battling this thing, the big ‘C’

And so far I’ve managed to cope

Oh, it’s hard not to despise you

You’re well yet you sit and mope

You’re a fake, a problem-maker

I’m fed-up trying to be so sweet

I wish that you would just *** off

And desist from laying all of your

Self-inflicted problems at my feet?

:smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad: :smileymad:


Yes, I can do sarcasm too!!!