There Is Life after Cancer, and It Is Awesome!

Dee Burrell

[Guest Blog by Doretha “Dee” Burrell]

We have all heard the saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates…we never know what we are going to get.” Sooooo true!

Hearing those awful four words “you have breast cancer,” knocked me off my feet and the other puncher for me was that I was diagnosed at the beautiful young age of 50… so one can imagine that I was a bit concerned of the number of years I had left to enjoy life. Thinking back to the surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials, it again, allows me the moment to be grateful and blessed.

Fast forward 15 years later I am living a peaceful, healthy, happy, and grateful life. I am not concerned about keeping up with the Joneses and all that; it is enough for me to just keep up with me.

I made many changes in my life after cancer. I first vowed to never stay in jobs that were not rewarding to me and especially those that did not treat me well. I am at a point in my life where I can freely make changes and not be afraid to tell you about your rudeness and how I will not tolerate that behavior. Now, did I do that before cancer? NO WAY!

I have become very spontaneous. I might get up in the morning to head to the market for detergent or something and end up about an hour away on an excursion which I had just seen on a billboard and never had a chance to check it out. I love day trips and love driving the road less traveled and I have found some awesome places including wine vineyards, cafes, produce stands, and the list goes on and on.

I have learned to love and appreciate each and every day no matter how it turns out. The most important factor is that I WOKE UP THIS MORNING! I want, just like others, to have a great day, no issues or problems, but that is something we can’t predict. What we can do is start our day on a positive note!

I say a daily affirmation every day and one that comes to mind immediately is, Something good is going to happen to me today.

Thanks to one of my coaches, Chellie Campbell, whom I give credit for starting me with daily affirmations. Imagine waking up saying that affirmation. You can’t help but feel positive something good is going to happen. It might even be a penny on the ground as you exit your parked car. In the past, it was just a penny, but now when I see one, I pick it up and throw it in a bucket with other coins. One day that bucket of coins might be my full tank of gas for a road trip.

Speaking about road trips, cancer also taught me to appreciate Mother Nature. I LOVE driving to the beach, driving to the mountains, with special emphasis for beautiful fall foliage. On occasion, I have the joy of seeing a red robin perched on my fence at home. I would spend as long as the robin perched, admiring the beautiful color of the robin and how it blended in with the beautiful tree leaves.

I have stopped to notice all these things that I never had before.

I would love to share with you a few changes that have enhanced my life and I hope they will work for you, too!

My attitude changed in a more positive way when I learned to:

  • Pick my own battles
  • Speak up when I need to (BE HEARD!)
  • Shut up when I need to
  • Get rid of negativity (people, things, ways of thinking)

Simply practicing these four attitude changes will be noticeable in time for you. When you have heard those awful cancer words, you realize life is worth fighting for and why cloud your new life with negativity.

Go on out there and LIVE YOUR LIFE!

Doretha (Dee) is a life coach, certified diversity consultant, and the author of Open up the Door and Let Me In. Dee has devoted her life to empowering women to become happier and healthier in their professional and personal lives, with special emphasis to breast cancer survivors. As a breast cancer survivor and an advocate to women’s health, Dee hosts seminars and workshops to empower women about early detection of breast cancer. Her love of journaling for over 30 years has sparked a new interest – hosting journaling workshops.

Her story has been featured on local television and radio, in The Philadelphia Tribune, and numerous podcasts. Follow her on LinkedIn @DeeBurrell.

Doretha is part of the Official NCSD Speakers Bureau Roster. To access the Roster, register your event today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email