Originally posted November 30, 2018. Link to post.
One of the biggest changes, after having gone through my life saving surgeries and treatments, has been the appreciation and gratitude for, what could be viewed as, small and simple things.
Yes, even things you tend to take for granted, such as taking a walk in the nature or spending time with family and friends. My priorities and focus have also shifted towards here and now, and not putting off activities for "some day". I see this clearly when looking at My Survival List, where I have listed several fairly simple activities, such as having the opportunity to hang out with good, old friends or doing various activities with my family. My plan, certainly is, to make my listed things happen now and not in a distant future.
Post Traumatic Growth
Last week, I learnt that there is even a medical term for, what I am experiencing: Post-Traumatic Growth. The psychologists Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun developed this theory, explaining a positive transformation following a life threatening trauma, in the mid-1990s. According to Tedeschi "People develop new understandings of themselves, the world they live in, how to relate to other people, the kind of future they might have and a better understanding of how to live life".
I definitely agree, this is what I am experiencing! I learned about Post-Traumatic Growth from my psychiatrist, saying that typical traits for people more likely to experience Post Traumatic Growth are openness to experience and extraversion. It is of course positive to know that an extremely negative and traumatic experience such as a severe cancer diagnosis, could lead to something positive. Regardless of that, I would trade my cancer diagnosis every day, every hour and every second.
Yesterday, I got to do one of these simple, but so precious things: Christmas baking with my eight year old niece and nephew.
We baked the Swedish sweet rolls (lussekatter) that are a must for every Swede during the Christmas season. The rolls are flavored with saffron and decorated with raisins. A traditional lussekatt is S-shaped. The fun part of baking with kids, is that they do not follow any traditional way, they shape the rolls the way they feel like. This time my niece and nephew made hearts, turtles, snowmen and many other different shaped rolls. We had a lovely afternoon and completed action 42.
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Hi, my name is Lena and I am a cancer survivor. I hope you enjoy reading my blog posts. If you want to subscribe, click on Contact.