Recently I've noticed that women's magazines seem be be focusing on reinventing and organizing. (I'll save organizing for another post.) I read "More" Magazine fairly regularly.The February issue has an article "Reinvent Yourself"with stories of women who have changed jobs, started businesses, etc. In the body and mind section of the magazine, five women reinvented their middles.Yes, their middles. I admit my middle might need help ( two surgeries have done it in) but reinvention?
I've even seen contests on telling your reinvention story. Sharing your story can be important. There is a website called "Voices of Survivors" . On its pages there are stories - written words or videos of cancer survivors telling their stories and explaining what surviving cancer means to them. That is helpful stuff to read when you are newly diagnosed or just finishing treatment. The stories are inspiring. But reinvention stories?
Cancer like any major illness causes major changes in your life- at diagnosis, during treatment, and after treatment. It presents a time when you think about who and what is important in your life. When you are done with treatment , when your hair grows back and your body functions almost like normal are you the same person you were before? You might come close but I believe you never return to being that same exact person.
Does cancer cause you to reinvent yourself? I like to think of it as becoming refined. You take the time to think about who you are and who you want to be in whatever time you have left. For me the cancer experience let me refine those interests and relationships that mean the most to me. What activities do I want to spend time and effort on? When I was younger I would doodle a lot . Not so good when you are in a Catholic elementary school and the nuns see what they think is "scribble " in your notebook. Years later, after I finished treatment I started to paint. I had painted those small ceramic Christmas houses and paint-by-numbers but I had never painted free hand on canvas. Turns out I like doing it. Did I reinvent myself- nope I just allowed myself to refine an interest I already had. Refining myself is an ongoing process. I am given new opportunities that help me refine what it is I do and what I spend time on.
So I continue to refine my life- cancer and all.
Every Day is a Blessing!
PS Thanks Lynn for all the "Voices" you've shared.