A Survivor's Lessons

By Vickie Coggin, R.N.

  • It was the most humbling and maturing experience of my life.
  • I never felt so loved in my whole life by so many people, even strangers.
  • I had a sense that even though I was not accomplishing anything - this experience had a big impact on many lives, not just mine.
  • It made me face my own mortality and reevaluate what was most important in life.
  • I always thought of myself as a "chicken" - this showed me how strong and courageous I really am when faced with a crisis.
  • My eyes were opened to an awesome appreciation of life, nature, family and friends.
  • I learned it's okay to take time for me and put my health as a priority.
  • It made me prioritize my life as to what is most important. I made a list of what I want to accomplish in my life.
  • I found the strength to communicate better. It's okay to say "no," and I don't expect anyone to read my mind.
  • I take more risks with relationships/work.
  • Instead of focusing on preventing the cancer from coming back and not dying I focus on "what am I really living for?"
  • I have a unique opportunity to help others like I never could have before, if I had not gone through this experience personally.
  • I've learned to surrender to God the things that are beyond my power to control.
  • I more quickly forgive and let go of grudges and resentments.
  • I don't wait to tell others how much they mean to me.
  • I realize how much I love and need my husband.
  • My husband and kids are my greatest motivation for fighting this disease.
  • I'm well aware of my past and look forward to the future but relish TODAY! I try to live in the present - savoring every minute.
  • I had a deep spiritual experience of knowing God's peace, love and care, despite the circumstances.

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