There is not a day of my life goes by without taking time to reflect on the moment I learned about the tumor pressing on my brain—changing my life forever.
Having felt total shock at being thrust immediately into life-saving surgery, I knew at that point I needed to make significant adjustments so I could survive and live a long fulfilling life.
I assured myself that there was a reason to live every day with zeal and passion.
I returned to my creative roots and started writing again. Since leaving the hospital I have lost 80 pounds and find great comfort in being healthy, writing and new experiences (such as tai chi and mixed media art).
I realized it is the little things in life that bring the greatest joy. Holding my wife’s hand, exercising, spending time with my kids and going for a walk during beautiful weather are the small comforts that make life enjoyable.
After completing chemo and radiation therapy, I’ve truly learned how important simple comforts helped me get through the difficult and painful times. Although research to find a cure is of the utmost importance, simple comforts right here in the moment can sometimes be overlooked even though they are an important part of recovery.
For me, returning to comforts such as writing, particularly with such social media tools as Twitter and my blog have made a huge difference in my attitude and outlook on life. I felt as if writing had revived me and allowed an express a side of myself that had been buried for years. I have big plans for my writing career—hoping to one day write a novel.
I was fortunate enough to receive comfort from a care package that was delivered to me while I was undergoing treatment. This care package called a Comfort Kit, had been provided to me through a nonprofit called Giving Comfort. I soon learned while sifting through this care package that Giving Comfort seeks to soothe discomfort for patients across the country who are going through treatment through their thoughtful kits. I think it is important for cancer survivors to seek out groups like Giving Comfort and benefit from the kindness of others.
Although some struggle with how to support their loved ones while battling cancer or other terrible diseases, my piece of advice is to keep in mind that small comforts can make a world of difference. Whether it’s a book they might enjoy or even making their favorite dessert, small comforts can help soothe discomfort more than people realize. And in the case of the Comfort Kit, a huge impact in a stranger’s life.
While I continue my battle with cancer, I will always keep in mind how my hobbies and passions brought me back to life.
I hope every person who will goes through a difficult time will realize how these small comforts can make a world of difference. I hope they can discover that they are not alone.
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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock