If I could go back in time and decide my own fate, I would allow myself to get cancer due to how it changed my perception of life. The sun looks brighter, the grass looks greener, and the world looks bigger.
Before being diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, I was a very depressed individual. I was 17 at the time of diagnosis, and I had already spent the prior 4 years on different psychiatric medications, as I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. When I learned of my diagnosis, I was obviously disheartened. My life had been so difficult already, having growing up in broken, toxic home raised in poverty. I thought, "WHY ME? Why must so many bad things happen, TO ME?"
I quickly learned that it happened FOR me, not TO me.
After I beat the cancer and entered remission, I had felt the most joy I had ever experienced in my life. Getting such a diagnosis made me realize I DID want the life that was granted to me. I realized each day is a gift, not a given right. I was no longer the girl with Major Depressive Disorder. In fact, I no longer suffered from depression after that. Yeah, I have good and bad days, but I learned that no matter what type of days I would have, they were great days, solely because I woke up that morning. I began viewing life through a completely different lens. The sun looked brighter, the grass looked greener, and the world looked bigger. I tell people to this day, "If I could go back in time and decide my own fate, I would allow myself to get cancer due to how it changed my perception of life."
I will go deeper in to my story in a book I am writing about my experience, which is still in the process of being crafted! Find me on social media: Angelina Maselli, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancer has given me a profound sense of gratitude and made me much more aware of all the good that surrounds me in both the everyday and in the extraordinary.
Cancer allowed me to slow down, listen to my body, and reconnect with my voice. When confronted with the impermanence of life, all that remained was peace and self acceptance. That sense of clarity and peace continues to empower me to live a wholehearted purposeful life.