The Unexpected Upside of Cancer

By: Marie Rygaert, IATG Contributor January 21, 2016


A little over four years ago, we learned that my mom had breast cancer for the second time. Today she is feeling fine, but the truth is she will never be cured.

This was something I never thought would happen to me. And, sometimes it still feels unreal. My mom is very much alive. She works, spends time with her family and friends, goes on dates with my dad, reads, watches movies, does chores. If you didn’t know our situation, you would probably never guess.

It’s hard and bizarre to live with this constant burden over your head. I suffered from panic attacks for a few years because of it, but I believe it has changed my family’s life for the better. We enjoy each other’s presence more. We have long dinner conversations. We laugh hard together, and we don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. What used to be subject for brotherly fights just seems irrelevant now.

Cancer is weird that way. It reminds you of what’s truly important. It forces you to take a hard look at your life and change what doesn’t feel right, because you know that today is all you got. And, you have to make the most of it.

So my story is not the typical cancer survivor story. We don’t know what will happen until it does. I still hope that my mom will live long enough for cure will be found, but the rest of me is just grateful. Because even though it’s heartbreaking for me to think about a day when my mom won’t be here, I am so thankful I had the time to live with her and appreciate everything that she is.

Life is short and precious. It may be hard at times, but it is always worth it, every moment. Enjoy it, live it fully, love just as fully, and don’t be scared. Whatever comes your way, I promise you that you’ll figure out how to live anyway. As a famous quote says: “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.”

Let’s Chat!

How do you handle stress and anxiety? What are the benefits to finding something positive in every situations? What has living with a challenging situation taught you about strength and resilience? Break out your journal and spend some time reflecting on how you challenge has shaped you.

About Marie

MARIE_RYGAERET_writer_bio.jpgMarie is a 20 year old law student from Brussels. In her spare time, she is a scout chief, animating kids from 8 to 12. She loves to spend time outdoors with them, playing games, and seeing life through their eyes. She aso likes spend time with her friends and family, reading, playing piano, and watching Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, and The Real show.



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