Beyond Cancer


Donna Lee Lista
Donna Lee Lista

It’s been too long since I’ve checked in and shared some thoughts regarding life as a lung cancer survivor.

As you and I know all too well, life goes on, and so does the whirlwind associated with it. The upside of being a cancer survivor is no matter what else happens in your life, you can always say, “Well, at least it’s not cancer.”

Divorce is a perfect example. My lung cancer experience makes going through a divorce after 32 years of marriage, almost feel cathartic. It allows you to look at a situation and count your blessings, of which I have many.

It makes you think, “Wow, moving ahead will be new and fresh.” I have survived so much worse than this and came out the other side better, brighter and, happier than before. It makes me excited to see what lies ahead. I have learned not to be afraid of anything unknown, because I have learned how great the unknown can be and that there are so many new things to look forward to.

I have beautiful, wonderful daughters who are here to share in all my joys and all the new things that are ahead of me. And I am enjoying the excitement of a new relationship. I wake up in the morning and feel like each day only has the possibly of happiness ahead. From cancer, I’ve learned that nothing is to be taken for granted and each and every life experience is a preparation for the next bend in the road.

Cancer is not something anyone wants, and God knows not something anyone deserves. But within the confines of your cancer experience, you can learn things about yourself. Things that somehow make everything that comes later a piece of cake that melts in your mouth and makes you smile.

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