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Tough As Nails

young adult cancer

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with being human.  Our existence can seem so fragile and I find myself obsessing about what I could lose next.  Having young adult cancer and losing a parent to cancer as a young adult can do that to a person…one day the world changes so drastically that one can forget how life ever seemed so simple before.

How do you put yourself back on your feet when you’ve become out of sorts with the world?  I tend to look to music, tv/movies, or books to help.  I’m currently reading the Divergent series.  The dystopian world of loss, confusion, and courage was so easy for me to connect with that I felt myself drawing more and more into the books as I continued reading.  The ideals of being brave and learning to live with life’s fears were powerful to me recently as I paced through my house checking, rechecking, and checking another time whether I had considered everything that could catch on fire while I was gone.

“Do I look like I’ve been crying”…

“No…You look tough as nails.”

– Divergent, Veronica Roth

Remembering the ways in which I am courageous and tough as nails is sometimes helpful…and yet really the next lesson to learn is how to embrace the hurt and the pain until it passes.  Instead of being annoyed and exasperated with feeling the grief and the fright, I wish to be able to sit with it, being understanding and compassionate with myself…being able to trust that I am tough as nails regardless of the anxieties that enter and leave my existence.  These moments of grief and hardship will come and go, into survivorship.  I’ve seen that be true for myself as well as other survivors I have come across.

Do you have a hard time remembering that as a young adult cancer survivor you are tough as nails?  What helps you to remember?