I have read your post and the replies it has generated with great interest.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a life changing experiance of that there is no doubt. When we first hear those words, "I'm afraid you have cancer", we immediately think the worst, I know I did. But over the following months, I can honestly say cancer has changed my life for the better. So much so, I often surprise people when I say, If we were built with re-wind buttons and I could wind my life back to the time before I had cancer, and was to be offered a road free of cancer or the one with it, I would still choose the one with the cancer. I used to be very shy and when I met someone at the doctors surgery It was always the other person who would start the conversation. I only used to answer yes or no and this often finished the conversation. But now I am very often the one starting the conversation. I have joined several charity committies plus this great forum which is something I would never have done before.
I have always considered myself a happy person, but I can honestly say, I am enjoying life more than ever before. I also appreciate the simple little things in life like hearing the birds singing, children laughing, a smile from a passing stranger when out walking plus the beautiful sunrise/sunsets. I think when we realize we have cancer and we may lose these things we treasure, it doubles our appreciation of all the good things in our lives that too often we take for granted.
There used to be a lady on here who kept an appreciation diary. In it she would write at least three things each day that had gone right for her, rather than concentrating on the things that had gone wrong. This made her feel much more positive and I thought it was a lovely idea.
I realize that I have been very lucky in that I have made such a good recovery from prostate cancer so my take on what you have written will be differnt from others who are still undergoing treatment or are waiting for results ect. I have also lost several family members to cancer and this has also had an impact on my life.
I am, like you said, much more understanding and sympathtic towards other people and have learned so much in my three years as a member of this wornderful communitte
Thanks for starting this post and I apolgise for rambling. Best wishes to you all, Brian.