30 Ways to Stay Positive When You Have Cancer

by Brittany McNabb-WhatNext

We recently posted a question on the site about how you remain positive in the face of cancer. We got a lot of great responses and below is a summary of them. We hope they inspire you to be the best you can be.

1. I look at each day as a new day.
“I have always been positive but when first diagnosed I had good and dark days. I tell people every day is not a good day,but everyday I wake up is a great day.” - weighmaster
Sunrise Lake

via christopherwink.com

2. I tell myself it could be worse.
“It could have been so much worse. I try to never forget it.” - 2bbcontinued

"No matter how bad things may seem, there is always, always someone who has it worse than you. I've learned to be grateful that I am not the ‘worse than.’” - LauraJo

Woman With Elephant

via opheliaexplainsitall.blogspot.com

3. I fight for my loved ones.
“One of my thoughts is leaving my son. I can't leave him. On the other hand, I just really don't think about being positive, I just am.” - flamingogirl

“I think most of us try to think positive thoughts to get us through the treatments. But, we also do it for our loved ones who are being so supportive to get us through this maze.” - cam32505


via specialsections.suntimes.com

4. I am realistic but still positive.
“Sometimes the most positive thing that can be said is this sucks and how are we going to deal with this suckyness.” - BoiseB

“I look at the mirror and focus on what I have (and love what I see) instead of focusing on what I lost. I battle everyday to get back what I can and what I cannot, I recreate. We can and we will win.” - glam

Bald Woman In Mirror

via cancer.about.com

5. I tell myself I can handle this challenge.
“When I start thinking about it there are a lot of people who have it harder than me. Mostly people who are starving or live in areas where there are wars. People who have no freedoms. The list is really very long. I decided that unless I am some divine princess who was meant to be spared all challenges in life I have the right challenge for me.” - zubsha
Man In Chemo Chair

via blaine.org

6. I reach out to others for help and validation.
“I stay positive by realizing that cancer is too big to handle myself. I stay around positive people.” - Pamela1957
Large Family

via blog.cancersupportcommunity.org

7. I ride out the storm with someone I love.
“When I feel too negative, I reach out to someone who cares about me and that I trust. They listen and validate me and ride out the storm with me.” - MMarie
Husband Kissing Wife

via winshipcancer.emory.edu

8. I am thankful for what I have.
“As my husband so aptly puts it--I am breathing, walking and enjoying life. What more could I ask for?” - DianaL
Last Chemo 9 18 2013

via whatnext.com/pinboard from terrilynn

9. I look for the silver lining and rays of hope.
“Through the worst times in my life I would always look for the bright spot in any difficult situation. For instance, some blue sky on a rainy day, a baby cooing in a hectic waiting room, the warm comfort of the heated blankets during chemo- even if that warmth was short lived, I would get overjoyed about it and concentrate on how great it felt when the chemo felt so bad. So when the going gets tough, I get tough by looking for that ray of hope in my situation.” - Juddmaster
Lirasgirl33 On Ocean Bluff

via whatnext.com/pinboard from Lirasgirl33

10. I count my blessings.
“The way I face my hardships is by having faith and looking at my blessings. Even having cancer has brought blessings into my life.” - Garzatg
Lirasgirll33 On Rock

via whatnext.com/pinboard from Lirasgirl33

11. I choose to be positive.
“I think about the fact that attitude is truly a choice, and if I choose to be negative, not only will it make me miserable, it will also affect those around me. Besides, a negative viewpoint will not change the situation one iota, so why go there? Above all, I try to keep in mind what my grandmother always said: "Every day I wake up on the green side of the grass is a GOOD day!” - baridirects
Workit On Bike

via whatnext.com/pinboard from workit

12. I choose to be happy.
“So if you have to plaster a smile on your face and pretend just to keep going, do it, eventually the smile will become real. If you can't do it for yourself do it for someone you love. Happiness and sadness are choices, choose to be happy!” - Garzatg

The Huffington Post recently wrote a story on a woman, Deborah Cohan, who was facing a double mastectomy. Right before surgery her and her medical team broke out in a dance to Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied.” This video is truly inspiration and a great representation of someone choosing to be happy in the face of cancer. Click here to watch video                                   Or Dance

via huffingtonpost.com

13. I use visual tools of encouragement from friends.
“From the moment cards and pictures (I am an art teacher) started coming to the hospital from loved ones, friends and students, my husband would promptly tape them up on the walls. Visualizing these every morning when I woke up was just what I needed to make it through the day. When my Aunt came to relieve my husband at my bedside during my first stay, she slapped a "Life is Good" magnet on my door. I couldn't see it but everyone knew when they entered my room, it was one with a positive attitude inside!” - LisaLathrop
Husband Wife In Room

via bangordailynews.com

14. The more positive I am the more positive I continue to be.
“Positivity breeds positivity. Negativity breeds negativity.” - kelley_gleason
Man Getting Ctscan

via abqjournal.com

15. I believe God will protect me.
“Ultimately, I know I'm in God's hands. He's my father and watches over me. He works through doctors, medicine and treatment. I will continue to live and not take the time he has given me for granted. If I have to fight this disease now, so be it. I will get through this. ‘This too shall pass.’” - Lirasgirl33
Woman Praying

via victoriaadvocate.com

16. I take it moment by moment.

“Admitting our down moments, our fearful moments, our moments of despair help us keep them in context, they are just that. Moments. You also celebrate the good moments, they help you through the tough stuff. Always keep moving forward.” - kashubian
Cindit85 Ringing Bell

via whatnext.com/pinboard from cindit85

17. I keep busy by taking care of pets.
“I knew I had to stay busy mentally and physically in order to deal with my cancer and the treatments. My vet asked me to foster some dogs. I debated whether I could handle it but realized it would be the best therapy for me. I took care of mini schaunzers and had no more than three at one time. I ended up adopting one of them and she is my special dog. I swear she could tell when I had chemo. She wouldn't leave my side. I really believe knowing I had something to take care of kept me strong.” - Kathy1
Glam And Dogs

via whatnext.com/pinboard from glam

18. I am inspired by someone in my life that fought cancer before me.
“The first time I heard I had cancer I was SHOCKED but knew my mom did it with such grace I had LARGE shoes to fill.” - Bb31565
Rfl Survivors

19. I give back to others to feel fulfilled myself.
“God first, then family and friends that mean the world to me. I am a people person and have been a counselor and support group leader for the past 12 years. I know how important a helping hand can be, I am not afraid to reach out.” - DeniseD

20. I use my sense of humor.
“I keep humor in my life. Cancer by all means is not funny but a smile a day makes life easier.” - dinkersmom
Dmerriman In Chemo Chair

via whatnext.com/pinboard from dmerriman

21. I find an outlet and new concentration.
“Find a focus. For me it was hiking, I wasn't going to let cancer defeat me and not let me hike. I actually did more hiking since cancer than before. For another woman I know it was art, something she could do at 2 am when she couldn't sleep.” - mcshap

via whatnext.com/pinboard from veedub

22. I laugh.
“At least 1 good belly laugh a day is a necessity! That's why I become the Viking Princess, CPT Chemo, the Cavewoman, etc. I'm willing to make a total fool of myself if it will bring a laugh to someone's otherwise painful day. One day at a time...” - Ydnar2xer
Baridirects Clapping

via whatnext.com/pinboard from baridirects

23. I do not indulge my frustrations.
“When someone would ask how I was -- no matter if I had a bad night, etc. -- I would say "I am doing fine" -- before long I had myself convinced. I would bond with the Doctors and nurses -- I would always kid around with them. By not laying my ills and frustrations on others, I was not laying it on myself. I became that strong and positive person that I was trying so hard to be.” - JennyMiller
Fake It Till You Make It

via splashlifeblog.com

24. I participate in clinical trials.
“Participating in clinical trials has made the whole experience have a deeper meaning for me and keeps me positive. I'm leaving my contribution to research to my son and grandsons because I know first hand that genes are part of the equation. My dad had it, and my brother has it - that's no coincidence. I'm technically on my 5th trial. A couple were as simple as donating a couple vials of blood to the cause. I figure if no one will participate we'll never find any new treatments and surely never a cure.” - mgm48
Man In Chemo Chair With Nurs

via bozemandailychronicle.com

25. I stay balanced with all my emotions from sadness to joy.
“I give myself permission to have low moments or tough times rather than fighting with those low moments. By giving myself permission to feel sad or angry, I find myself better able to move on and get back to living my life. I guess an important aspect of staying positive for me is STAYING BALANCED...” - leepenn
Smile And Frown On Scale

via heavenlyinspiredsoul.blogspot.com

26. I have confidence in who I am.
“I I try to be the smiling person, happy with the world, that I was before my diagnosis because I am! I am me, just with a few cell modifications, but still me. Whatever your new normal is, the fatigue, the side effects, and whatever else comes in to play, YOU are still YOU. You still exist, so that is how I stay positive.” - mlk180
Girl Pink Hair

via examiner.com

27. I keep reaching forward.
“I am a 13 year pancreatic cancer survivor and over the years some people have passed away. It is very difficult to remain positive in times such as these, but again you reach down deep inside and you defy with a passion everything that this disease tries to do to you. Persistence and determination are what you need to fight this battle and to remain positive. Learn from your own experiences and remember all that you went through to get where you are today. The further you can look back behind you, the farther you will reach going forward.” - Russ
Woman In Wheel Chair Chemo With Daughter

via nonprofit.about.com

28. I start new hobbies.
“I developed new hobbies. Things such as writing, sewing, painting, walking, hiking, drawing and photography.” - MOONSOVRBEND
Mcshap On Trail With Husband

via whatnext.com/pinboard from mcshap

29. I keep cancer in perspective.
“I know I was very lucky, because my cancer was caught at a very early stage. I call my cancer journey ‘The Detour.’ It reminds me that This. Is. Temporary. I just wish it could be temporary for everyone. I am also fortunate to have had tremendous support during my treatments, and that helped me stay positive (most of the time).” - parank
What Cancer Cannot Do Lady Holding

via sentinelstandard.com

30. I believe I can beat cancer.
“I trust in God, I trust my doctors to provide the best treatment for me, and I trust in my family to be my rock when I get discouraged.” - kwebster78
Will Not Let Cancer Win

via relayforlife.org

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