Inspirational Quotes To Live By

by Jane Ashley

It seems that every person has advice to give us when we have cancer. One of them is to “stay positive.” Sometimes, we feel guilty when we don’t feel positive. Some folks want us to believe that that we might not have a good outcome from our treatment if we don’t “stay positive.” 

If They Can Do It

Other people might try to put a guilt trip on us if we don’t find a silver lining in our diagnosis.

There is so much emphasis in our culture on the “power of positive thinking” that some of us are lead to believe that a positive attitude will cure cancer. Don’t feel guilty about experiencing a wide variety of emotions during treatment. Our emotions include fear and anger, as well as acceptance. Our feelings will change throughout treatment.

Staying positive is a mental attitude that focuses on the bright side of life. And that’s why many cancer patients are unable to remain positive during and after treatment.

Staying positive may help us stay inspired to “keep on keeping on.” And that’s the key — we have to maintain our momentum and spirits for the long haul. Cancer treatment often takes a long time. Afterward, we see our medical team for five or more years after that. Living with a cancer diagnosis is a long-term adjustment in our life.

Quotations from others help inspire us because we realize that someone in the not so distant past and even centuries ago felt the very same emotions that we are feeling. Quotations help us experience a sense of community with both those who lived in the past and those with whom we live now.

Perhaps instead of “staying positive,” being INSPIRED might be the best advice for a cancer patient and their caretaker. Synonyms for “inspired” include:

• Bear up – to behave in a brave manner in a difficult situation
• Buck up – become encouraged, reinvigorated, to pluck up courage, or to summon one's courage or spirits
• Embolden – instill with boldness, courage, or resolution enough to overcome timidity or misgiving (what our caregivers often provide)
• Encourage – give support or confidence (another attribute of caregivers)
• Hearten – make more confident
• Inspirit – fill with spirit, restore or strengthen
• Steel – mentally prepare to do or face something difficult

Some of the Best Inspirational Quotes

Being inspired appears to be the most useful characteristic that we, as cancer patients, cancer survivors and caregivers, can possess. Being inspired does not require us to be happy when we get bad news. Being inspired doesn’t keep us from being anxious when we face complex surgery or scary procedures. 

Try To Be A Rainbow

Being inspired means that we hunker down and decide on our next plan of action.

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter…Walt Disney
You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved…Unknown
Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat…F Scott Fitzgerald
Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most…Buddha
Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible…Saint Francis of Assisi
The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God…Victor Hugo
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud…Maya Angelou
Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha…Robert Brault
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase…Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right…Tony Robbins
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen…Dr. Sukhraj Dhillon
Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right…Unknown
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go…T. S. Eliot
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky… Rabindranath Tagore
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present… Jim Rohn
A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows… Francis of Assisi
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant…Robert Lewis Stevenson
Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed…Dale Carnegie
Don't let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don't whine. You can be brought low, that's OK, but don't be reduced by them. Just say, 'That's life.'…Maya Angelou
Courage is fear holding on a minute longer….George S. Patton
Don’t get discouraged; it is often the last key that opens the lock…Unknown.

Wrong Versus Right


Whether this is the week after your diagnosis or you are a five-year survivor, it isn’t always possible to sustain positive thoughts. But even in our darkest moments, a small shaft of sunlight will penetrate the crack between the wall and the door. That small shaft of light brightens your outlook — inspirational quotes from others who have walked in the darkness serve as a beacon of hope for us. “If they can do it, then I can do it too.”

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