How a health scare can help you focus on what's important

Life happens. Just when you think everything is going swimmingly something pops up that knocks the wind out of you. It can be completely out of the blue or you can sometimes see it coming, but usually it’s the things that you don’t see that make you think. Health scares are usually the things that “pop up” and more often than not they do knock the wind out of you. But they can also help you focus on what’s important in life - like it did for me.

Last year I went for a routine smear test, I’d delayed it for a few months because… well to be honest it’s because I hate them, doesn’t every woman? I couldn’t stand laying there again having the nurse poke around for a while and then waiting a few weeks for the letter that said everything was okay. I didn’t think it would hurt to delay it a while and it would give me the time to build up the courage to go again. The Hubby was the one who noticed I still hadn’t gone when he found my reminder letter on the side in the kitchen. He was mad. He stood over me as I made my appointment.

Life life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.

Matt Cameron

The smear test was as uncomfortable as always and I couldn’t wait for it all to be over. I headed home and waited for the usual letter - only this time the letter wasn’t what I was expecting. It was one of the worst letters I have ever received and scared the life out of me. It had words like “dyskariosis” and I immediately got on to Google to work out what the letter was saying. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t the end of the world either. So I headed to the appointment that had been made for me to find out what it was all about.

How A Health Scare Can Help You Focus On What's Important | When was the last time you went for a health check?

I had to undergo surgery to remove cervical tissue that was “abnormal”, that tissue was then sent off to be tested. That’s when I had my health scare - I received a second letter that said the consultant wanted to “discuss the results” and dread engulfed me. It’s never good when you receive that kind of letter is it?

I went to see the consultant who told me they had found cervical cancer. To be honest I don’t really remember the entire conversation, I do remember having a stupid smile slapped on my face as if I wasn’t really hearing what the doctor was saying. I had cervical cancer. I had to have more surgery to confirm they had removed all of the cancer cells and would have to have regular smear tests (every six months) so they could keep a close eye on me.

I have recently been back to the hospital for a check and so far everything is okay, the cancer was removed and my checks have all been clear. But the one thing that that diagnosis did for me was make me think about life. A cancer diagnosis will do that - even if it’s one that has already been removed.

Life is like a roller coaster, live it, be happy, enjoy life.

Avril Lavigne

I started to think about my boys, what if I’d left it longer and the cancer had grown? What if they hadn’t spotted the cancer? What if…

It’s not a good thought trail to be on, but one thing it did do was make me think about the practicalities of life - and death. It made the Hubby and I think about our future, about life insurance, about retirement planning, and more. We have since set up our life insurance and constantly look at our financial situation to make sure we’re okay if anything happened to either one of us. We have made provisions for each other should something happen.

But what my cervical cancer diagnosis also did was make me think about my parents. I didn’t know if they’d started planning for their retirement or not. I didn’t know if they’d even thought about pensions. I do know there’s lots of things they’d like to do when they retire - holidays and home improvements - and SunLife has great resources to help them find other things to do too. It’s great they’re thinking about how they’ll spend their time when they’re not working anymore.

How A Health Scare Can Help You Focus On What's Important | Morgan Prince looks off into distance, smiling.

Because that’s the thing that struck me with all the cancer stuff - how life is so fragile that you really ought to be living it. LIVE life while you can because you never know what is around the corner. Enjoy a family holiday, buy that dress, take a day off work and have a coffee with friends. Whatever it is you want to do DO IT. Life is too short.

How A Health Scare Can Help You Focus On What's Important | Health scares can help you focus on family!

How are you going to LIVE LIFE today?

If you liked this post you'll enjoy Smear tests, cervical cancer, and how I feel about it, or if you're looking for something a little more light hearted why not check out Why it's awesome being a mum to teens and tweens.

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To help you keep your focus on the important things why not grab these cleaning checklists, then you don't have to think about what chores need doing!