How have I never heard of Alice Hoffman? The writing within Survival Lessons was so beautiful and so thoughtful, I was left in awe. I read this book on a recent flight between St. Louis and Boston and am sure the two gentlemen I was sitting next to could hear me audibly gasp as I read beautiful passages provoking moments to stop and ponder.
You see, I’m never really sure what to say to someone when I find out they have cancer. It’s not an appealing topic for anyone and as supportive as I want to be, I find I struggle awkwardly for the right words.
Start with the truth…
I’m pretty sure every person who has been diagnosed with cancer thought, “This is never going to happen to me.” You know, cancer happens to everyone else, right? At least that’s what Alice Hoffman thought until breast cancer crept into her life.
What she found after her diagnosis was she just wanted people to be truthful. She cites different times when she enjoyed interactions with children who can’t help but be honest and ask the tough questions, “Does it hurt?” and “Are you scared?”
Don’t hold back on love…
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, realize love is precious and should be shared like confetti – sprinkle that shit everywhere! You may not be able to cure the person you adore by pure love, but it comes really damn close. Love with all your heart. Many with cancer feel those love and prayers, even when they can’t describe why they feel vibrations.
Time is a non-renewable resource.
I talk a lot about efficiency when I blog. I realize I’m doing this in the context of business, but what about in illness? When someone goes through cancer, Alice Hoffman reminds that time cannot be wasted. It’s yours to use as you like.
Watch Netflix non-stop.
Listen to Duran Duran over-and-over again.
Study the ants building a home.
Understand the person you are talking to is hyper-aware of the importance of time. Be slow with them if they want to be slow. Be fast with them if they want to be fast. Time is on their terms.
This is an easy read at 83 pages but packs a powerful lesson on understanding where someone is with their cancer. I highly recommend you take the time to read this and share with others.
Be bigger, better, and more BIONIC today.
Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite