When my dad was first diagnosed with Lung Cancer life as my family knew it changed dramatically. We could never have known that our idea to build a bucket list was going to change everything about our situation.
Update: If you have no idea how to deal with all this cancer business, we can help you formulate a plan to tackle the immediate issues… finding the best care, talking with your insurance company, finding resources that will actually help, and dealing with the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of this whole situation.
I could give you a million reasons why I hate cancer.
But I will also admit that I’ve learned some incredible lessons from cancer. One of the things that I appreciate about cancer is it makes you start to look at life a little bit differently.
I never used to worry about time, I used to think that there would be plenty of time for all of the things I wanted to do… later.
That word…later is dangerous. We put things off until later because we think we have nothing but time. And then suddenly without warning, you find yourself in a totally different position.
One of the things we learned very quickly, is there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to when you’re spending your days running to treatments, doctor appointments and feeling like crap.
So, we decided that we could let cancer take over our life… Or, we could live every single good day we had to the absolute fullest.
We decided to build a bucket list.
A bucket list is not just a few cool places you want to see, a true bucket list should include everything that you want to…
Taking time to build a bucket list is a great way to take your life back from cancer. To make sure that cancer knows, it’s not the boss of you.
Cancer doesn’t get to come in here, ruin your whole life and then monopolize your time.
Cancer has a bad habit of taking over your whole life by stealing your time with treatment, doctors’ appointments and rough days.
It’s hard day after day to get up in the morning and be excited about more appointments.
Reasons to Keep Fighting
We need things to look forward to. Things to be excited about, think about and plan for. The more reasons you’re loved one has to keep going and keep fighting this thing, the better.
Bucket lists are NOT about dying. Bucket lists are about living.
They are about taking advantage of every single good day and finding more and more things that make you happy and give you a reason to keep fighting.
This week, I am asking you to join our Build A Bucket List Challenge.
We are making a list of the things that make us happy, keep us motivated, and that we can do on the good days to stick it to cancer.
All you have to do is make a list (you can use this free printable if you want) and check them off one by one as you are able to do them.
The instructions are pretty simple…
Step #1: Start to Build Your Bucket List
Consider the next 3 months. Figure out what you want to do and write it down.
What are some things you’ve been putting off, or letting go until “later?”
- Things you’d like to do.
- People you’d like to spend time with.
- Places you’d like to go.
- Food you’d like to eat.
You bucket list doesn’t have to be big elaborate events (although they can be). They can just be simple things that you love…
We did things like…
- The aquarium with the grandkids
- Camping overnight at our favorite campground
- Dinner at The Culinary Institute of America (which was amazing!).
- Broadway Shows (we found cheap tickets on Groupon).
- Trip to North Carolina and spent some time with family.
- Road trip to the mountains for the weekend.
- Dinner at Carmines and Rosie O’Grady’s.
- We had a picnic by the lake and did some fishing.
- Checked out the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
- Visited the 9/11 museum and cried our eyes out.
- Toured Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Times Square.
- We attended a reunion with family we hadn’t seen in years.
- A last-minute cruise to Bermuda. (no joke, you can find our full review of cruising with cancer here…)
Step #2: Plan out the details.
Moving around these days might be very different than when things first started. The changes are not a big deal, but you may need to make a few adjustments.
- What do you need to make those 5 things a reality?
- Do you need to arrange travel? Drop off or pick up?
- Are several people going? Or just a few?
- Will you need a walker or a wheelchair for your loved one? Either of these will give your loved one a chance to relax or take a break when needed?
- Is this an overnight or far away trip? Will you need any special equipment? A toilet seat riser? A shower chair? A wheelchair, a walker or both?
- Should this be discussed with the doctor? For example: When we took my dad on a cruise, we talked with the doctor about everything having to do with that vacation so there were no surprises.
- Where should you go for an emergency?
- How will you respond to an issue? Or what would we tell the hospital (in Bermuda!) if we ended up there.
By planning ahead, we had already considered the bad stuff mapped out, so we could focus our energy on having a blast.
(Bonus: Don’t forget to ask the doctor about medication. They were able to make a few med changes for the cruise vacation period and he ended up feeling great for the entire vacation).
Step #3: Make a quick list of things you need.
Jot down a quick list of anything you need to remember on that day, including things you need to bring (medication, special equipment, emergency numbers, snacks!)
And there you have it.
Building a bucket list can change everything about the way you feel and give you things to be excited about.
So, tell me are you ready to stick it to cancer and build a bucket list?
Use the comments below to tell me you’re in!
P.S. If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start… The Cancer Combat Plan is a step by step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress and the overwhelm.
Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan. So if you’re looking for action steps, resources, and strategies that will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free…
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