By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Cheryl’s Adventure - Wasted Worry
By Cheryl Copeland

During the opening faculty meeting at school this year where I am a teacher, my principal gave a brief update on the progress of my battle with Breast Cancer.  I personally was not in attendance to hear what was said, but I was quickly informed by many of my colleagues that he had never known anyone to remain so positive through such an ordeal and he was amazed at how I’m handling this deadly battle with such ease.  

Cheryl CopelandKnowing that such kind words were spoken of my attitude – my heart simply melted.   I needed that.  So many people have questioned me on how I can fight cancer in this fashion.  His words made me realize that I should let others know just how I'm able to remain incredibly happy, bubbly, and positive, all  while fighting for my life.  It's time to set the record straight.

Those who know me best know that my positive attitude isn’t a new concept.  My philosophy on life stems from my internal beliefs and most amazing of all, it's strongly reinforced from people in my life.  

Patti is a great friend who had battled cancer a few years ago resulting in removing one of her kidneys to save her life.  Throughout her battle she lived with the following philosophy: "There is no reason to worry until there is reason to worry.  And if I find that there’s reason to worry, I toss it up to God.  He will handle it.”  I simply adopted Patti's words to be my own. In doing so, I found that I did not get upset or scared, nor did I freak out about having Breast Cancer.  

After the diagnosis I had my first appointment as a cancer patient at a general surgeon’s office. While sitting in the waiting room I met Carol, a lady who had just completed her battle with cancer.  She offered up her contact information just in case I ever had any questions.  

I called Carol that night and she taught me a tremendous and valuable lesson: if you have Breast Cancer you MUST go to a Breast Cancer Specialist!  Carol redirected me to her very own doctors, who I've discovered are some of the best known doctors in town who specialize in breast cancer.  No words can describe the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the most amazing group of doctors that you can trust.  It makes all the difference in the world!  My family and I now refer to her as Angel Carol.  

Once the surgeries and treatments began, so did the next step in dealing with having cancer; Medical Bills!  The most insane amount of medical bills, insurance claims and notices rolled into the mail box more often than junk mail!  Attempting to sort, analyze, and figure out what money was truly owed, minus what I had already paid, created a larger headache than my actual doctor appointments, surgeries, and treatments!  

This stress was well beyond what my chemo brain was able to handle!  But, not to worry!  Along came my mother, who quickly saw her daughter drowning in the details of paperwork, and rescued me!  Mom continues to take away every single ounce of pain, frustration, and confusion relating to any and all insurance papers and billing process.  The relief from the process of the medical bills allows me time to focus on happily healing! 

Many doctors have shared that a positive attitude will work miracles.  I totally agree!  One of my beliefs is that God never gives you more than you can handle; there's absolutely no reason at all to be anything but positive!  I believe God will give you what you ask for as long as you can forgive others. I now make it a point each night to remove any anger from my heart first and then I ask Him to provide me with what I need, when I need it. 

So there you have it: Cheryl’s simple recipe for living a happy life to the fullest.  I’ve only mentioned a few examples of people in my Life who have been there for me, but there are so many, many more!  Whether you agree with me or not, I believe more than anything that God has sent me, and continues to send me, the right people that I need when I need them most.  

I have cancer, but I also have God who helps me.  So why worry?  If I did, it would simply be a waste of time! And who has time for wasted worry?  I've so much more to do in this Life!  Now, what were the words to that song?  Oh, that's right!  “Don't Worry, Be Happy!”  

 

Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.