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Life Redefined: Acceptance Speech

Post Published: 14 June 2011
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Category: Column, Life Redefined, Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults Column
This post currently has 3 responses. Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I talked about finding a new normal after being diagnosed with cancer and how some of my old normal is still a part of the new normal. It took me a long time to realize that part of me is never going to change because all I could focus on was what was DIFFERENT about me. All I could see were the changes I didn’t ask for and the changes I couldn’t give back.

For a long time I felt like all people could see when they looked at me was CANCER. It seemed as though people didn’t know how to talk to me because they didn’t know how to talk to cancer. Maybe some people did see me in this light. Maybe some people really did look at me and only see cancer. But I’ve come to realize that too often, I was the one who used those labels. I’m the one who labeled other people as insensitive because they couldn’t see ME. I’m the one who looked in the mirror and labeled myself with cancer. I am the one who added those boundaries. I am the one who allowed those boxes to be drawn around me. It was me.

In order to move forward with my life, I’ve had to break free of those self-imposed constraints. I had to look in the mirror and say, “I AM NOT CANCER. I AM MORE THAN MY DISEASE.” To find a way to really live, I had to learn how to accept who I am with cancer as a part of my life. Let’s face it—cancer is going to be a part of my life forever. Yes, it has changed me, and no, the change has not been all bad. Because of all that change, it’s going to affect my life, but that DOES NOT mean that it has to define me. I am not cancer.

Last night was the night of the Webby Awards. Webbys are awards that are given out to recognize excellence on the internet. They are the Academy Awards of the web. However, there is something very unique about the Webby Awards ceremony. Unlike the Oscars or Grammys or other awards ceremonies, the acceptance speeches do not go on and on with people thanking every person they have ever met. At the Webbys, acceptance speeches are five words. That’s it. Five words. Award winners have to get creative to say what they want to say in only five words. It’s actually very entertaining. Here are some of the best speeches from the 2009 and 2010 Webbys:  http://huff.to/ltZMUL

So last night I decided to write my own five word acceptance speech; self-acceptance speech, that is:

CANCER WILL NOT CONTAIN ME.

What if we could all look in the mirror and see past our diseases? What if we could look in the mirror and say, “YES, THIS IS WHO I AM! I AM NOT MY DISEASE!” What if we could learn how to accept ourselves as we are?

I’m challenging all of you to write your own five word self-acceptance speech. I want to hear from you. Let’s learn to love ourselves together. Start writing!

xoxo,

Joanna

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3 Responses to “Life Redefined: Acceptance Speech”

  1. jesbtea says:

    Love this!! My five word self-acceptance speech:
    DEAR CANCER, I WILL WIN!!

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