Cancer Care Parcel Logo

No products in the basket.

Cancer Care Parcel Logo

No products in the basket.

For Everyone Touched By Cancer

Appreciating life in a way that I never have before.

Written by Anita Brown on 
15th April, 2019
Updated: 16th January, 2023
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Its most likely cancer” they were the words that changed my life.

For the worse AND for the better.   Even as I type those words it makes me smile and shudder. One thing it dod do is make me appreciate life.

I am now living in my 4th year since being diagnosed with a neuroendocrine small cell bladder cancer.  4 years!!! Wow!  And yes, the past 4 years have been challenging, trying and distressing at times however they have also been filled with love and laughter. 

Filled with a new, greater understanding of this life.

I always say that

“The worse year of my life” also became the “best year of my life.”

How totally messed up does that sound? But it is TRUE and I have cancer to thank for that.

I wouldn't have realised that I can write, had I not been diagnosed with a terminal, incurable cancer.  I wouldn't have looked at all my priorities, I wouldn't of looked at my life and realised how I was just existing, not living, not fully grasping the moment nor appreciating the small things in life.

I have had so many amazing moments appreciating life in the last 3 years.

Speaking at the Macmillan Coffee morning at The Houses of Parliament and at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancers’ Conference last December.  Helping to spread awareness and aiming to highlight bladder cancer.

“The Worse Year Of My Life” Also Became The “Best Year Of My Life.”

I know having cancer sucks, I know that there have been people who aren't as lucky as me, who haven't survived this journey and it is heartbreaking.  there is no rhyme nor reason to why I am still alive, especially when the prognosis was so grim.

We all have a choice on how we react to events in our lives and that choice can help to define who we are and what we do with the information and experiences that we have a patient and as a human being.

Standing up and speaking to all those people, who would of thought it?

Little old me, Anita Brown, who has done nothing spectacular in her life and now I have a voice and I am using it for the greater good. I am making a difference in a small but positive way.  And it isn't all “about me’ this is about finding a purpose within my life, finding a reason to live, appreciating life, connecting and growing with other people in the same situation.

I believe that life itself is a challenge, we grown and learn and if we are lucky we can see the bigger picture. Life isn't all about material things, life isn't about money (although it would be nice) life is about the small things.  Helping and supporting others, using my voice I can make a ripple and when we all come together, we become a powerful force and appreciate all life has to offer.

We become strong.  We become UNSTOPPABLE!

I love my life now, so much more than I did before.

We count my “perfect moments” every day and it can be as something so simple as walking Sherlock in the woods and noticing the trees, the ferns and taking that time to realise just how lucky we are that we can do things like this.  That nothing is a chore.  That small moments are the big moments in our lives.

Appreciating life in a way that I never have before.  Not taking anything for granted, learning to live with the cancer, being thankful that I am alive.  How often are we really and truly thankful for being alive?  I never used to give it a second thought if I am being honest with you.

Please don't misunderstand me, it isn't all unicorns and rainbows all of the time, we just choose to focus on the happy times.

We choose to stay away from dramas, from gossip, from negativity.  I know that we wouldn't have this understanding of life now if I hadn't been diagnosed with cancer and I am a much nicer person now than I was before.  (ask my hubby) and I use the “we’ because it isn’t “just you” on this self discovery journey.

The hubs appreciates life so much more now.  He also knows that whatever life brings we can deal with anything as we have faced the worst thing that we could ever imagine happening and we are surviving and thriving

Cancer strips you down to your soul, you have a lot of time to reflect on life whilst lying on the sofa.

You begin to notice that there is much more to life than getting up, working and coming home.  You begin to understand what life is all about. You appreciate and take the time to

stop and smell the flowers

Little Old Me, Anita Brown, Who Has Done Nothing Spectacular In Her Life And Now I Have A Voice And I Am Using It For The Greater Good.


My relationships and friendships have strengthened because of cancer.  I take the time now to spend it with the people I love.  I am a stronger person that I was before.  I know that  WE can deal with A N Y T H I N G now and that N O T H I N G will stop me from, what I now see as my life purpose, and that is to speak to as many people as I can and share the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer.

Cancer has been a blessing to me.

Would I go back to the “me” before…. erm Nope! I like this Anita, this Anita is far more understanding, compassionate and caring than the old Anita.

This Anita has empathy and the ability to connect with people on a level that she never has before.  She is a happy, smiley person with the confidence of a hippo now, she is appreciating life, and that's all thanks to cancer!

Further reading

Building a new life: A personal story of secondary cancer

We strongly advise you to talk with a health care professional about specific medical conditions and treatments. The information on our site is meant to be helpful and educational but is not a substitute for medical advice.

Related Posts

Cancer Caregivers Need To Take Care Of Themselves Too!

When People Are Diagnosed With Cancer, It Is Very Easy To Overlook The Toll The Disease Also Takes On The Cancer Caregivers.

Read More
Three Little Words: The Diagnosis that made me a Better, Kinder Person

The cancer journey delivered changes to me that I think I very much needed and, other than being bald and feeling poorly, the positives I got out of the experience have been utterly huge.

Read More
Bike & Fight: Our Motto “Bike Together – Fight Together” In Every Way

During Chemo, Cycling Gave Me The Strength To Ease My Mind And To Not Fall To Pieces. So I Developed Bike & Fight. To Fight Together.

Read More
How To Help Someone With Cancer: What You Need To Know

So you have found out that a friend, colleague or loved one has cancer. What do you do now? The easiest thing is to not deal with it, just ignore it until you hear they are better or worse. And there are many people who do just that, simply because they do not feel that they know how to react or possibly because they don't want to face it. But this is the worst thing you can do for someone who might need you right now. Helping a friend with cancer does not have to be difficult.

Read More
1 2 3 50

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 comments on “Appreciating life in a way that I never have before.”

Featured products

Sign up for more information
3 Days Of Tips For People With Cancer
3 Days Of Tips To Help You Help Your Friend

Newsletter For
Anyone Touched By Cancer
Sustainability Matters
Every purchase, big or small, has a footprint. But sustainability challenges don’t have a quick fix.
We use a hosting service that is run on 100% renewable electricity from sources like the sun, wind and sea.
We use a fulfillment partner who are fully committed to minimizing their environmental impact.
All our hampers are created in eco-friendly recyclable boxes.
Our printed products are printed-on-demand, creating less waste than conventional manufacturing.
A tree is planted for every product purchased.
Eco Friendly
Cancer Care Parcel Ltd. Registered in England and Wales.
Trading Address: Highstone House, 165 High Street, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5SU, UK. Registered Office: 7a High Street, Barnet, Herts, EN5 5UE.
Company Number 14415197, VAT number is GB428826076,  EORI number is XI428826076000