National Cancer Survivors Website Blog: SAY YES TO LIFE ARTICLE

The Official Website of National Cancer Survivors Day


Say Yes to Life

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ilse Anderson[NCSD guest blog post by Ilse Anderson]

We all face daunting challenges at some point in our lives. Whether the crisis involves health, career, or relationships, the initial reaction is always fear. I’m not talking about being scared, which is a natural response to the unknown. Being scared has a purpose: it gets your adrenalin going so you can think clearly and act decisively. Then it passes. Fear, on the other hand, paralyzes you, and if you let it, fear will take up residence in your mind and heart. 

Of course I was scared. I had been diagnosed with stage IV oral cancer. From one day to the next, I found myself in a life-or-death struggle with a limited amount of time to decide how I would handle it. I had to set firm boundaries to keep fear at bay because we often focus on the negative in critical situations, and fear feeds on negativity. I had to shut out anything and anyone who would steal my positive outlook. 

Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” And, indeed, my decision to undergo a three-quarter glossectomy (surgical removal of part of my tongue) reflected my hope for a future with my children and dear friends. While negativity nurtures fear, positivity enables hope. That is why a positive attitude is such a powerful force. But what fosters a positive attitude? The answer is gratitude

Gratitude forces you to find the positives in your present situation, whatever that may be. For example, I couldn’t travel the world as I always had, but I reveled in seeing the sun rise and set from my window. As part of my recovery, I made “gratitude lists” every day. I learned to appreciate what I had in that moment, and I shifted my focus away from what I did not have. Things I used to take for granted took on the significance they deserved. My life became fuller, even at its lowest point. Gratitude opened me to positive change. 

Today, my cancer treatments have ended, but gratitude continues to propel me forward. I look back at my gratitude lists from two years ago and smile. Every step, big or small, had a place on my list: the surgery, my children, a brain that still functioned, the tiny bit of my tongue that remained intact and helped me speak again. Each statement of gratitude led me to today.

Above all, I learned there is nothing to fear. Life is unpredictable. You don’t know when yours will turn upside down. The things you think are important suddenly become irrelevant. 

I hope my story will inspire you to live in the present moment. Live in gratitude. Live every day with no regrets. Make each day so wonderful that yesterday gets jealous. Say yes to life!

Ilse Anderson wrote Say Yes to Life about her battle with cancer. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Tulane University. She speaks four languages and loves to cook, paint, and travel. She lives in Dallas, TX, and has three adult children: twin daughters and a son. Visit for more information.


When you read this quote it should inspire Gratitude. What are you Grateful for? We have so much to be Grateful for yet we forget to encompass this feeling with body ,mind, spirit. I am not implying thankfulness which is an exchange between two or more people, aN exchange.
Gratitude is an overwhelming feeling of having five senses, of being able to live, and each day see Life as the gift it is. When we embrace Gratitude we open ourselves to positivity. What are your thoughts and experiences on Gratitude? Do you journal?

Gratitude changes YOUR Perspective

I keep a gratitude journal . To date I have filled two. By focusing on what one has gratitude for ,one creates a shift in your mind,energy and you see things from a different perspective.  You manifest your desires ,as you are first and foremost are grateful for Today and what is and what you HAVE.Life is truly beautiful, La vida es Bella!

What are your thoughts?

Gratitude for Health

“After a traumatic HEALTH EVENT, years might pass, your scars heal, your blood counts will be normal….but you will never again:

WAKE UP and start the day without appreciating your HEALTH. Start everyday with Gratitude for your HEALTH. This  blessings cannot not be bought, do not take it for granted”

Lets Spread Love writes:Do you ever feel disconnected from other people?

Whether you catch yourself judging someone you don’t even know—like that person on the subway who’s taking up two seats rather than one—or you have an off day at work and are giving off negative vibes to avoid any unnecessary small talk, sometimes you need take a minute to sulk in negativity.

But, be honest: Does your not-so-nice thinking ever help you feel better, in the long term? While it might give you a sense of temporary relief, it never flips your mood completely.

Instead, when we separate ourselves from others, we actually separate ourselves from our loving truth—and this disconnect can leave us blocked in relationships and how we relate to the world. (Time to end this, right?!)

Let’s make 2017 the year of kindness and openness. Whenever you’re feeling disconnected, I want you to bust through that block and send love to all. Here’s how.

No, you don’t have to start walking around and giving off random hugs to strangers! First, you need recognize that every word, movement, and action leaves a powerful impression on those around you—good or bad. Once you put that on your radar, your second task is to get into the practice of not only emanating love, but sharing it too.How to do it? It’s simple. Throughout the day, send love to everyone you see.

You can send love through a thoughtful prayer, a smile, or the simple intention to be kind. If you’re on the bus, subway or even stuck in traffic, send love to your fellow commuters. All it takes is a simple thought: “I pray for you to have a blessed day.”

The best way to bring togetherness for all is to simply send love to all. Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini yoga, said, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” Consider God love. If you want to experience divine love in your life, then practice seeing love in all. Think of yourself as a love machine that becomes more loving as love is spread. (Okay, that’s a lot of loves—but you get it.)

Over the last five weeks of this (Re)New Year series,  you’ve sweated and meal prepped, prioritized self-care, and worked on your inner (and outer) beauty, but today—and for the rest of the year—I want to challenge you to be kind. Before you walk into work, silently bless everyone in the office. When you come home at night to your roommates or family—or even your cat—say a prayer for them before you walk in the door.

Spread the love far and wide, and pay attention to how it makes you feel—but more importantly, pay attention to the way people react to you. Through a simple prayer, smile, or a positive thought, you can change someone’s life. And together, imagine the impact we can have on the world. Here’s to a kinder 2017!

What are your thoughts? Are you ready to start spreading love with a smile, a kind thought a prayer?