My therapist (also a cancer survivor) asked me, “What are you doing now that you wouldn’t have done before your diagnosis?”

I had to think about it for a few moments.
One thing came to mind. I have always been a mostly positive and humorous person. However, from the early days of my diagnosis, I decided to be especially careful not to dwell on the negative aspects of the major shift in my life. I wanted to bring more light to the world rather than just absorbing it from others or even extinguishing it. 

Just like my body was purging itself of cancer cells during chemo, I was purging my personality of negativity. More ‘yes, and’ and less ‘no, but’ (borrowing from the world of improv).
That doesn’t mean I’ve been naive about things. It’s hard not to worry about the big picture of what’s going on in your body. I still worried about my longevity and the possibility that I wouldn’t be around to see my children reach significant milestones. 

In my son’s Bar Mitzvah speech, he mentioned that I had never complained about my diagnosis and that when he visited me in the hospital, the nurses had told him many times that I was one of their most upbeat patients. 

I now focus on bringing joy to all those I interact with. My designs have a lot more humor or whimsy and, hopefully, bring a smile to those who see them. I’ve become much happier, and family life is calmer and more radiant. 

I’m asking myself now why on Earth didn’t I do this earlier in my life?