I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Not because I don’t think people can stick to them. I just believe we should all live our lives like that every day. Instead of resolutions, I come up with a word that I focus on throughout the year. I pray about it. I ask God to put it in my heart.
This year the word is JOY.
I plan to implement that one simple word … JOY … in everything I do and even the simplest of moments. Like being able to drive to the grocery store to shop because I’m healthy enough to be able to do that. I remember a time not long ago when I couldn’t. If we choose to see the beautiful blessings around us everyday – a sunny day, a good cup of coffee, the trees outside your window – we can begin to focus on the good things in life and experience more JOY!
For me, 2018 was challenging but amazing! I finished treatment in January for my recurrence, had an eight week break, and then started my new oral chemo drug! Which thankfully my body has tolerated really well.
It was a year of balance.
It was a year of finding myself.
It was a year of learning to control my thoughts and actions.
And in between all of that, it was a year full of amazing trips and memories.
The hardest part of being a cancer patient is learning when to say, “no.” I’ve always been a “yes” person because I’m never wanting to let anyone down. But sometimes you simply need to protect your energy in order to put yourself and your health first. I’ve learned what my limits are and how much my body can take and when to rest. That’s the key … rest. It’s so important for me to take the time to reset my mind and take care of me! And not feel guilty about it!
As women, we often take on the role of caretaker for everyone around us. We constantly put others needs before our own. The pressure can be overwhelming.
So remember, it’s OK to say no! It’s OK to put yourself first. It’s OK to rest and reset your mind!
I’ve learned to spend 15 minutes of quiet time every morning to clear my mind and set my intentions for the day. I’ve learned through meditation and prayer to trust in God’s plan for my life. To not fear my cancer and know God has me right where he wants me to be. I’m here to help others. We all have a path to walk in life. And I know this is mine. It may be messy and imperfect at times, but when you get down to it, life is such a gift. We have the power to create the life we want and in doing so, create joy for ourselves and those around us!
Cancer has a funny way of making you look at life differently. You appreciate the most mundane tasks, like standing at the sink washing dishes because you have the energy to do it. You look at a sunset and can’t believe God could paint something so beautiful. It’s hard to explain to others that haven’t experienced it, but you develop an amazing appreciation for LIFE.
I’m looking forward to 2019 and living my life with JOY.
There are SO many unknowns for those of us fighting ovarian cancer. But when you step back and think about it, that’s true for ALL of us whether we have cancer or not. So make a point everyday to find the joy in all the little things in life!
For me, I’m going to concentrate on the joy of taking care of myself for a bit. Eating healthy, exercising, meditating, making memories and traveling here and there and everywhere in between. So if you don’t see me at a racetrack, I’m out making memories with friends!
I still go for bloodwork once a month to make sure my body is handling the oral chemo well, but every time I leave the doctor’s office, I say a prayer for all the patients fighting and for the fact that I am able to get in my car and go on about my day when I leave there.
Life is tough. It’s complicated. And at times, even downright ugly. But out of all the ugliness, comes some of the most amazing moments of love, compassion and perseverance. So try to focus on those!
Stay strong and always be kind to yourself.
What an inspiration you are…beautiful inside and out.
Thanks for reminding me what really matters! I’m on my 3 rd reoccurrence and I want to live each day in JOY too!!!
I also have ovarian cancer. Have followed you on the nascar circuit. Love your attitude and zest for life. I also, have changed a lot during the last 2 years. One of the hardest things, is not pushing myself to the limit. My husband had a stroke and has lost all mobility on the entire right side, I feel so guilty for not being able to bring him home. I visit him every day for several hours and take care if him to help with his care.
I have a desire and determination to beat this “c” disease , faith, hope and love will be my guide.
Blessing, and love to you and all ladies fighting for our lives.
For Christmas my husband wanted to put up lawn ornaments. One was the word JOY. I loved it. It lit up and was so bright. I really felt joyfulness when I saw it.
Well, each letter was separate. Where we live it tends to be windy. And one night the wind knocked down the “J”. Or neighbor a roos the street texted me – Having a bad day? Your sign says OY!
(she knows I’m a cancer survivor).
Some days are like that. Our “J” gets knocked down. But where she saw OY! I saw YO! You got this!
Just wanted to share my JOY.
Thanks for being an awesome inspiration to not only me but people everywhere. Thanks for sharing your journey
I have been reading and following sherry for a long time. Thank you for all you and Martin are doing. You are truly an inspiration. God bless and prayers coming your way.
You are a precious gift and such an inspiration! You are blessed among women and we are blessed with you Sherry! Love in Christ!?
May God continue to bless you and fill you Joy. You are such an Inspiration. Love.
Sherri. You don’t know me but I am a survivor of cancer twice and survive battling RA now. I have never let the disease define me and I think that’s why you tug in my heartstrings as you do, because it doesn’t define you. My sister in law survived breast cancer stage one three years ago diagnosed. She is now battling stage 4 breast and stage 4 Kidney. She is 50 years young. Prognosis is if chemo doesn’t work, she will be out of time. Chemo is her lifeline. She and my brother have a 12 yr old daughter and it’s been pure heartbreak for all. I share this because I just needed a sounding board and someone who might understand the battle. I have prayed for you since hearing a couple years ago. I keep up with your tweets and now this blog which I love. My husband is in Nascar and travels every weekend for Roushyates Engines. It’s his 20th year in the garage in 2019. He is the operation manager trackside. He has been with Ford since he begin in racing started with Jack Roush and chad little and never left. He is very loyal to all he does, good or tough times. I wish you all the best in 2019! I love your foundation and live in Kannapolis. I have a Photobooth company of my own and would love to offer it for your foundation events, free or used for your foundation to make money from. I don’t believe in resolutions, I believe in mini goals and to live each day being a better person than I was the day before. God has given me several chances to be here on earth still and I owe him by giving back any way I can! God Bless you and Martin now and for the future!
YOU are such a role model for every single woman on this earth. The way you live your life inspires me.
God bless you!