What I've Learned From Having Cancer Twice

26/04/2017  |  Guest Bloggers |  Posted by: Jane Leckey

Jane Leckey (right) and her mother

Jane Leckey -- seen on the right-hand side of this photo, sitting alongside her mother -- will be speaking at Yoga to Conquer Cancer

There's no good time to be diagnosed with cancer, but getting the news a week before Christmas is, without a doubt, very bad timing. Experiencing this situation more than once? You'd be forgiven for thinking that’s a little unfair.
 
Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour a few months after finishing high school, I was successfully treated at Toronto General Hospital and went on to enjoy three decades of health and happiness.
 
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2016, it hit hard. Despite my shock and surprise, I had complete confidence in my treatment team at The Princess Margaret, another member of the highly respected University Health Network. Knowing I was being treated by a team of caring, compassionate individuals – truly the best of the best – went a long way towards quelling my anxiety and restoring my emotional equilibrium.
 
So, too, did yoga.  A relative newbie, I took it up three years ago at a time when I sought a renewed focus in my life. For better or for worse, I’ve always taken an all-or-nothing approach to the practice, pushing hard to find my limits. During my treatment, it became a safe haven where I could find stillness and focus on healing my mind, body and spirit. With every exhalation, I could breathe out chaos and with every inhalation, I could breathe in calm. I’ve had to modify my practice in the past four months – but perhaps learning to be gentle with myself is one of the lessons I can take away from this experience. 
 
I've also learned that while I can’t control every situation that arises, I can try to control the way I respond. And I've chosen to respond with gratitude for all the good in my life, which includes loving, supportive friends and family, an understanding employer, and a top-notch treatment team comprising experts in their respective fields. It may not come wrapped in ribbons and bows, but perhaps gratitude is the unexpected outcome of a Christmastime cancer diagnosis.

Join Jane at Yoga to Conquer Cancer on May 7! 
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