But sadly, you would be wrong.
In fact, I've always had a blase attitude about my health, most likely because I've never had to worry about it. I'm sure I've inherited this attitude from my 94-year-old mother who swears she enjoyed good health because she used to pick carrots straight from the ground, then eat them with the dirt and grit still attached.
Of course, that was eons ago during the depression, but still. I did adopt her no-nonsense ways of looking at my health, and I'm grateful that I am the furthest thing from a hypochondriac. I am more apt to ignore a cold than to deal with it, and I don't stress about viruses, the flu, or being exposed to germs and bacteria, even as a nurse who is exposed to such contaminants (and more) daily.
I've been blessed with my mother's good genes, which means I rarely get sick.
It was my Chemical Engineer ex-husband who was fastidious about making sure the kids had their vitamins and antibiotics. I trusted that their bodies were hard at work healing them, just as I'd believed the same about myself.
So when cancer appeared a few months ago, I was stunned. After all, even though I've spent my adult life not worrying about my health, I've also made wise choices on my own behalf.
I've never had any major illnesses; I do not ever suffer from pain (not even headaches); I never have had the flu and my colds last a day or two each year (without missing work). I delivered three babies without medication, and my menstruation and later, menopause, were uneventful and stress-free.
I don't smoke, do drugs (never have), or drink much alcohol; I've never taken birth control pills, I don't readily reach for medication, and I get regular MD and dental check ups with good reports. I have been drinking apple cider vinegar drink every morning for several years; I switched to aluminum-free deodorant over a decade ago; I use homemade detergents/all-purpose cleaners for my house; and vinegar is my all natural cleaner of choice, even on my weeds and in my laundry.
After a rash appeared on my face from an allergic reaction to lotion twenty years ago, I switched to an all-natural cream that is made of honey, beeswax, olive oil, and bee pollen. I've never had blemishes, acne or many wrinkles since. Many say I look much younger than my 55-year-old self.
I changed jobs three years ago to a stress-free environment on purpose. My work is close to home so I don't have a stressful or long commute; I work 4 days a week so I can put ample time into working with coaching clients; and I enjoy my work, and feel appreciated and loved by the staff and residents.
I plan lots of down-time into my daily schedule--reading, writing, practicing yoga, walking, and spending time with my friends and family. I also take vacations often, even for short weekend jaunts. I own a home that is definitely my sanctuary, filled with good energy, bright colors, and belongings that bring me daily happiness. My car is reliable, and after nine years, it still feels like new.
I have three grown children who are happy in the world as they navigate their own futures, and grandchildren who bring me great joy. I have been a Registered Nurse for almost three decades and have practiced self help for two. I am a Life Coach who believes in manifesting (I'm really good at this!), angels, God, serendipity, and facing struggles head-on with a positive slant.
My point is this: I have been practicing healthy behaviors and habits for a very long time, and despite this, cancer still found its way in. It's not necessarily true that keeping diseases out is a function of a healthy diet and lifestyle, though these definitely increase your chances of remaining strong and vital.
According to my Naturopath, there is also the rule of thirds when it comes to disease: "genetics play one-third, lifestyle plays another, and the final third is rotten damn luck."
So I guess this means that I have pulled the WILD card of rotten luck.
But instead of believing that my card is destined to be a negative experience (or a death sentence), I have chosen to see it as just another chapter in my life that I must face and overcome. This experience is calling me to practice patience, and execute trust that my very healthy body is capable of tackling the bigger job of getting rid of the cancer that is trying to kill me.
After all, it is because I have been so healthy all these years that I have been able to withstand chemo with few side effects; that my body has compensated well by keeping all of my blood levels within normal ranges despite the infusion of poison every 21 days; and that my attitude has remained positive and light-hearted.
I am not interested in what caused this cancer, and I'm only mildly intrigued that it appeared despite my healthy habits and behaviors.
What I am interested in is remembering that while life may be fragile and random, we who endure our own personal hardships are anything but fragile. We are capable of handling, and thriving, anything that is thrown our way, and we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Humor and a positive outlook go a long way in keeping ourselves sane, happy, and healthy--even despite a crisis.
It has certainly worked for me. And I intend to thrive beyond this cancer with my life, sanity, and humor intact.