I’m a survivor…some life advice from Lisa Newlin

written by Lisa Newlin on January 17, 2014 in Announcements and Uncategorized with 44 comments
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At the Ritz in West Palm beach

Based on the title of this post, you are probably thinking I’m going to talk about Christina Aguilera’s song “Survivor” in this post.  Unfortunately, that is not the case, although I would encourage you to hum that song while you read.

Seriously.  Hum it.

As some of you may know, I’m struggling with some medical issues.  It’s not something I’ve discussed with many people, nor do I intend to.  Although most of my life is an open book, this is one of the few things I want to keep private, and I appreciate people supporting my wishes.

I’m off work for treatment and although it’s a bit early to tell if it’s working, I am confident it will.

With that said, the point of this post isn’t to talk about me, but to encourage all of you to do a few things .(One of those is obviously to hum Christina Aguilera tunes, but you should already be doing that).

First, I encourage you to know your family health history.  Many medical conditions are either genetic or conditions that run in families.  Because of this it’s important to know the medical histories of your parents, grandparents, etc., if at all possible.

My favorite spa in the world!  The Eau Spa at the Ritz Carlton in West Palm Beach, Florida.  This is my happy place.

My favorite spa in the world! The Eau Spa at the Ritz Carlton in West Palm Beach, Florida. This is my happy place.

Knowing these things can make you more aware of predispositions you may have to things, and ultimately, could save your life.

Second, I encourage you to embrace and appreciate those around you.  Okay, maybe don’t physically embrace them, as the cashier at the checkout might not find your hug quite as endearing as you would like.  You might find your way to an assault charge if you take this advice literally.

Rather, simply appreciate those around you.  Yes, it’s cold and the snow can be a pain, but it’s also beautiful and provides a brightness that is otherwise missing during the winter months.  Yes, work can be difficult but it also provides a paycheck to allow you to live your life.

Not only should you appreciate those little things around you, but appreciate your loved ones as well.  I can say from my recent experiences that my family and close friends have been invaluable to me.  Every now and then stop and take stock of your life and all the amazing people you have in it.

The women's jacuzzi room at the Eau Spa.  The shower changes colors and the lounge chairs are heated stone that contour to your body.

The women’s jacuzzi room at the Eau Spa. The shower changes colors and the lounge chairs are heated stone that contour to your body.

I’ve never been so grateful for my husband as I have been these past few months.  I’ve realized some of the friends I have are the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I’m not sure I would have come to that conclusion until now, and I’m grateful this has made me aware of it.

Although I’m certainly upset with my diagnosis, among other things, it’s shown me  how many amazing people I have in my life.  It’s sad that something had to happen to demonstrate that to me, but I’m glad I’ve had that realization.

I’m hoping to impart that to you.  Don’t wait for something bad to come into your life.  Tell the people who matter how much they mean to you.  They need to know, and you need to realize just how much amazing people can impact your life.

I will get through this time and emerge a stronger woman on the other side.  I’m confident of that, but only because I have such an amazing group of people supporting me.

My father had a brain tumor several years ago.  The doctors weren’t hopeful but operated anyway, as they had nothing to lose.  Fortunately, my father survived and has been cancer-free for 25 years.

I have no idea how my dad fought through that, especially with the added stress of being self-employed and having a wife and children to support.  I also have no idea how my mom made it through that time.  Both of them are stronger than I will ever be.

My feet in one of the reflection pools

My feet in one of the reflection pools

With that said, I know I can do this.  If my parents could get through such a grim diagnosis, I can certainly deal with mine and move forward with my life.  So can you.  So can anyone.

I truly believe the positive attitude they have is part of what led to his successful treatment.  The love and support of others was also a big component as well.

A few years ago, his only sibling was diagnosed with cancer as well.  She also went through successful treatment and is still the amazing woman she was before her diagnosis.

I tell you these stories not only to demonstrate how awesome my family is, but for two reasons.  First, to demonstrate how important knowledge of your family medical history can be.

I'm thankful for the beach.  It's truly where I'm the happiest.

I’m thankful for the beach. It’s truly where I’m the happiest.

Both siblings had a cancer diagnosis, which is certainly telling that it can run in the family.  Sure, this could be a coincidence, but based upon other family history, I suspect it is not.

Second, this story demonstrates the importance of enjoying each moment and cherishing those around you.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and all we can do is live for today.  Enjoy every possible moment with your loved ones.

Enjoy your pets, the taste of a good dinner and the fresh air outside.  Soak in every wonderful moment of life, as you never know what the future could bring.

I’m grateful for my husband.  He’s been the most amazing and understanding person and I couldn’t go through this without him.  I’m thankful for my family, who knows and understands what I’m going through, and is always there to support me.

I’m grateful for my friends.  Although only those closest to me know my struggles, I’m overwhelmed with the support they’ve shown.  My dearest friends show support and love everyday, from going with me for frozen yogurt to just sitting with me when I need that.

lisa at beach

Life really is a beach…especially if you’re on one!

I’m grateful for my dogs, as they have been the best snuggle buddies a girl could ever ask for.  I’m grateful for my employer, who has been nothing short of amazing with me taking time off.

I’m also thankful for each of you.  Knowing you enjoy reading what I write is so rewarding.  There’s nothing better than when someone tells me my writing made their day.  If you’ve ever done that, allow me to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Maybe this random post is just to encourage you to enjoy your life, pay attention to those people and things that matter, and forget the rest.  Life is too short to get caught up in trivial things that don’t matter.  It’s not worth your time or your energy.

I’d like to think that when I pass, my eulogy won’t be about how I was a lawyer, worked hard, and made a good life for myself.  I’d like to think it will be about how I lived my life for every moment and how I saw the humor in situations.

I’m taking that advice now, and will move forward with smiles and laughter.  Fortunately, I have amazing people who will help make that happen.  I encourage all of you to do the same.

Now go download Christina Aguilera.

I'm a survivor