It’s all about Perspective.

Perspective: noun, a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.

the Oxford Dictionary

There are days when I wake up and my head is in a dark room thinking about things in the world that are not going well: climate change causing disastrous flooding, refugees stranded on freezing borders and the endless Pandemic. I get up and get going and my head comes out into the morning light . This happens even on the dreariest of days. Thursday this week I went down to Toronto, on the train, to get a routine check of my bone density done at the Toronto General Hospital. For some reason the subway was not working so I walked, from the train station, up to the hospital. Across the street there is a hospital I know well. My Sinai. It is the building on the left in this photo.

In the year 2000 I spent 10 days on the 14th floor recovering from a seven hour surgery for colorectal cancer. Now, 21 years later, I am still here and still very much alive. I was reworked and rewired and I have a permanent colostomy. I know there are people who blanch at this idea. I have had a couple of people tell me there was “no way” they would consent to having a colostomy and living with a bag. This is something I cannot understand. It is at most a minor inconvenience and it has not stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do.

β€œIt’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”

Germany Kent

So if you know someone who is facing colorectal cancer and is having difficulty accepting the “bag” outcome. Please tell them about me. Now when I walk past Mt. Sinai and look up to the 14th Floor I am filled with gratitude for my life. I walk on with a spring in my step and I give thanks. It is all a matter of perspective .

It is not what you look at that matters . It’s what you see.

Henry David Thoreau

34 Comments Add yours

  1. Alli Farkas says:

    I remember a blog post of yours in which you mischievously posed the question, did any of us know you were a bag lady? So of course I had to keep reading to get the whole story, which again, of course, was not what I expected. But I have never forgotten and I salute you for your common sense approach to an aspect of survival that others unfortunately may view as abhorrent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marsha says:

    Wow, Anne, I had no idea you’d been through all that. Your life today does not reflect any disabilities or handicaps as a result of the surgery. I’m so glad you chose life!. I had a mastectomy two years ago and, like you say, it’s a matter of perspective. Life is beautiful. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely. I am glad you chose life too. Thanks for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marsha says:

        I’m so glad we met. Keep being such an inspiration to us all. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Thank you. I will. πŸ˜ƒ

          Liked by 1 person

  3. You are a fighter. Perspective is very important when making desicions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tanooki says:

    Such a wonderful post! And you stayed at the hospital just 10 days? That’s so quick!! I’m so glad you’re having your days fine and happy nowπŸ™ŒπŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Those ten days seemed like an eternity at the time. But for such a big surgery it was not that long really. Thanks for your comment Tanooki.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I love this, Anne! Yes, a gorgeous photo of you and Biasini. I didn’t know you had been through this and you were successful during this time because you are so positive and understand the value of life. 21 years later, and look at you, happy and vibrant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Terri. I just hope that my story can give some hope to people who have had a difficult diagnosis.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure it will, Anne!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          I hope so!😊

          Liked by 1 person

  6. JD says:

    Brava, Anne! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you JD. πŸ˜€

      Like

  7. Yes, Yes and YES! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and perspective. And what a great photo to accompany the piece! Go Anne!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I love that photo too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. nesfelicio says:

    Thank you for this very inspiring post, Anne. Thank you for sharing this perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Emma Cownie says:

    People are silly aren’t they? Perhaps they haven’t really thought about it properly. Good for you, Leueen. I know what you mean about feeling overwhelmed with bad news!

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      The saddest thing is that one of those people who refused to have a “bag” died of the cancer! Such a shame. I think that watching news or listening to news on the radio can be too much sometimes. I have to take breaks from it. Thanks for your comment Emma.

      Like

  10. Such a wonderful shift in perspective Anne and what a blessing to be able to do what you love and be such an inspiration to us all πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ™ xxx

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is such a blessing to still be here and enjoying my life. Thanks for leaving this comment Xenia.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Diana says:

    Truly inspirational! My hero for doing all that you do for yourself, your family and your beautiful Biasini! ❀️🐴❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Diana. I am very fortunate to have survived and I hope my story can make others who may be grappling with a bad diagnosis to remain optimistic and not loose hope.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for sharing your courageous testimony to life. It inspired me. God blessings you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Suzette!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Michele Lee says:

    Anne, you are a creative and inspiring woman of strength. πŸ’ͺ🏻 Thank you for sharing part of your story. πŸ’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I like to share this part of my life in the hope that it may encourage someone else who is in a similar situation and let them know there is hope. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. What a wonderful testimony to good health, even with necessary modifications. Your advocacy for Gratitude is exceptional. I am so happy to always read and like your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Gratitude is an important aspect of this post . I thought you might find it of interest.. Thanks for leaving this comment

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Paula Light says:

    Wonderful post! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

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