Guest Posts Life Lessons Wellbeing

10 ways cancer has changed my life {guest post}


I tend to naturally gravitate towards others who have known and survived the really hard parts of life. There is something about connecting at this level, sometimes it is unspoken and other times it is obvious and overt. The depth of learning, contemplation and growth that comes with making it through the dark and traumatic is simply not possible elsewhere. Sharing all of that with others, offloading the lessons, reaching where the hope is needed most, this lights me up!

Sammie is one of those people who shines without even realising it. Modest, humble and simply one of the nicest people you will find. We found each other on Instagram, met in real life thanks to Chantelle and through our shared love of blogging, dumplings and kindness we are connected, and I am so grateful for that.

Sharing the lessons that others have learned and being able to collaborate on ideas for making a difference is one of my favourite parts of blogging. I am so grateful that Sammie wholeheartedly agreed to share the ways that cancer has changed her life, it is a deeply personal topic and it perfectly represents her generosity of spirit and our shared vision to give back and change the world in whatever little ways we can.

10 ways that cancer has changed my life by Sam from The Annoyed Thyroid :

I live for today

If there’s something I want to do or a dream I want to achieve, I do it now and not later, because I’ve learned that I can’t always be sure there is a later.

I find the flip side

I always used to think of the worst case scenario. Now I think of the best outcome in any situation, and I take great pleasure in finding the flip side or the silver lining. Sometimes it takes a while to find it, but experience has taught me, there is always a flip side.

I’m grateful

I’m not saying I wasn’t grateful before my diagnosis, I was. I think I’m more consciously grateful now. Every day when I wake up, I’m thankful and feel very blessed. Even though every day might not be good, there is something good to be grateful for in every day.

I don’t sweat the small stuff

When life throws you a curveball, and you really have something to worry about, and you’re faced with your own mortality, the little things really don’t matter. I now have a much better sense of priorities and what matters and what doesn’t.

I control what I can

When I was diagnosed, I knew I had two choices. I could give up or I could stand up and fight. I learned a valuable lesson, I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control the way I deal with it.

I blog

In the beginning my blog was a place to brain dump all of the feels, and there were lots of them! As I have travelled along the road to recovery, my blog has evolved and has brought much happiness, some amazing people and some wonderful experiences into my life.

I choose happiness

I spend most of my life in my happy pants because being happy is good for my health, its as simple as that. I do have some grumpy knickers but I don’t wear them that often and when I do, I rather like to laugh at myself.

I live with purpose

During treatment I read ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl and this was a real game changer for me. Frankl says “that those who have a why to live, can bear almost any how” and he is right, everyone needs a purpose. I like setting achievable goals and reaching them. I’m currently studying to become a counsellor (giving back is super important to me) and I am planning to run my 6th half marathon later this year.

I’m spontaneous

I used to micro manage my life. I always knew what I was going to do and when. I had plans for days, weeks and even years in advance. My cancer diagnosis, treatment and ongoing check ups have made all my plans pretty much redundant. These days I am embracing spontaneity and I take the time in between check ups to cram in as much living and laughing as possible, because I’m only as good as my next blood test.

♡ I value my health

There’s a quote, “she who health has everything”. I make a conscious effort to take care of myself physically and mentally. I eat a lot better, I exercise and I have an amazing counsellor who helps me keep my head in the best space. My journey has taught me that my mental health is just as important as my physical wellbeing, the body achieves what the mind believes.

I would highly recommend having more Sammie in your life, you can find her here:






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  • Head & Heart // February 2015 - erin made this

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  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

    It has been such an honour and a pleasure to be your guest, Lisa. Thank you for letting me share my story and your space. Love your work xx

  • Jackie @ Hippie Mumma

    This is such a beautiful post, and it’s full of positivity and gratefulness… Sammie is an inspiration xx

    • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

      Thanks Jackie, I have so much to be positive and grateful for! xx

  • Shannon @my2morrows

    Love this. Thank you Lisa!
    And Sammie… Keep doing what you do, shining so brightly! you are such a beautiful soul xx

    • admin

      Thanks Shannon, I think this is my favourite post on my blog for so many reasons xx

    • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

      Thanks so much Shannon! xx

  • Sonia Life Love Hiccups

    Sammie – you are incredible hun. A true inspiration you beautiful creature you xx

    • admin

      She is indeed Sonia xx

      • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

        You’re pretty incredible yourself, Son!

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

    Lisa, I’m both humbled and honoured to guest post at The Art of Joy. I have nothing but love and admiration for you and the work that you do. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share in a little part of it.

    • admin

      Right back at you!
      The love and admiration and abundantly mutual xx

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    Nodding all the way through this. I love your can do attitude Sammy, your bubbly spirit and your gratefulness x

    • admin

      Jen you and Sammie share many similar and beautiful traits xx

    • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

      Right back at ya, Jenni!

  • Jess - alittlepartoftheworld

    Sammie you are an inspiration!! What a fabulous post!! I love the both of you. Jx

    • admin

      Right back at you Jess, so much LOVE xx

    • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

      Thanks, Jess! The feeling is mutual!

  • erinmadethis

    What is this water leaking from my eyes? What a great post and some amazing wisdom you have shared Sam. All of them have been put so eloquently and you should be so so proud of yourself. Especially for controlling what you can- how bloody hard is that?

    Cancer is truly life changing. In more ways than I thought it would be. My Dad is currently living with terminal cancer.. While I wish this wasn’t happening, I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned about myself, my family, my dad and my friends. Acceptance has been the greatest lesson. Learning it every freaking day.


    • admin

      Thank you for sharing some of your own experience Erin, much love to you, and your family xx

    • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

      I agree with you, Erin. Cancer is a game changer in so many ways. Thinking of you and your family and sending love and light your way xx

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