9 Life Lessons From A Woman Who Was Told She Has 6 Months To Live

"When you know you have a terminal disease, it makes you enjoy everything."

As we get older, the days seem to pass faster and faster. It's easy to get caught up in the drudgery of work, a commute, dealing with the simple logistics of life like going to the bank or market. At some point, we may turn around and realize days, weeks, months, or even years have gone by. 

Perhaps it takes some life-altering event to make us appreciate those everyday moments, or maybe it just takes hearing advice from someone with a different perspective. 


Here to remind us why it's so important to stop and savor every single day is a woman named Kathleen.

In a BuzzFeed video, we learn that Kathleen has been diagnosed with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer and told she had  6 months to live. Instead of letting this terminal illness dictate the rest of her life, Kathleen has decided to seize every moment and show others how they can do the same. 

Here is what she had to say: 

1. Purge yourself of the toxic people in your life.

"What you learn is that you can't have people around you who are negative, or what I have learned to call 'the assassins of joy' — people that take your daily joy away." 

2. Instead, surround yourself by those who lift you up.

"It's really key and so important to have people with positive energy in your life, and to surround yourself with as many positive people as you can." 

3. Cherish the simple interactions you have with strangers. Someone might make your day, or you might make theirs.

"There are so many enchanting moments in life, and a lot of them have to do with interactions between you and strangers. The bagger at the Whole Foods steps up and says 'let me bag all your stuff, go to the car with you, and put it in the car for you.' " 

4. Find the joy in every moment.

"When you know you have a terminal disease, it makes you enjoy everything. So many of us are so busy all day doing things, we miss enchanting moments. We rarely capture them, and we rarely enjoy them." 

5. And savor it all.

"You need to be grateful and thankful for those moments, and remember them, and let them help propel you through the day with joy."

6. Choose well.

"I think you need to choose well: who you surround yourself with, who you spend your time with, what activities you engage in. It would be very easy when you're not feeling well to lay in bed for ten hours, not doing anything but watch TV. I choose to paint, I choose to play the piano." 

7. And choose not to be a victim.

"When I go for five or six hours of chemo, I don't go in my pajamas and sit in the chair like a victim. I bring my watercolors with me, my quilting, I bring some activity. I'm extremely busy the whole entire time that I'm getting my chemotherapy." 

8. Help people around you.

"... You need to surround yourself with good people. You need to live your life with enjoyment, energy, enthusiasm. You need to look around and help people around you, the people in your life." 

9. Live your present the way you want to be remembered after you're gone.

"I want to be remembered as somebody who was enchanted by moments all throughout the day, and someone who tried to cause enchanting moments for others. I want to be remembered as somebody that brought joy into people's lives, and who had integrity, and was a good person. I want to be remembered as somebody who passionately loves her husband, and her children, and her grandchildren, and never acted as the victim, but always acted as the warrior, and was unafraid of anything. "

Watch Kathleen give some much-needed life advice in the video below:


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