The Impact Surviving Cancer Made On These 7 Legends
By James Mills, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
Being diagnosed with cancer is probably one of the most terrifying things that can happen to someone. It is a deadly disease that can affect anyone regardless of how wealthy or successful they are. Here are some inspiring quotes from legends who have survived cancer, and shared the impact the disease had on them.
Kylie Minogue, Singer-Songwriter
"Someone had said to me at the time, “You need to be a little bit selfish”. It’s not in my nature to be selfish but now is the time to do that let people take care of you. And…that’s what I did... I know I have strength but when you’re fighting something where there is a lot of unknown it’s a mixture, a mixture of emotions and memories... It is years until you really get the all clear and by the time my hair started growing back it was very exciting, it was like a miracle."
Mark Ruffalo, Actor
"The whole experience of getting close to mortality changed my perspective. I thought I deserved more, and I wasn’t grateful for all the great s**t that had happened to me. After the brain tumor happened, I realised I love acting, I’ve always loved it, I may never get a chance to do it again."
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
"You wonder: how could it possibly be me? Well, of course it could happen to you. You have it. Then, of course, you wake up every morning and you hope it’s a bad dream. Then you wake up. I have cancer. I have to go to treatment again. Then I have to wait three months to find out if it worked. Even then you’re bracing for ‘Well, we have a problem. It spread.’ You think, I may die. What are you going to miss?"
Christina Applegate, Actress
"[There's] this need and this desire to make every single day count. I used to say... 'Don't sweat the small stuff -- not even the big stuff.' At the end of the day, none of it matters but your own joy, your own spiritual journey that you go on, God, your loved ones, your friends, your animals. These are the things you've got to cherish and love and embrace."
Warren Buffett, Investor
"It's a great day for me. Today I had my 44th and last day of radiation. I'll be feeling the side effects for a few weeks yet, but I am so glad to say that's over."
Sheryl Crow, Singer-songwriter
"Without question, finding out I had breast cancer seven and a half years ago was a game changer. It forced me really to look at who I was and the line of people I took care of. I was at the bottom of my list and never said no to anybody."
Mr T, Actor
“I pity the fool who just gives up. We all gonna die eventually from something or other, but don’t be a wimp. Put up a good fight. Don’t sit around waiting on death. We can be tough. We can be determined. Go out and have some fun and make death find you! We can be living with cancer, not dying from it. We can be cancer survivors.”
What We Can Learn From These Legends?
What is clear from all of these cancer survivors is that the experience was one that made a big impact on them. Through becoming more aware of their mortality, they started to look at what was most important in their life and shift their priorities accordingly. Their entire perception of their lives transformed.
Here's a question to consider. For this exercise, I suggest you take yourself to a place where you can't be distracted...
Take a few deep breaths and consider your life objectively, almost as if you were someone else looking at you....then ask yourself, 'if I only had 3 months left to live, what would be most important to me and what would I be most grateful for?'
Sit with this question and write, draw or even record a short audio with any thoughts or reflections that come to mind.