What defines failure? You can look at it as being one of two things: failure or a come-up to your success. A month and a half ago, I was in the midst of finally starting to get my life back together. For the first time in a really long time, I felt like me again & not a cancer victim who was focusing on the hiccups of life.

Avoiding from failure !

There’s no real way of teaching someone how to live their life … I say this because you are told at childhood to never lie and if you lie, you will then be judged and/or punished. Now, can I ask a serious question? Isn’t a child pure life? Pure life wouldn’t understand what lying is unless told not to – which can then make them feel watched over or judged/misunderstood. I know a lot of the time I don’t make sense but if you look at the words on this screen you may realize that we, the people that control our thoughts, become our biggest problems and are blinded by our own beauty


When one door closes, another door will open. The saying that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side isn’t always true. If the grass that you’re playing on hasn’t been watered, for example. I say this because this past January, I was finally able to start living my life. I found my career path, I went on eye-opening trips, and people were starting to see me for me. But life was still way too real. Here I am, at the age of 26, looking and feeling so different/insecure, but at the same time so determined to just prove to myself that nothing life throws at me would ever be defined as failure. However, until you learn to rise above the situation, you will feel like a failure. About three months ago, I parted ways with an institution that just simply didn’t understand me. The mix-up with people at times is that they would rather dismiss something we don’t understand rather than embracing it for what it is. I was very forward and honest with a lot of my feelings and experiences, as I have been post-cancer. Some people got me for me, and others didn’t. Let me explain what 2017 has been like for me. In February, after being in this institution for about a month, I forgot how toxic and misunderstanding people can be. I came off an ultimate high of recieving sympathy and compassion, to now feeling the force/weight of the world in my throat by having to live up to so many expectations (including those of my own). I knew I was dealing with a real problem and I didn’t ignore it. This is where the story gets “funny.”  Going back to what I was saying about 2017, I found my way into radiography school. I understood through that experience that my feelings and emotions were way too real. I remember going up to one of the people at this institution telling them that I get emotional listening to patient experiences just because I’m so grateful to finally be on the other side. Three days later, I get called in for a mandatory counseling session. At first, I was very combative against it. Later on, I tried to understand their reasoning. I figured out that this place was simply a means to get what I needed, not a place that I can go around sharing my thoughts and feelings. That very same day, knowing how much it meant to my family and I, I decided I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of my success. I remember speaking to my angel, which is someone I got connected to because he had experienced something similar to me. He told me about Stupid Cancer (like Comic Con but full of cancer survivors and caregivers) and I knew I needed these connections with people who just understood my feelings without much explaining. I gained so many great resources from some of the vendors that were there. For a brief time, I felt very alive. Soon after, that feeling diminished and just like that, feelings of being misunderstood arose again. I continued on being very honest and true with my feelings and felt that they were too real at times. The good thing about it all is that I know when to disconnect. In August, I walked away from it all thinking that I failed and that I let everyone down. That very same day, I made a very impulsive decision – buying a puppy who I named Chester. He taught me a lot of lessons but the only one I want to talk about today is the lesson of commitment. He taught me how to stay commited. For the very first time now, I was responsible for a life other than my own – that noone else wanted but me. The reason why I say he taught me committment is because prior to Chester and prior to cancer, I was always someone who bought things/returned them as I pleased. I’m not blaming this on my parents, or anyone but myself, but my upbringings in life were to always be given what I wanted. I wasn’t spoiled, but I never had to work hard for the things I wanted. When I first got Chester, I even contemplated bringing him back too. I was so embarassed of myself for not knowing what I wanted from life and I felt guilty. I realized I can’t live this life self-driven and have to learn to commit to my decisions. And I’m so glad I did. Now, every single day, I wake up – not to feed myself first, but to feed my new best friend. This has helped me learn how to commit, and love, both him and people. I’m not sure if anyone would be able to relate to me, but we all go through our ups and downs in life. It’s what you do with the downs that will define who you are.

I don’t want to allow an unfortunate situation to define me. That’s why that same week, I also applied to a First Descent trip to Oregon, which is a trip for cancer survivors funded by this amazing organization. This trip also tested my commitment and taught me that it’s okay to be me. I was given this week-long trip after recieving one of the worst piece of news, which seems like a great opportunity to jump on, but failure was killing me on the inside. The pain of failure that I felt by letting down my loved ones was blinding me from life, and the people on this trip understood that.

My first few days in Oregon were tough because I felt like I wanted to turn around and go back home. I felt misunderstood, without even giving others the chance to understand me. I remember one of my worst breakdowns there was w Pika, one of the lead staff members. She saw me at one of my worst moments – eyes bulging out, tears running down, self-hate exploding with every word. At the end of all that, she told me I was powerful and had a great voice. We hugged and I was able to enjoy the rest of my day and turn it into something I never dared to do before – try crabs. One of my biggest accomplishments was vlogging the entire trip, and ignoring the judgement of other people for trying to record my every move and memory. I did it to diminish my self-doubt – to prove to myself that I could do it. The results were fantastic. Here’s where my lesson of commitment came into play – instead of running back home, I challenged myself to stick around and through that, I was able to experience a different kind of culture and way of living – and it felt great. This trip, in general, taught me how to challenge myself everyday and learn how to accept something new into my life. These lessons are ones I will take with me on any future endeavour. With all that, I really want to let out that failure is just masking itself as commitment because commitment will challenge you through failure by wanting to see how determined you are in not letting it define you.