What would you say if you got a flat tire on your way to an interview for your dream job? Or if you (or your wife) began bleeding two weeks after in-vitro fertlization? Or if you learned you or a loved one needed more chemo?
Does "Life is good!" come to mind?
The usual image that accompanies the phrase "Life is good" is one of comfort and joy, such as clinking champagne-filled fluted glasses or toasting marshmallows around a campfire.
Patients who are face-to-face with their mortality often talk about how they appreciate being alive in a whole new way. They strive to survive not only because they are wired to, but also because they believe the gifts of life are worth the pain, hardship and struggle.
On some level they believe the overarching notion of "life" -- in contrast to death or nothingness -- is a good thing. That '"life" is always good, whether the moment is pleasurable or painful, uplifting or burdensome, joyous or sad.
As a Healthy Survivor, if your car gets a flat tire, it might help if you remind yourself "Life is good" even though the blowout is an inconvenience.
If scans show new disease, as you slump down, cry, tremble, or clench your teeth you can remind yourself that "Life is good," even though you feel scared, stressed and vulnerable. This mantra might stir the courage, hope and fortitude needed to get through whatever lies ahead.
Life is good.