I made it through my first public speaking event post-cancer diagnosis! I’m sure it would have been much better had I had a professional speech writer, but since none of you offered your expertise in that area, I muddled through on my own.

I talked about being a kid and visiting my mom’s husband in prison and about becoming Miss Wisconsin and about marrying my childhood sweetheart. I talked about the healing balm that is Kindness and how much more enjoyable life is when you take your eyes off yourself and put them on the needs of others.

And then I talked about what cancer is teaching me about kindness. I actually don’t even know yet what cancer will teach me about kindness, because this is all so new, but I think it will have something to do with this: 1) When life is hard, it is especially important to be intentionally and courageously kind, 2) I need to learn how to gracefully accept the kindness of others and 3) I need to cut myself some slack and let sad/bored/anxious/angry or whatever-else-I’m-feeling-at-any-given-moment be okay.

I’ll be sure to take good notes on this crash course because those seem like pretty good lessons for all us to learn, regardless of what we’re going through.