Why it’s important that you’re healthy.


Today’s challenge in the 40 day challenge is to use something that God has blessed me with to bless another. I’m not a painter, so I’m not going to paint, but I really do love to write, so I’m going to do that. Hi. 

I lived a lot of my life depressed. I’m not exactly sure when I got depressed, but I know when my first real bout of depression came in. I was 16 and my whole life flopped on it’s head with breakups and deaths and cancer. And I thought I had it all together. Haha. No way man. So I basically fell apart. 

I knew that I was depressed. I got out of it. Started biking hundreds of miles per month and eating everything that could possibly help. I was in the sun probably way too much, but I made it. I’ve been aware since then that it’s something I needed to pay attention. I kind of survived college, though there were quite a few days where I thought International Finance 440 was going to be the death of me. Not sure if that was the reality or the depression, but I digress. 😉 

But, living years with depression even though I knew that I had it changed some pieces of me. Namely, my understanding of relationships. I was blessed with many healthy friends, but I also tended towards very unhealthy people. People who had enough issues that I could either a) try to fix them and feel needed and therefore not lonely, or b) know that I was going to feel okay because at least my issues were inside and no one could see them. (thanks, depression.) 

Fast forward to now. I was treated for my depression in January of 2013. It’s changed everything. I can sleep well, I can accomplish things, I can get places on time. And I can catch my brain when it goes off the deep end. But there are still those things that I need to re-learn. 

This is a time of health in my life. Attaining good balance, learning what healthy relationships look like, and mostly, demanding how I should be treated in life. There were plenty of people who manipulated and used me because I allowed them to in my life. They didn’t intend to – they were ill, but I was needed and it filled my emptiness, so I let it happen. But then all of a sudden a person (that’s me) wakes up and decides that they don’t want to live a stinky life like that anymore. 

So now here I am. People obviously aren’t going to be perfect all the time, but if you don’t demand that you treat yourself in a cherished way, and also demand that of others by not allowing them to abuse you, then it’s always going to be that way. You have to stand up for yourself. You have to know that where you are weak you cannot allow others to punch you in the heart and make you bleed. You have to know that this is your life and it’s so important that you’re healthy. You are alive, and therefore are allowed to live a beautiful, happy life. And not everyone will suck. 

Also, if you’re anyone who has someone who allows you to call them names or yell at them or immaturely deal with issues in your life and they’re not standing up for themselves, realize that you’re probably unhealthy too. And it’s time for you to get help as well. 

Here’s to being healthy, and being healthy making other people healthy. Just because other people are hurting doesn’t give them the right to hurt you. And just because you’re hurting, it doesn’t mean you can hurt other people either. 

Image

…because love wins. 

Advertisements

How to be happy.


1.      Enjoy simplicity.

2.      Smile as much as possible.

3.      Live for today.

4.      Love each other.

5.      Watch the sunset.

6.      Read hundreds of books.

7.      Listen to great music.

8.      Love yourself.

9.      Learn from your mistakes.

10.  Understand that no one is perfect.

11.  Eat ice cream in summer.

12.  Build a snow fort.

13.  Act like a kid again.

14.  Take nothing for gratnted.

15.  Live up to your expectations.

…because love wins.

I am thankful for backwards legs.


If you have not seen the Mayo Clinic educational video done about Rotationplasty which takes over the internet for all things Rotationplasty, please see it above.

When I had cancer, I didn’t have a video (nor very many people) to help me decide if Rotationplasty was good for me. But, when I started to re-learn sports and mentor other children with the procedure, I knew this had to change. So we made video after video. At Mayo Clinic, each patient facing this operation meets me, and is given a copy of this to watch on repeat. I get to be what I never had, for others.

Today, I often find messages from people all around the world in my inbox saying things like:

“It was your videos with the Mayo Clinic that convinced us rotationplasty was the way to go. Up until then we were (in our minds) sure that limb salvage was best, but after meeting patients who have had both and seeing your video, we knew in our hearts rotationplasty would allow our son a productive and active life. Thank you.”

Today, I am thankful for being alive. Thankful for Rotationplasty, and incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to walk others along the path I walk.

Appreciate your challenges today.

…because love wins.

An ode to my 5 year old battle partner.


I walked down the halls of the children’s hospital carrying a small prosthetic leg just 17 years smaller than mine. Its owner and I have almost everything in common.

We know how to be out of control.
We know pain.
We know joy.
We know what it means to understand how terrible cancer is.
We know why kindness matters.
We know why our stuffed animals are so important.
We know why we tell our moms we love them.

We fight in the same army.

The owner of this leg rode in his wheelchair right next to me. Standing no higher than my hip, he is my battle partner on this open field of colored tiles and IV poles. In a war in which we fight with the best armies the world can offer. Those who arm us with research, chemotherapy, prayer, hope, strength, and willpower to move forward.

In a war in which we fight alongside each other against that cancer within us.

Our battle cry is this, childhood cancer:

Take our legs – we can do it.
Take our hair – we can do it.
Take our sleep – we can do it.
Take our dreams – we can do it.

You can take our everything.

Except our hope.

We will not, ever, at any moment, give up our hope. We guard it within one another, and it simply cannot be reached. Its protection is invincible as we walk hand-in-hand or wheelchair in wheelchair carrying each other’s dreams and wants and favorite video games.

For you fight for my life and I fight for yours, battle partner. You make me smile though tears and I tell you it won’t hurt forever. And there is no force stronger than two deep hearts saying no to that cancer.

But to my battle partner, if there comes a time when we must let go of our hands held so tightly, we will still never be apart. For when in war it doesn’t matter where you are; you are never left behind – and always held in the heart.

…because love wins.

Cancer Doesn’t Win: Despair.


Cancer changes everything.

Those three words, “You have cancer.” can take our breath, our peace, and our dreams. We are left on our knees and given nothing (or so we feel), but the small light of hope that the chemo, surgery, or radiation, after all the pain may lead us back to normal. And we all know we wonder if even those things can do the trick.

I know as well as anyone how easy it is to crawl into a hole of despair. Whether our trial is cancer or something else, the “Why me?” question surfaces, and if it doesn’t, others are sure to ask why we don’t feel bad for ourselves. It is an incredible temptation for someone with a chronic illness to allow despair into their lives. Slowly we open the door a little further and it makes us think we’ll never be happy again. It forces our eyes onto the darkness and the pain rather than the future, the hope, and the things we do not yet know in our future.

BUT despair is only a tempation. It has no right to live in our lives. Wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, we are doing it ALIVE. Yes, it may hurt, but pain is temporary. Yes, we may die, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end. Yes, our families may need to learn to live without us for a while, but we will meet again.

Despair is only as large a monster as you let it be. Today, close the door. Dare not to despair. Dare to climb one step at a time and let hope live within you. From one cancer survivor to you, I promise, it can be done. And it will be.

All the sad times before have gone away. Let them do it again today.

…because love wins.

*Shanna Decker is a professional motivational speaker since the age of 7. Follow her online and contact her for your event at: www.BecauseLoveWins.com,www.Facebook.com/ShannaDecker, and https://twitter.com/Shanna_Decker.