What Having Cancer Taught Me

In 2016 I was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called Lymphoma. The next 5 months of chemotherapy would be some of the hardest physically and mentally I've had to go through, but like any trial there were lessons to be learned.

Below I share just a few lessons I learned going through cancer. 

1. You Can Feel Beautiful When You Feel Loved

My amazing friend and incredible photographer Kylie Whiting, took this of me during one of my treatments in the hospital. I had to stay in the hospital for five days at a time and repeat that six times for the specific treatment I received. It was intense, but worth it in the end.

As a portrait photographer I know the importance of capturing moments and specific stages in our lives. I don't think most of us would be comfortable doing a photo shoot in our pajamas, no makeup, no eyelashes and being completely bald, but I'm so glad I have these photos of me! I see myself as beautiful in this photo because I felt so loved.

2. Relationships Are What Matter Most  

When something like cancer hits you, your perspective changes. You focus on what matters  most. For me, genuine relationships were high on the priority list. I was able to nourish the relationships that mattered most to me and continue to try and put those first. 

3. Going Through Pain Makes You Grateful For the Little Things and Allows You to Connect with Others. 

When my fingertips went numb and water tasted like metal, I realized how much I had taken for granted. By keeping a gratitude journal I've been more mindful of all that I have and all I've been given. I'm so grateful my journey has allowed me to relate to so many people. I'm able to give others comfort and empathy when I couldn't have before. 

4. Confidence

I learned to "own it!" Having cancer and being bald oddly enough gave me more confidence to really enjoy being myself. 

5. Serving Others Gives Us Strength

During treatment I spent a lot of time in bed, which made me feel quite useless to anyone. One thing I could do was call or text a loved one just to say hi and see how they were doing. Although it wasn't much, I was still able to hopefully make someone else's day a little brighter by noticing them and listening. It always made me feel better as well. I believe that God can use us to answer other peoples prayers. Serving others the only way I could was one way I could thank my God for all he had blessed me with. 

Thanks for reading. Want more? Click here to read my absolute favorite post on how my life changed drastically when I stopped glorifying being busy. Hope it helps you too! 

Wanna be friends? I'd love to connect. You can find me on instagram @laurafarrphotography

Did you know I started a PODCAST? 

It's called The Progress Project and is a personal growth podcast where my best friend Kristin Brown and I have conversations on how to improve little by little, while giving ourselves plenty of grace along the way.

We are really proud of it and are excited so many people are loving it as well. I'd love for you to check it out! Just search for The Progress Project, wherever you listen to podcasts or check out our website jointheprogressproject.com

You can also follow us on instagram @jointheprogressproject