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The Biggest Risk in Life: Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?

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The Biggest Risk in Life: Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?

A few days ago, I heard from Beatrice (not her real name), an APHA member who has been successfully running her patient advocacy practice for several years.  We met a few years ago when she and her husband attended APHA workshops. I’ve been impressed ever since with their go-getter attitudes and their ability to create the business they wanted to have. Until this week. Beatrice, a young advocate by our typical demographics (I’m guessing her age here… maybe late 40s? possibly 50) wrote to tell me she had suffered a heart attack in December. Yes. Really. She is now working to get back on her feet, which includes (as you can imagine) realigning her life. She has been told she must eliminate the stressors she deals with. Within the blink of an eye, Beatrice’s life changed dramatically. Suddenly all her hopes and dreams took on a new meaning, and will require a new approach, if they are possible at all. Here is the statement that will take some of you aback: Beatrice’s heart attack may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I say that because I know it to be true. I also “suffered” one of those blessings. In 2004 when I was diagnosed with lymphoma and given just a few months to live, it brought my life’s trajectory to a halt. Literally – a halt. As difficult and horrible as those next several months were, as I struggled to learn more about my diagnosis, fought off the greedy doctors who insisted I start chemo, and put my efforts instead into trying to make the right decisions for MY life, the entire debacle (and I don’t use that term loosely) turned out to be… …a blessing in disguise, and one of the best things that had ever happened to me. How can that be? The simple answer is that, as many know, I didn’t really have lymphoma, and I was able to figure that out. That was certainly a blessing, of course. But the bigger answer is that I recognized and embraced the invitation to really look…


 

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