Life Lessons From Cancer: How To Make Meaning


Most people would like to put the traumatic cancer experience behind them. This is natural and understandable. But if you reflect carefully you will discover that cancer has meaning and that it can be a great teacher. Have you ever reflected on the life lessons from cancer?

Cancer has meaning

The majority of people who get cancer consider it a curse whereas the minority of thrivers are able to see it as a blessing – an opportunity for growth and self-transcendence. Once thrivers get past the basic ‘why me’ questions and even the enquiry into the significance of cancer in their lives, they still continue to look for deeper meaning – they become curious about the bigger and more fundamental questions:

What is the larger meaning of cancer? Why does cancer exist in the first place? How does cancer fit into nature’s (or God’s) greater plan?

Cancer as a opportunity for growth

With cancer, you can run but you can’t hide. While your natural instinct may lead you to externalize your cancer, you need to go beyond this. Besides, you will also ask uncomfortable questions of yourself and the current paradigm of mainstream medicine.

In the process, you will notice that the trauma becomes a mirror in which you can see yourself more clearly. That same trauma will also give you access to inner resources that you didn’t know you had within. With this deeper self-awareness and the application of your newly discovered resources, you can grow beyond your previously set boundaries.

The journey won’t be easy. But it will certainly be worth it. What awaits you on the other side is priceless: your healing, growth and a better quality of life.


  • While your physical treatments are trying to eliminate the cancer, can you maintain an attitude of neutrality towards it instead of fear or hate? They are, after all, your own (misguided) cells!
  • Review your key lifestyle factors. Are there any changes you feel you can make here?
  • What is your view of illness?
  • Do you see it as a rude and inconvenient obstacle? How open are you to seeing the life lessons from cancer?

Nothing can prepare you for the cancer journey. But advice from someone who have been there, done that can certainly make you better informed. You can watch the Cancer Awakens video series here and read the articles here.


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