Since I was a wee lad, I've always made it a point to learn my lesson. From the very basic form of lesson learning in school, to the not-so-basic form of getting a whooping with a wooden spoon for not obeying my grandma, to the very self-brooding form of trying to figure out the life lesson in the worst of situations or turn of events. Some may call it a honed skill. I call it life.

To some - this can be very annoying. I'm not the guy who is forever the optimist...but I do feel that every cloud has a silver lining and we have to take what we're given and learn our lessons.

June 13th, 2014, I was thrown a curve ball. Six weeks later, I had the first of three life altering surgeries to rid my body of colorectal cancer. In 7 weeks, I'll have another surgery. A flurry of thoughts, research, YouTube-ing, Googling, emotional reactions, and then finally some big picture thinking has allowed me to realize the gifts that cancer gave me.

Gift #1


Since I can remember, my dad has always been my barometer on busyness.

"Don't burn your candle at both ends." he'd always chime.

"I'm not." I would rebut.

"I know you're not. You're burning both ends and all thru the middle, Son!" he would reply with finality.

Of course, Dad is always right. But look, I'm the kind of guy to dive deeply into a project. Be it work, a venture, sport, or hobby. You name it. If I care - I'm passionate and I give my all. Problem is - if you give your all to everything - you end up with nothing.

With everything going on right now, I've had to find the balance. The past few weeks I've had to really take a step back, look at my life from a big picture point of view, and begin to realize what is truly important.

What are my priorities?

Where do I need to expend the most energy?

What in my life needs to be cut out?

These are all questions I've had to ask myself in order to really get down to the nitty-gritty.

Why did it take getting diagnosed with cancer to come to these realizations?