Cancer’s Made Me Smarter … In a Good Way

I think cancer has made me smarter. If that’s possible? My mom and I were talking today about nothing particularly special and she mentioned that she thinks I’ve changed. Not in the “oh-my, I’ve-found-God” kind of way, but in subtle ways. I think she’s right, and I like it.

It didn’t start right away. It’s been a slow transition for me. I’m just not so uptight about certain things. Examining it now, I think I feel calmer. So strange. A doctor basically tells me I’m gonna die, and somehow I’m calmer.

I also think that many of my family members have changed as well. My mom and I, who have always had a good relationship, now have a better one. I think we trust each other more. She has been by my side every step of the way. Every step. Every doctor appointment. Slept in the hospital with me. Moved halfway across the country with me for treatment for two months. And maybe it’s because we are with each other so much or maybe because we cut to the chase more. I’m not sure when it happened, but we don’t irritate each other anymore (like so many mothers and daughters do). We’ve been totally together in this fight for my life. And we’ve come to realize that no other fights matter. We’ve become so comfortable with each other, and we look at each other with profound deepened respect. She respects me for my determination, and I respect her for her unwavering support. Cancer has changed us both.

My father, brother and sister have all slowly grown different as well. I think what they all have in common is that they are more open with me. Somehow more approachable. At the beginning, we were all so scared but as time goes on we are still scared but we have insight. We have come together, we make more time for each other. It’s so nice. I think maybe cancer has made us nicer. Wow, how weird is that. Just when you think you should be angry, you’re not. Funny how that works.

I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore, and that feels good. Don’t get me wrong, I still worry. But I worry about the right things. Not worrying about the small things is such a relief.

I like me better now.


  1. Cancer has made you more AWARE. You have a deeper understanding of people and are more compassionate!!!! Life’s lessons have come at you fast and hard!! BUT you listen ,accept,
    learn and grow wiser and more beautiful each day (in part)because of this wisdom and knowledge.
    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY You set a fine example for your children of courage, bravery and not
    giving up when the going gets tough. Happy Mother’s DayDaughter.
    I love you very much

      1. Viki: I am just reading your note and your moms response. I am so moved by your insight and love for life. I am a better mom, wife and friend as you have inspired me to do better and to live. Here’s to great moments. Thx u to you and Jere and kids for sharing our families recent celebration. Luv u dear friend Julie Beth

  2. vicki- you inspire me and I would love to talk to you. i think about you so often. My dad is in the end of his long fight with cancer. I am in Lebanon with my parents.

    1. Oh Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. I also think of you often. I would love to see you. I’ll be in town on sunday for mothers day. Possibly we could catch up?

  3. Viki, your mom is so right and that is why I have always gotten along so well with her – we always agree – plain and simple. Besides all the amazing words she said – she left off cool dancer. We had so much fun dancing together Saturday night and I watched Jere admire his gorgeous wife. You rock! Happy Mom’s Day.

  4. Happy Mother’s Day Viki,

    I hope to wish you decades of these days and happy days every day.


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