Ordinary people make better heroes, than the published ones, I feel. Why is that? Essentially because the sense of empathy and identification is much easier, since their lives are ordinary like ours; yet they shine and sparkle with that extra glimmer in the not-so-ordinary circumstances.
Paula is one such ordinary yet extraordinary person; she is a 14 year multiple myeloma survivor.
Today while penning down my interview with Paula Van Riper, Assistant Dean Rutgers’s University, I realized, why wait for something dramatic to happen to make new life learning’s?
Paula’s sunny disposition, her life philosophy of don’t sweat over the small stuff, enjoy life, laugh was so refreshing. Most people in her circumstances would have felt self-piteous and certainly not felt lucky! (Which by-the-way Paula does, because of the amazing treatment regime, which has kept her a step ahead always)
While the interview touched upon various aspects of Paula’s life, including her continuing to work through the treatment regime, her medications etc., I found these responses of hers..truly inspiring and uplifting.
Me: Any special lifestyle changes incorporated since the myeloma diagnosis.
Paula: The biggest life style change is that I now treasure each and every day of my life and I no longer postpone or delay enjoyment. I actively plan vacations and get-a-ways as frequently as possible. I find time to laugh and enjoy my co-workers, friends and family each and every day. I truly do not ‘sweat the small stuff’. So much of life’s inconveniences are the small stuff.
Through the lens of myeloma I have learned to prioritize what is really important and have been able to appreciate the opportunities that have come along with the diagnosis.
Enjoy life! And know that ‘when the shoe drops’ your team is ready to jump into action!
In case you are interested to know more, you can read the rest of the interview here .. http://trialx.com/curetalk/2013/10/curetalk-interview-paula-van-riper-14-years-multiple-myeloma-survivor-about-working-through-her-treatment-and-planning-vacations/
My take away today: Do not ‘sweat the small stuff’. So much of life’s inconveniences are the small stuff.
PS: I had to write this. Please do not ignore innocuous pains; it was a simple pain in the thigh, which leg to cancer diagnosis for Paula.