5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Got Cancer



It’s not until we’re faced with something frightening that we realize how brave we can be. What mountains could I have climbed, what dragons could I have slain, and what enemies could I have faced, if I’d known in my 20’s and 30’s how strong and brave I could be?

Don’t wait to find out, friends.

4. Life doesn’t have to be perfect, to be full.

I used to believe that with enough faith and old school gumption, life could be a perfect fairytale, or at least if I behaved and believed enough, life would be easy. Then my mum and my sister Jo died of cancer, and I was diagnosed – and the illusion shattered.

Are you kidding me, God? Where’s the abundant life you came to give me? Where’s the full life you promised?

My journey has convinced me that the life in all its fullness Jesus came to give us (Jn 10:10) isn’t reserved for the gaps between the troubles He also said we’d face (Jn 16:33).

I’ve found ways to experience His rich abundant life, slap bang in the middle of the hard stuff. It is possible friends, when we trust Him, when we choose to be brave, vulnerable, in community, and reach out.

It’s not always pretty, and it’s never perfect, but it IS full and abundant. Let’s embrace it.

5. “Soft and Strong” is worth paying for.

Loo paper was just loo paper before I had cancer.

Now it’s vital to my overall well-being and mood. Scratchy one ply can ruin this girl’s day.


Whether it’s the right loo paper, a new lipstick, or your favorite posh tea bags, somethings are worth paying a little bit extra for, especially when they have the power to disproportionately brighten your day.

Go on, splash out, go wild, and by the brand with extra Aloe. You’ll thank me tomorrow.

(If you or someone you know has cancer, I’m so sorry. It stinks. I want to be here for you. Let me know what you’re struggling with right now by dropping me an email at [email protected]. I promise to read it and write back. Niki xx)


This article originally appeared at NikiHardy.com.

Niki Hardy
Niki is a Brit in the USA, a cancer survivor and pastor’s wife, a fresh air junkie and tea drinker. As a speaker and blogger her candid, humorous storytelling helps us, find humor and grace in the darkest place, and learn to laugh when all we want to do is scream. She loves to make new friends, so find her and more encouragement, on her blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. When she’s not speaking, writing or running trails with her Doodles, she can be found trying to figure out how to use three remote controls to turn on one TV.

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