Superstitions of Cancer: Show Me the Signs

Looking for positives signs of inspiration can help with personal healing after a cancer diagnosis.

Before my cancer diagnosis, I was a tad bit superstitious. I never left my house if the time was 13 minutes past the hour. I always knocked on wood (okay, I still do that) and had other little things I would or wouldn’t do. But it was no big deal.

Then I was diagnosed on the 13th day of July. Just imagine my horror. Of course, I became even more scared of the number and I am officially practicing the thought that it is just that — a number. It’s slow progress. After my cancer diagnosis, I looked for any sort of positive sign – literally anything. Signs were my answer to everything and I tried my best to spin the positives out these signs. Some could say it is wishful thinking, but hey, if it works, why change it?

My biggest sign was a dragonfly. I actually had one doing its best to fly into my house, something that, at that time, I have never witnessed after 32 years of living. I came to find out a dragonfly in your vicinity is a good thing. It could be said that it represents a new beginning, personal growth and development. I also read it was family or friends that have passed just letting you know they are okay. Those are signs I could certainly live with.

My other favorite sign is the sun. It’s a big obvious one that graces us with its presence nearly every day. I can’t argue with something like that. The sun has been a big part of my life besides just lighting up the day. It’s helped me realize that all will be okay, even in the absolute worst times. Three times in the last five years I lost someone that had an extreme impact on my life and all three times, the sun spoke to me to let me know all was okay and would be as the days progressed.

The first person I lost was my aunt, who was one of the most amazing people to have an impact on my life. I was named after her and grew up with her by my side all the way. When she passed on, it was a cloudy, cold day in November. I think it was even rainy. As she breathed out her very last breath, the room was still, quiet and not too bright thanks to all the cloud coverage. However, in that next moment, the sun was shining through the window for about thirty seconds before it disappeared again. It was enough for all of us to see it. I think it was her sign to tell us she was okay.

The second was my cat who died after enjoying 17 years of life. For those pet lovers, you know what it is like to have your furry friend support you during your cancer journey and my cat was no exception. When she died, I was heartbroken, as she was with me every step of the way through my cancer treatment. The night after she died, there was an amazing sunset with only one cloud in the sky — it was a huge cloud shaped like the silhouette of a cat. I think it was her little sign that she was okay.

Last, my grandpa passed away recently and was a huge lover of Florida sunsets. I have lost track of all those I watched with him on the beach time and time again. It was a passion of his that he instilled in me. I am lucky enough to live in a Chicago high-rise that faces due west. I see amazing sunsets all the time. When I think of my grandpa and his love of the sunsets, it always seems to be the night that there is a truly spectacular sunset for me to see. I know it’s his sign to me that all is okay.

My thoughts are simple — find a sign that works for you. Embrace that sign and keep it close. It will do amazing things to your soul and guide you through as you start your treatment, finish up or follow you through your long-term survivor years.