Like a pebble in your shoe -- or possibly a boulder on your shoulder -- cancer causes some ongoing level of irritation, discomfort or pain. Whether you are in remission or in an active battle, it can be haunting. Pushing that feeling back and living daily life to the fullest is the obvious goal. Day by day, I have felt that full range of emotions.

Glass Half Full imageI have felt that my days were truly numbered. And then, after a positive checkup, the world was brighter, fuller, shining and new. I remember going to the grocery store for the first time in a long time and just enjoying that little field trip. It was even better when food began to taste good (after chemo effects wore off, and healing after a Whipple operation).

This summer my garden is out of control with too many weeds, but a lot of flowers and veggies there to pick and taste fresh. It affirms that life goes on in some beautiful ways.

Looking at the glass as at least half-full is often a way of life, and many are blessed with this trait. I believe you can also cultivate that mindset.

Early on, I told my medical team that I have been a "spunky" person, and people tell me they think I have been tough throughout. I'll take that compliment and run with it!

Share Your Thoughts

In what ways have you been able to look at the glass half full through your difficult times? Share your comments below.

About the Author

Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Susan Stansbury was raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where her little bedroom window overlooked Little Bay de Noc off of Lake Michigan. After working in Chicago for a couple of years out of college, Susan moved back to Wisconsin. "Little did I realize this would mean a career in industry," she says. She joined some companies where she was the first woman in marketing management. She often worked on medical disposable products such as transdermal patches and antibacterial wet wipes. In 2002, Susan left the corporate world to work for herself helping small businesses with marketing needs from business plans, to research, photography and promotions. She gave speeches to industry groups in the United States and occasionally in Europe about topics like sustainability and packaging. With her clients' participation, she developed a manufacturers' expo, which she recently sold, at Green Bay's Lambeau Field Atrium. She writes an occasional article for industry magazines. Increasingly, however, her writing and photography are personal projects. Susan was diagnosed in 2014 with pancreatic cancer.