In the Health and Well-being section of this website, click on “Life After Cancer” to read about the positive ways in which facing, fighting, and surviving cancer have changed Irish journalist John Maguire.
In January 2009, John Maguire was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. After months of three-drug chemotherapy, he underwent a 10-hour operation and nearly died from a massive lung infection, but he survived, and is now cancer-free. Here, he talks about the powerful ways in which the cancer has changed him.
Focusing primarily on the positive, how has the cancer changed you? What do you now do differently, and in which ways do you see life differently?
I live for the moment, in the moment. The past is past, the future doesn’t exist. Nothing makes me anxious any more and the annoyances of life are simply and only just that. All things pass, so I focus on the good and the positive and I try to exclude the bad things according to my power over them. Those that I have no control over I either ignore or accept without being resigned about them. I’m not afraid or frightened anymore. I’ve had a near-death experience so death is not a mystery and, as we know, the unknown is what causes problems.
Have your priorities changed?
I have become much more self-focused and self-oriented. Having almost lost myself, I love myself immeasurably more. Physical and material comfort are top priorities. I wasn’t born to suffer; I realised it wasn’t for me.