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By Jeff Kirby, May 19, 2011...I’m healthy, for the most part, and yet I have cancer, too. My cancer doesn’t rip away at my body, the way it does an actual cancer patient. Instead, my cancer rips away at my soul.
I have a cancer that’s called impatience, because I want everyone to act in a way that pleases me.

I have a cancer that’s called greed, because I want way too many things that really don’t mean anything.

I have a cancer that’s called worry, because I want to be in control of everything that happens in life.

I have a cancer that’s called spoiled, because I have far more than I ever really deserve and yet don’t fully appreciate it.

It’s sort of disgusting, if you think about it. I have the one thing an actual cancer patient desperately prays for – physical health – and yet I let all these emotional cancers impede the very life they would love to have.

I’ll be reminded of all that as I take part in the annual Relay For Life this weekend at Springboro’s North Park (beginning 2 p.m. Saturday and concluding the next morning).

I’ll be surrounded by people who have dealt with real cancer of some or another. Some of them have looked death in the eye and beat it. Others have buried loved ones and learned, amazingly, to accept it.

But all of them share a perspective that the rest of the world (especially me) needs to embrace -- that there’s no need in sweating the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.

If I can live, laugh and love, and do all of it without suffering from the extreme nausea of chemotherapy, that’s a pretty good day, isn’t it?

Life is good, despite whatever troubles I may encounter.

There may be times I get frustrated with my job, but at least I have one to go to.

I may hate it when something gets broken around my house, but at least I have one to live in.

I may not like it when my hair starts thinning and I gain a few pounds –

Um, let’s not go there.

Put it this way: Do you ever want to hear a rich person whine about anything? Do you want to hear a guy who shoots 75 (a really good golf score) complain about his game? How about listening to a skinny person complain because they’ve gained a couple of pounds?

I think life is all about perspective. There’s no way everything will be perfect. And there’s no way we can avoid death. Whether you believe this life is all there is, or whether you believe it’s merely the prelude to something much, much bigger, there’s nothing to be gained by constantly complaining about it.

We can focus on what’s all right with the world as much as we focus on what’s wrong with it.

Do that and we can share in what the cancer survivor already knows – there is beauty everywhere, in people and the world around us.

A sunset is a Rembrandt.

A smiling baby is a wonder to behold.

The laughter among friends, the tune of an excellent song, and the gentle whisper of the wind on a sunny day, these are all life’s treasures.

There is reason to smile, even on a cloudy day.

Cancer can take your body. But it doesn’t have to take your life

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