‘…You have prostate cancer…’ Initially I was shocked by the news from the doctor. Then I thought to myself ‘…well, Sloan, you did everything humanly possible to take care of your body; exercise, healthy nutrition and sleep…’ Suddenly a feeling of peace would come over me like a warm comforter on a cold winter night. There was no self-blame. It was only then that I realized that many who’ve received a similar diagnosis not only had to deal with the bad news, but also likely experienced self-blame (i.e. ‘…I should have done more to take care of my body…’)
The doctor continued ‘…because you’re in such good shape, you are a perfect candidate for a particular surgery, your surgical risk will be significantly low and your chances of a quick recovery are likely…’ The anesthesiologist would later add “…because your heart rate is so slow, you’ll be very easy to monitor during surgery…’ Turns out that being in shape is beneficial, even when undergoing surgery.
After receiving a clean bill of health, I prayed ‘…how can I take this experience and use it to give others hope…to encourage and inspire others who may have received a similarly shocking cancer diagnosis…’ Days later I would come across a Depend advertisement in a magazine. It captured my attention, as one of the initial side effects of surgery is incontinence. I tried the Depend product. It was comfortable and fit like briefs. I thought the Depend product was cool. The Depend product also allowed me the confidence to resume my rigorous workout. Depend was also running a cool campaign called “Drop Your Pants For Underwareness”. I thought to myself ‘…this would be a perfect platform for me to share my story to give others hope and encourage women and men who were diagnosed with cancer and/or experiencing incontinence. So, I “drop my pants” and did a My Real Fit “Underwareness” Story video with the sole intent of giving others hope. Weeks later I received a call from an ad agency who informed me that the representatives from Depend viewed my video and wanted to make my inspirational story one of four stories for a product launch. Depend gave me the platform to share my story of hope via a national TV commercial, web story and magazine ads. How did this all start? I wanted to use my cancer and incontinence experience to inspire, encourage and give hope to others. I was determined to turn “lemons to lemonade”
“When life gives you lemons…” don’t fear, give up or lose hope. Instead, focus on making it through the circumstance and find a way to use it to give hope, encouragement and inspiration to others. Then you too will be turning “lemons to lemonade”.