Staying Positive After a Severe Diagnosis

‘’Positivity’’. How many times have we heard this word? Stay happy despite difficulties has become a mantra in our daily lives. Yes, we can’t overrule the necessity of being positive all the time because it keeps us motivated to be the best we can be in all our endeavors.

Staying positive during good times is very easy, you don’t have to break a leg because looking and observing situations around you will empower you to be grateful. But, how can we stay positive during difficult times? What should we do when all hope seems lost and the situation looks seemingly impossible to overcome?

‘’Severe Diagnosis” is one of those times when life places seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our way and everything looks dreary. During this time, should we retreat to become a shadow of our old selves or cling unto the anchor that is firmly rooted in the sands of time?

Several years ago, Shola walked into the HOPE CLINIC with a smile etched on her lips and her eyes twinkling brightly as she took in the murals that covered most parts of the Clinic. She has always enjoyed coming for her monthly routine checkup because as a fervent Christian, Dr. Joy never ceased to share a new passage she just discovered in the Bible. But today, she didn’t quicken her steps on sighting the grey-colored wooden door around the corner, instead, she felt a strange sensation creeping through her skin.

“What is wrong with me?” she mumbled as her eyes took in all the contents in the room but nothing was different since the last time she came. Perhaps, just a few things changed she thought as her eyes focused on the black grey cushion resting firmly against the wall. She would have missed it if only she had looked left to continue her journey to the doctor’s office but something prompted her to look to her right.

Staring at the old grandfather’s clock, she watched in awe as it chimed noon with a melodious choral tune of a popular hymn in her local church. As she watched the pendulum swing from one point to another, something caught her attention and she couldn’t turn away.

’Another mural’, she thought with a wide grin while squinting her brown eyes to bring the image to focus. Half kneeling, a woman in purple cloth with a white scarf wrapped around her head stretched forth her hand to touch the garment of a man in a white robe. ‘’HOPE LIETH IN JESUS {MARK 5:25-34} ‘’

Immediately she knew what the mural represented and who the man in robe stood for. ‘’I am glad you have seen it.’’ There was only one person who has such a sweet voice, she thought happily. Turning around, she watched her friend light up and gesture animatedly at the mural of the woman with the issue of blood. ‘’What a story and I can’t stop reading that passage of the scripture over and over again, it gives me hope during difficult times’’.

‘’Leukemia’’, Shola stared with her lower lip hanging open as she watched her friend, sister, and personal doctor string strange medical terms together but she couldn’t care less about bone marrow or even lymphocytes, the words that kept ringing in her ears was leukemia!!!. ‘’You are wrong’’ she burst out as she tried to calm the rapid beats of her heart. She knew Joy could never be wrong, not only is she a born-again Christian but also a seasoned professional in her field.

She stared at the grim and sad features on her friend’s face as she told her the list of treatments she must undergo and the side effects of cancer medication. She knew Joy was concerned for her as a friend but as a doctor, she wanted the best for her.


From having a child diagnosed with an adverse diagnosis during pregnancy or at birth to being the recipient of a dreadful diagnosis, life is filled with drama, and the episodes changes day by day, so how do we stay positive when it throws a fireball at us. Should we keep staring at the scars or charging forward to win this battle?

A ‘’severe diagnosis’’ is one that affects the physical, mental, social, biological, and spiritual functioning while positivity means being optimistic and having a positive attitude.


  1. Be friends with your journal: During this period, you need someone who will listen and hear your fears but sometimes you may not find such individuals. Don’t fret because your journal can be your close friend and pouring out your mind into the lines of the book through a pen will make you feel calm. Remember, your journal will never judge you and it is always there to listen and understand.

It is important to come to terms with your situation and work through your feelings to be able to fight and overcome the battle.

  1. Find a support group: Support group is very critical to loving yourself the way you did before the diagnosis. Shola had the opportunity to join a group of people of like-minded faith with chronic illness. Through the study sessions, prayers, and talk-it-out period, she was reminded that everyone has their unique challenges and the only difference is how each of us react to these situations.

Even when the hairs on her head were falling down, she was able to explain her fears to them. A support group can also be members of the family


  1. Love yourself: Don’t be ashamed of who you are, find special things to love about yourself, and also find things that make you happy. Look inward to find yourself and develop your strengths.


  1. Drink the water of gratitude: One of the recipes for positivity is gratitude. Every minute, look unto God and count your blessing because it is important to know that better days are no longer far away. Gratitude keeps you motivated to change certain habits that may hinder your progress.


  1. Set SMART goals: In setting these types of goals, expect it must be SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, RELIABLE and TIME BOUND. Also, track your symptoms to manage them effectively.


  1. Pray and read your Bible: Due to the utmost importance of this, it is important that we should give our main attention to this point. Prayer is the key that solves all difficult situations if you can only reach out to Christ through faith.


Remember the woman with the issue of blood as she got healing just by faith and touching the hem of Jesus’ garments.  Jesus is waiting for you to stretch forth your hand and ask him in faith for your healing. ‘’You have not because you ask not”, flip through the pages of the Bible and you will find gems embedded in God’s word.

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