Although some of her days involve dealing with death and dying, the passionate doctor also realised many are about living – living with cancer and living while dying.
Johannesburg, South Africa (10 August 2022) – Dr Prinitha Pillay, a Specialist Radiation Oncologist, shared a letter with her niece about what it truly means to live.
Dr Pillay works closely with cancer patients offering radiation treatments, comprehensive palliative care and psycho-social support. Although some of her days involve dealing with death and dying, the passionate doctor also realised many are about living – living with cancer and living while dying.
“While I’ll offer advice, you’re the one responsible for discovering it. Life is not a YouTube reality show. A lot depends on your choices. There will be so much you can’t control in the coming years. But you can choose…and I’d say, you must choose, every single day, who you’re going to be.”
Read the letter below:
The best thing you can do when other people are trying to fit in is to be yourself.
You can choose kindness over exclusion and hate. You can choose gratitude over despair and the trap of competition and comparing yourself to everyone else’s Facebook updates.
You can choose community, real intimacy, honesty, knowing and being known over superficial “fun at a party,” “make me look good,” relationships.
You can choose to take a deep and special interest in the well-being of so many isolated, lonely, disconnected people.
You can ask for help, support, and the love you need instead of pretending you can go it alone and don’t need anyone.
You can seek joy everywhere. But, if joy eludes you, change your engagement with this wondrous world. Try something different! Hope, inspiration, and wonder are worthy companions.
You can choose to believe you can change the world – even if it’s only a tiny bit because every little bit needs someone who can change it. Think of yourself as a silver rocket – use loud music as your fuel; books like maps and coordinates for how to get there.
Choosing how you spend your time really does determine how you spend your life, so choose wisely.
In the coming years, people will try to define, label, and limit you. They will define you by your looks, who you love, what you do for work, and what you believe about God or don’t. Even so, you can choose to defy their definitions every day.
The main thing is to try to be nice. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you to feel happy.