Living with a deadline
My name is Cate North, and I am a speaker, writer, and patient advocate for people with advanced cancers.
A cancer diagnosis of any kind is frightening, and those of us dealing with advanced cancer (stage 3 or 4) gain instant awareness of something we all know, yet don’t like to think about: life will end. When we learn to manage the fear and uncertainty, we can use this awareness to our advantage.
Cancer has been part of my life since 2000, and I’ve been living with Stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer since 2016. I want to use my cancer experience and communication skills to raise awareness of the importance of early detection, patient-centric treatment advances, and most importantly, living a life that matters to you personally.
Principles of Stage 4 Living
Stay in the game
Choose to be fully present and engaged, as best as you can, even as the rules change and curve balls come your way.
Lighten your load
Focus on what matters. You have enough of a burden to bear; let go of the petty stuff to live with greater ease and grace.
Honor the journey
Empower yourself by taking one step and one day at a time, bearing witness to the experience and finding purpose and joy.
Meaning of the lotus flower
Rooted in mud, the lotus flower submerges every night into murky water and re-blossoms the next day in pristine condition.
That’s why I’ve adopted the lotus as a symbol for Stage 4 Living. We all have mud and muck to go through in life. We may not always emerge looking pristine, but the choice is ours to be as bright and beautiful as possible.