“Be forever kind to yourself”: Cancer patient’s life lessons list

Posted by
Harriet Hall
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The farewell letter of a 40-year-old BBC presenter, who recently died of cancer, is a reminder to all of us not to take anything for granted.

Rowena Kincaid, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and given six months to live in 2013, died this year on September 2.

Following her diagnosis, Kincaid campaigned passionately for cancer awareness, encouraging women to spot the early signs of cancer and raising money for scientific research.

Determined to live life to the full, Kincaid made the Before I Kick the Bucket documentaries for the BBC, completing a bucket list before she died. Last February, her powerful ‘Letter to my cancer’ went viral, and a similar letter - a farewell to her family and friends – was read out by her sister at her funeral this week.

In the letter, Kincaid wrote of how she will “miss this world” and the feeling of “the wind and the rain on my face, taking the air deep into my lungs.”

She wrote of how cancer made her realise how much beauty there is in the world, saying: “the world has much beauty to offer, much we take for granted. I learned not to in the end.”

Kincaid wittily references her fear of missing out, and tells her friends she will see them at her wake – and not to forget her – before passing on the lessons she has learned from life, saying: “If there is any wisdom I can share with you it would be this…”

Rowena Kincaid’s list of life lessons learned:

1) Be forever kind to yourself. Know your body and listen to your gut instincts at all times.

2) Follow what it tells you and have faith in what you feel from it, it's there to protect you. I listened well and it looked after me for as much as it could.

3) Acknowledge your weaknesses, as to do so is also a strength. To fight them or focus on them is a waste of time. So concentrate on the positives, then more positivity and strength will come your way.

4) Remember a problem is only as big as you make it, no matter how bad it seems there are always solutions, and can always be overcome. It will only last as long as you allow it to.

5) You can do whatever you dream. Don't stop yourself from living it, as it will only be you that does - You are the boss of your life, you have more control than you realise.

6) Slow down sometimes and look around. Life does move fast and time is not your friend.

7) Make time for the small things, the things we take for granted, as you will be surprised how good that feels. Do that thing you've always wanted to do, why wait?

8) Love, but don't fall in love with the idea of love.

9) Everyone you meet in your life will teach you something, whether they are in it for a short time, or forever. What they teach you, in time, you will see is a gift.

10) Always and never forget; to believe in yourself.

The presenter signed off her letter saying “these are just some of my own rules I have lived by, if it helps you as well; my job is done!”

Read Kincaid's full farewell letter here.

Images: Twitter