Ringing in the New Year…

By: Amy Chmielewski

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2012, I cannot help but think about the cancer journey and resolutions for the New Year. In reflecting on my life since I was diagnosed with cancer, I realize that my New Year’s resolutions have changed over the years to become more realistic and meaningful. I found that having cancer as a part of my life has held me to a higher standard of honoring resolutions, while also being patient with myself in doing so. For example, I no longer give up on resolutions just because they have not been accomplished by the end of January. I learned the valuable lesson at a young age that time is limited and moves incredibly quickly. As a result, I strive to be kind to myself while working hard to achieve my resolutions by doing the best that I can with each new day.

Instead of making the typical resolutions for weight loss, getting out of debt or finally putting an end to procrastination, my resolutions are now focused on living a healthier lifestyle, being an admirable person, working hard, living in the moment and allowing myself to splurge every now and then! Cancer motivates me to live a life for which I am proud. I am less focused on beating myself up over losing 5 pounds instead of 10. I am more focused on eating healthier foods and exercising while allowing myself to occasionally splurge on dessert! I am less focused on pettiness and hurting others that have hurt me. I am focused on being good to those who are good to me. I try to be a person that is thoughtful, caring and genuine on a daily basis. I am focused on living in the moment and spending meaningful time with people in my life. I tell those around me how I feel about them instead of keeping everything inside. Cancer has changed my life for the better. I am confident that as I grow and welcome more “New Years” into my life, I will continue to learn from cancer as my experience always lives in me.

For those who know me, whether it is in person or through this blog, I have grown a lot in 2012. I look forward to the blessings that 2013 will bring! I also look forward to sharing more writings with you and express my genuine thanks for reading!

Happy New Year!

Please share how your resolutions changed since cancer touched your life…


Amy Chmielewski, MSSA, MA, LSW, is an oncology social worker at The Cleveland Clinic. Amy is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she earned two master’s degrees in social work and bioethics. Her cancer experience has inspired her career of supporting individuals and families on their own cancer journey. Amy is currently in her eighth year of survivorship from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Amy is a volunteer in the children’s program at The Gathering Place and serves on the Patient Services Committee for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Northern Ohio Chapter. Amy’s awards include the LLS Patient Services Hope Award and Dean’s Award for Outstanding Student Achievement from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Amy is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book. She enjoys writing and speaking in the cancer community to raise awareness about young adults with cancer.

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One Response to “Ringing in the New Year…”

  1. Caroline Gasper says:

    Happy New Amy, Best of luck to you in this coming year. Thank you for shareing your journey with all of us.

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