Breast cancer survivor (and Langley resident) Pam Hamilton is a life speaker who conveys a message about the power of gratitude. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Langley breast cancer survivor talks gratitude

Pam Hamilton’s life-altering battle left her grateful for what she has

Pam Hamilton believes in the power of gratitude.

So much so, the breast cancer survivor who underwent a double masectomy in March 2015, wants to use her story to inspire others through public speaking and workshops on gratitude.

“Life is short and we need to appreciate each other,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton, 45, works in the medical field as a recreation therapist and, in her other role as a life speaker, uses gratitude through programs and one-to-one mentoring.

“One gentlemen who I work with has the last stages of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and we do gratitude together,” said Hamilton, who focuses on the benefits and barriers of gratitude, applying gratitude past, present, and future, and reviewing personality/social types.

“When I had cancer, I wrote out 17 tips when you’re diagnosed with cancer,” Hamilton said. “One of them was, find gratitude in everything. During my journey, I had finished my project of 1,000 things to be thankful. I felt a little lost during my treatment and I thought, ‘I needed to start another one up.’”

Top of her list of things to be thankful for, was an occasion where a woman gave Hamilton her parking spot at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey.

“There was one hour left on her ticket,” Hamilton said. “So here I was, getting treatment for cancer, and I was so appreciative for that parking spot.”

Hamilton’s message is being passed on to her children Isaac, 14, Seth, 12, and Sierra, 10. Hamilton proudly points to a school assignment her daughter did focused on ‘facing challenges.’

Sierra’s mom is her inspiration. “I have no idea how my mom got cancer,” Sierra wrote. “But right now my mom is alive and working so I am so happy for her. She got cancer in 2015. It is 2017 right now so it’s a miracle.”

She went on to write, “I am so lucky she is alive. My mom never gave up. I never give up, too.”

Looking back on her cancer, Hamilton said she was glad that she took a proactive approach after discovering a lump on her breast. “I’m glad I got it checked out instead of thinking ‘it’s not a big deal.’”

She said her husband, Brad, “was positive and inspiring” in helping her battle the disease.

As time went on, Hamilton said she developed “an attitude of gratitude.”

“I actually looked forward to some of my appointments, because I was just so appreciative of, we live in Canada, there’s treatment, and the medical system,” Hamilton said. “I just started writing out different things about gratitude, and I’m very passionate about speaking, so I put this workshop together.”

Hamilton said she loves this quote: “Possibly the deepest human need is to feel appreciated.”

“I ask people, ‘is this true?’ And everyone always says, ‘yeah, we underestimate feeling appreciated.’”

To contact Hamilton, call 778-840-8073, or email pam@pamhamilton.me

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