Fall down seven times, get up eight


Japanese culture and ways of thinking can not be adequately addressed in a short space, but this Japanese proverb reflects an important and shared ideal: “Nana korobi ya oki” (literally: seven falls, eight getting up) means fall down seven times and get up eight. This speaks to the Japanese concept of resilience. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you get up again. Even if you should fall one thousand times, you just keep getting up and trying again. You can see this ethic reinforced in all facets of Japanese culture including education, business, sports, the martial arts the Zen arts, etc. It is especially important to remember the sentiment expressed in this proverb when times are dark. There are no quick fixes in life and anything of real worth will necessarily take much struggle and perseverance. Success does not have to be fast—what’s more important is that one simply does their absolute best and remains persistent.

For many facing a sarcoma diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, a recurrence or advancing disease perseverance is so important. Cancer doesn’t take a day off. There are no holidays from the tests, treatments, pain, worries, and anxiety. There will be set backs along the way. The key is to recognize them, face them, and get up and keep moving forward. A support network certainly helps. Besides having this grit to battle cancer it is equally crucial to strike a balance with the rest of your life. Those who I have witnessed facing cancer head on and not letting it be all encompassing never let cancer or sarcoma define who they are. Keep living the life that is meaningful to you.

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