You have cancer. Perhaps the most frightening three words you will ever hear.
Life changes in an instant; suddenly and seriously. And after the initial shock diminishes you’re left with the realization of the overwhelming physical, emotional, and spiritual demands that lie ahead.
You’re facing the sobering urgency to develop a plan so that you can continue living your best life after a cancer diagnosis.
Most often the initial reaction to ‘you have cancer’ is the shock phase—a perfectly natural and expected feeling. Dealing with your emotions will be daunting at first—mood swings are common and can be expected.
Sadness, despair, and anxiety will be natural responses while you are on your journey to wellness. Practice a little self-love and avoid judging yourself for the emotional rollercoaster you may be experiencing. Because while it’s important that you identify and honor these feelings, it is more meaningful and productive to make every effort to take control of what you can.
Don’t go at it by yourself—no one should have to fight cancer alone. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and uplift you on your journey.
That said, well-wishers can wear you out. Keep in mind that you may have to set boundaries with some people; let ‘No thank you’ be a complete sentence.
Be kind to yourself and open to accepting the goodwill that others offer. Most often people want to help but don’t know how. Give them the opportunity to be of assistance—it’s a win-win for everyone.
When people ask how they can help, assign them a specific responsibility. Driving you to an appointment, keeping you company during treatments, picking up your children from and activity, or bringing dinner for your family one night are day-to-day undertakings that are simple enough and very helpful.
Take care of yourself first—it is the most important task, and quite often the most disregarded. While you try to keep your life as normal as possible, it will be necessary to rely on others.
It’s understandable that you have obligations and roles such as spouse, parent, and caregiver and that they will compete with your time and energy but you must learn to put it all into perspective. If you don’t care for yourself and work towards healing you can’t get back to taking care of others.
While staying positive is important, being able to express your feelings—even negative ones is more important. If you find that your life is getting off track, don’t be afraid to seek help. Speaking with a mental health professional gives you a safe place to divulge your fears and hopes for the future.
Empower yourself and keep life as normal as possible--you are so much more than just your cancer. You are who you always have been; perhaps the only difference is that you are stronger! Cancer is tough, but you are tougher.
Your greatest weapon will be the power to choose one thought over another. Take back your mental courage by discovering the ways mindful meditation helps cancer patients. Learn to purposely engage your attention on your thoughts, feelings, and senses.
Mindful meditation can help you manage your emotions and promote inner peace. By focusing on things that you are grateful for you become more aware of what you have, rather than what you don’t. Vow to stay focused on the day ahead and live each moment to the fullest.
When facing the difficult journey ahead, you must remember that you have the support of family, friends, co-workers, of people that you don’t even know.
Take that spirit of love and healing energy that you’re being offered and use it to begin living your best life after a cancer diagnosis. Because while you may know the odds of your cancer, cancer does not know you. Nor does it know the power of your angels.
I am a corporate wellness consultant. As a master yoga instructor, I support in-house wellness programs, seminars, trade shows and executive retreats. I help business leaders build and maintain physical and mental well-being. If you would like to learn more about offering a health and fitness program to your busy management team contact me at [email protected] or 386.871.0582
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