Thursday, March 15, 2012

"How To" Move On From Cancer

I've hesitated to do a "how to" post for several reasons. One, because I don't feel like an expert on overcoming cancer and I really don't think anyone can be. Mostly because everyone's journey is different so there isn't one way overcome it. Two, how does one really move on from cancer? And three, who in the world would listen to my advice??

Well I just decided that while I might not be able to tell you how to overcome it, I can tell you what has been helpful for me. Suggestions, not definites. It's a process. But we do the best we can :)

1. Meet other survivors. You will hear me talk endlessly about First Descents, Lynch Syndrome International, and The Colon Club because I can pinpoint turning points in my emotional recovery to experiences with those organizations. Having a support network of people who get what you are going through is just priceless. There are many days when I was struggling that a simple online conversation with a friend from an FD camp would just energize me. I could talk to them about anything and they got it. It was a huge change for me.

2. Give back. Helping others like they helped you is a great way to strengthen yourself emotionally and go something great for others at the same time. Join Imerman Angels, become a part of Team FD, participate in Relay for Life, join an organization specific to your cancer, or even start a support group in your community. There are so many ways to get involved. This has really helped my healing move on to the next level.

3. Faith. This should really be number one. I couldn't have gotten anywhere without God. I strongly believe that faith is an important part of medical and emotional healing and is in many instances something that is overlooked as an important factor. I can say that all during my treatment I was at peace and I know that peace came from God.

4. Find a purpose. Having a purpose in life is vital to healthy living. It doesn't matter what that purpose is... it could be anything from running a multi-million dollar business to being a stay at home mom. Figure out where you fit in to this world and what you feel meant to do. Feeling purposeful is a strong thing. This was the hardest thing for me after cancer because nothing felt good enough. I felt like I had to do something amazing with my life since I lived. While I knew I shouldn't have felt that way, I did. It took me awhile to feel purposeful but I think I'm finally there.

5. Keep a balance. Find a healthy balance for yourself when it comes to involvement in the "cancer world". It took me a bit of time to do this. Sometimes too much involvement can overwhelm you. Everyone needs a break and a balance. Have things you do that are unrelated to cancer. I kayak, paint, and watch old movies. I really have to focus on this point now that I'm not only involved in advocacy but am also a grad student in cancer research. I'm around cancer all day every day. When I come home at night I have to give myself a break. Well, unless I'm blogging of course :)

Thanks ya'll :) Have a great weekend! Get out there and have some FUN! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting..... 'WHAT A RIDE!'"