Lynn Roodbol was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 1986 and and early stage colon cancer and skin cancer in 1987. She has been cancer free since then. She is a Certified Wellness Coach who specializes in working with people facing cancer. She shares her feelings and philosophy about standing up to cancer in the following post.
The learning curve of cancer is steep; I climbed it one day at a time and now I’ve been cancer free for 23 years. Cancer is something we have to face in our own mind, but it helps to have others to encourage us when the going gets tough. I’m so grateful for my support system – it would have been a greater challenge to do this alone.
Conventional medicine is there to help us cope with cancer, but it’s also valuable to see what we can do to help ourselves get well. The list is long when it comes to finding things that make us want to enjoy each day. Each one of us has a unique list; it’s up to us to find those things which have meaning for us and give us a purpose in life. Our support system can help us to put our wants and needs into place.
To stand up to cancer, we need to know what we can tolerate and what we can’t. There are so many choices to make about surgery, treatments, etc. and it’s very important to listen to our gut feelings; no one knows us as well as we do. It is well worth the effort to make sure that the health care we receive is the right choice for us. Similarly after treatment, it’s important that we take the time to look at life and decide what matters to us.
Cancer is not something that anyone would choose to have. It lands like a bomb and shakes the ground under our feet. The key to surviving and thriving is to regain our balance and put one foot in front of the other until we’re once again on stable ground. There were times when I thought this would never happen, and that’s when I needed to focus on the people I love and have them help me stay the course.
The chances are that life will be different after cancer, but that often means it’s better than it was before. Many people with cancer learn to cut out the small stuff and focus on meaningful relationships, activities, and work. If we focus on quality of life, I believe we can live well so that cancer is not a death sentence, but a wake up call.
Lynn Blogs at www.lynnroodbol.wordpress.com