When you have cancer, everything really has to be about taking care of yourself through your treatments. There really isn’t room to take care of anyone else physically or emotionally. There are many of us with families who need us, and if we can’t do what is needed to take care of ourselves, we won’t be here for them at the end. It really is that black and white.
Do whatever you have to do to ensure that you have the help you really need to get through each day, week and month of treatments. That may mean that if you have kids, they’re with Dad or Grandma or a good friend more often. It may mean saying no to some people and yes to others. Your body needs you to rest when you get tired and exercise when you can.
Take Better Care of Yourself – This applies to ALL areas of your life. Make sure you’re eating right – vitamin deficiencies aren’t good things. Too much of anything isn’t a good thing so curb the excesses. Cancer loves stress so kick cancer and stress to the curb together. Find an exercise plan that works for you. Do some yoga or meditation. Take more bubble baths. Do things you enjoy. Do whatever it takes to reduce your stress.
Take help where you can find it. A quick Google search will turn up free services for people going through cancer treatment. From free scarves to cleaning services to help paying for your treatments. There is help available, all you have to do is ask.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Many folks who’ve gone through cancer treatment talk about finding clarity. My clarity is around not keeping negative people and attitudes around me. I need to work on making sure that I take time to smell the roses more often.
No More Justifications – There is no reason for you to explain or justify your treatment choices to others. Your treatment plans are between you and your doctors. Weigh the facts that are pertinent to your situation and act accordingly whether it pertains to chemo, radiation or surgery. It’s really no one else’s business how many “real” breasts you have at the end as long as you’re still here and you were comfortable with the treatment your doctors outlined for you.
Dump Negativity and Judgement – Please refer to Thumper’s Golden Rule: If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all. If someone still feels the need to tell you that there’s something about you that isn’t enough, tell them to go pound sand. You have cancer. It’s more than enough!
Look for Grace and Gratitude
- Be grateful your cancer was diagnosed when it was and that you got treatment started.
- Have thanks that you have people to help you when you do, and the grace to understand that not everyone can “do” cancer with you all the time.
- Understand that there are people rooting for you that you don’t even know, and believe in the power of prayer.
- Give thanks for the life you have. We should all be doing this whether we are facing major life obstacles or every day trivialities. We are here and alive, and sometimes that needs to be enough.