You know in the heart that every case of cancer is different yet ultimately the same. Each person you know, meet or hear about in this situation invites you to empathize, to share compassion, kindness and love. Reflect on who benefits from your support/ story.
In speaking with a rotary colleague, I hear he is recovering from malignant melanoma (skin cancer). Luckily, his cancer was caught early and didn't spread (metastasize). His physician did a biopsy and cut out the area of skin which was cancerous. This colleague said he feels good now. He's already out riding his bike again. Retirement doesn't keep him from staying active. He admits he would like to avoid getting cancer again. He thrives on his support network, reminds himself to wear a hat and more sunscreen. He's lucky, humbled by the recent, health setback yet, does not allow fear to control him. As a cheerful athlete, he feels he is now more responsible, and swears by positive thinking.
In contrast, a woman I've known from 13 years is in another remission from breast cancer. Her main goal is to muster the energy and motivation each day to get up and move about her apartment. She lives alone and has no relatives to help her. She admits her eating habits could be healthier yet, dwells more on what appears lacking than on making changes. She rarely has the physical strength or morale to advance her game. Yet, she takes initiatives to contact a group of cancer survivors/supporters who do home visits and encourage her to attend nearby New York City meetings when she can manage it. This woman reminds us we are each ultimately alone to deal with our health and emotions. Its up to each one of us to see blessings/ lessons where we are.
Although anyone you encounter with cancer appears on the surface to be simply grappling with physcial health issues, a closer look reveals how they react or respond is based on state of mind. You may sense someone you know recognizes having cancer as a stepping stone to strengthen relationships, to appreciate life more, to reframe conditions or to challenge and accept himself on a new level. If a person is highly-resistant or submissive to disease, this effects the evolution of an illness as much as attitude. Consider how different people you know or have known respond to cancer. Consider how members of your family are responding or have responded to this disease.
Whether or not a person recovers fully from an illness depends on a variety of factors. For most people, full recovery is the goal. For this to happen, a person is invited to reflect on thoughts and behaviours that may have contributed to the evolution of the disease. This includes; lifestyle choices as well as physical, emotional, psychologcal, environmental and other factors. What blessings or revelations does having the disease trigger? One thing is crystal clear: attitude and action are key. Take this on-board:
Be kind to yourself & others. Set an example. What goes around comes around.
Take care of your physical body. Explore healthy eating practices and physical exercise.
Be mindful. Raising awareness boosts energy, strength and inner healing.
Positive thinking, affirmations, laughter/ humor and creative expression therapy all empower you to deal with whatever life throws your way the best you can.
Notice balance and imbalances in your life. Feel the difference and thoughts and behaviours contributing to each. You decide what matters. What if nothing does?
"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell." ~Lance Armstrong