Year of first diagnosis: 2005
Kind of cancers: breast (2005), skin (2011), ovarian (2012)
1- Even hearing it for the second major diagnosed cancer, I was still ‘a deer in the headlights’ – pure disbelief. From there as before I retreated and huddled close to those I loved. With their love and support I began to regroup, to get past the ‘why me’ and move on to information and resources that could help me understand my situation and help me find the best options available to treat my cancer.
2- You have to go deep inside yourself to pull out your inner strengths. Certainly you depend on your medical team, quality of treatment available and support of family and friends. But it is ‘within’ that you meet the word ‘survivor’ head on. With your inner strength, positive drive and definitive actions, your mind is then in the right place to influence every cell in your body to help you fight and remain a strong survivor. If you’re not sure how to find your ‘inner strength’, exemplify positive drive and definitive actions and you’ll see your inner strength will surface.
3- (a) I made up a mantra and say it many times a day to reinforce the direction of healing I wish to go. (b) To the degree I was physically able, I volunteered in an area that was important to me. By giving of my time and talent ‘outside’ myself, I brought back strength, courage and purpose ‘inside’ myself.
4- Resources I recommend are (a) Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie Siegel, MD, and (b) Anti-cancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD.
5- My spirituality has become stronger – I talk to God almost daily as friend to Friend, as servant to Supreme Essence, as child to Parent. For this is an important way of life for me. A way of life that was, still is and always will be.
6- Take a little time to adjust to your diagnosis – to get your breath back – but not too long. Find information on your cancer and start reading. Read but don’t overpower yourself. Walk away from it and come back to hit it again. Eventually the information will start to make sense and a path or direction will become evident to you. This new knowledge will empower your decision making. Most of all, be positive that you are and will be a survivor – even when self-doubt occurs.