H3 Blog. Health, Hope, and Happiness

The Top 3 Changes A Survivor Faces

February 22, 2014 | by BeatingCancerInHeels


end of life In this guest blog post, Marlena Ortiz, the founder of Beating Cancer In Heels, shares the top 3 changes that she's experienced among survivors. Read more to find out how to take these challenges head on.

Now that the treatments have stopped, the support lessens. This means it's time to start your second chance at life but you can't because you feel stuck. Now the question is, how can you manage your new mindset after cancer?

Through my research as well as personal and professional experiences, I have discovered the top three changes survivors face. These changes can be overwhelming at times if you don't learn how to manage them. Don't you worry, that's why I am here. I have coached many through these changes and now I would like to coach you. Enjoy!


1) Face Your Fears

There are two main fears that survivors face: the fear of recurrence and the fear of being judged/labeled. The first step to facing these fears is to accept them.

Recurrence

  • Remember to stay present. When you are focused on the future or the past, you are not rooted in reality. The reality is: it has not come back at this present moment, so smile and keep moving.
    TIP: Keep something with you at all times that reminds you to keep present.

  • Also, make decisions to ensure that you're reducing your risk of recurrence. Attend all doctor appointments, take your medication and educate yourself on cancer prevention.
    TIP: Keep a calendar with notes dedicated to your health.


Judgment

  • Accept your cancer journey — The faster you accept what you have been through, the less you will fear other people's opinions, and you will attract the right people in your life.
    TIP: Ask yourself if you want others to accept you for you or all of you?

  • Educate yourself — Sharing your story in the workplace is something that a lot of people struggle with. Know your right as a survivor.
    TIP: Research Cancer nonprofits that cater to topics such as these.


2) Change Of Perspective

Going through cancer treatment will result in a change of perspective. To start off, define what your new perspective is. For many of us, we now understand – to the deepest level of understanding – that today is a gift and if you don't have your health, you don't have anything.

To embrace this new perspective, you must accept that you are a CHAMPION! Let it shine.
TIP: Remind yourself of the people who gave you courage and how it help you.

It's also important to share your new perspective with the people who matter most. Not everyone will relate but the right ones will respect it.
TIP: the more you share or listen, the faster you know who to surround yourself with.


3) Discover Your New Needs & Desires

After a humbling experience such as cancer, your needs and desires may become simplified. The most important things for most of us become health and happiness.

Health

  • Invest in your physical and mental health - Keeping your mind healthy is just as important as going to the gym.
    TIP: Research new ways to work on your physical and mental health.

  • Practice a healthy life style - Eating healthy, finding moments to just breathe or changing your environment can be beneficial to your health.
    TIP: The more access you have to healthier foods and activities the quicker you will find like-minded people who will inspire you to continue this lifestyle.

Happiness

  • Practice gratitude- At one time all you wanted to do was beat cancer and you did.
    TIP: For every negative thought name two things you are grateful for.

  • Discover your happiness- What makes you happy?
    TIP: Take the time to explore what makes you happy. Need help? Work with a life coach. ;)


Related:
Related Discussion Questions:
(Image courtesy of Beating Cancer In Heels)

Marlena Ortiz is the founder/ Head Life Coach at Beating Cancer in Heels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of young women with cancer. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 25 and is proud to say she is a SURVIVOR! You can find her on IHC under the username BeatingCancerInHeels.

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