February 20th, 2019
| Survivor: Uterine or Endometrial Cancer
Many people will try to comfort you throughout your treatment. They’ll ask what they can do for you, laundry, grocery shopping, house cleaning, prescription pick ups. They’ll accompany you to doctor appointments, chemo infusions, and hospital stays.
You and your loved ones will learn and lament the fact that nobody else can do cancer for you. They can’t endure the surgeries for you or go through the healing that seems to happen at a snail’s pace. They can’t take the drugs into their bodies and watch everything wilt and die. They can’t puke for you. They can’t get up each day and muster the determination to keep going after seeing a complete stranger in the mirror.
You are the one that has to know your own personal “why”. Why are you going to not only live through this, but do it in a way to make cancer afraid it ever came to your doorstep? Know that your “why” is always stronger than how, no matter what. Your “why” will be the key ingredient for summoning what I like to call your seventh wind. You’ve probably heard of the second wind, that is for mere mortals. The seventh wind is what you will need as a cancer patient and a survivor. That’s right, you will also need your seventh wind as a survivor.
You will make it through this. You will find that you can’t be the exact same person you were and a new person will have to be born. Do not apologize for the death of the person you will leave behind and the emergence of this new individual. This new person will have the kind of appreciation for every moment of life that most people should but don’t have because they’ve never faced death.
As a result of this appreciation, you will jam pack every day with as much as you can. That job you wanted, it’s yours. That trip you were eyeing, you’re gone. That hike you never made, photos now posted. The months you couldn’t be a parent or partner will be richly redone. There will be no time for anything less than the best of every moment possible.
So patients and survivors, how do you summon a seventh wind when your schedule is full and you have to keep going?
1) Your “why”
I have two “whys" - my daughter and roller derby. A quick rudimentary definition of roller derby: A full contact sport that involves two teams of five players on skates that score points by having their respective Jammer (the point scorer) pass through the opposing team’s Blockers.
I was training to be a Blocker for the 38th internationally ranked team before cancer. I had a daughter who needed a mother and I had a team that I desperately wanted to return to.
Your why should be something you need or something that needs you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a person you need to take care of, it can be a thing you need to do, a place you need to go, or a situation you need to resolve. Whatever it is, it needs to have a strong gravitational pull on your spirit.
I cannot stress it enough. Drink a gallon after treatment and as close to a gallon as you can comfortably get in by 6pm every day forevermore. Get the poison out of your organs! Your liver and kidneys will thank you.
If you aren’t sleeping well, discuss it with your doctor and get a sleep aid as soon as possible! You cannot conquer the world while running on empty.
4) Nutrition, supplements, and smoothies
Quality vs. quantity will become very important in your life if it wasn’t already. Start eating anything green, fresh produce, a multivitamin, fish oil, B12, Glucosamine, Curcumin, fresh ginger, and ground flax seed. Beans, fish, grains, walnuts, and almonds will also help your body to heal. I tend to avoid red meat and dairy, they cause to much inflammation in my body now.
I know you’re tired. If you can muster just 20 minutes of walking with the hopes to lead to more, you’re doing good! Grab your IV pole and get to stepping with some jams in the ear buds! And if you are a survivor, tie those shoe laces and let’s get some sweat on! The fact is, no movement causes you to feel more tired and that leads to a pattern. Remember, some exercise is better than no exercise!
Make sure each day you are doing something for you! There is no quicker way to drain your battery than to constantly be on the go or doing the things you’re “supposed” to be doing for everyone but yourself.
Finally, Have a saying or motto that motivates you when you’re about to quit or so tired you want to sleep for a week. I have a few:
“If I can take it, I can make it.” “No matter how hard,I will get there.” “You can’t stop me, nothing can.” “Dare me to.” And my personal favorite,”I’m on the job.” Whenever you say your saying, it should automatically be a guarantee that you believe, and by default a commitment that everyone around you sees you follow through.
You’ll notice in my list, I didn’t say to phone a friend. While I think laughter with friends is very good medicine, summoning your seventh wind is something you’ll have to do on command. It is very personal. It comes from deep within, a strength reserve that you will have built and you alone will know how to replenish. You my friends, will become like galvanized steel. Nothing and no one will be able to shake you. You are a cancer warrior and or a cancer survivor!
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
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