For Anyone Who Can't Get Off the Couch During Cancer

Did you find yourself stuck on the couch while you were going through cancer treatment, and even afterwards? According to Christine, that could have been a good thing. Read more.

Never would I have imagined that I would get cancer in my thirties or that I would be on disability for nine months recuperating from cancer treatment. Many of my hours were spent lying on the couch sleeping, lying on the couch fighting the nausea monster, or feeling so weak I could barely get off the couch. During that experience, I looked at it as wasted time. All I wanted was to be at work, go places and do things, like a normal person. Lying on the couch wasn't my idea of a productive life. It made me feel depressed.

But was it really a waste?

Now, as a twelve-plus year survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, I believe those countless hours, in many ways, were productive. Not according to our hectic life standards, but according to our body and soul standards. Going through cancer, I learned there are many layers of myself I never would have unearthed just focusing on the normal daily life craziness. In calmness, I could sit and be still. Not that I always felt calm, but inner work was being done.

Throughout that period of dormancy, I learned to see myself from new angles. Angles of a sick person, angles of being an emotionally complex person, feeling feelings and having insights I never would have had just living my normal work-a-day life. I was brought to the deepest and lowest parts of myself, only to find that this was preparing me for better things to come.

Today, I am grateful to be healthy. I am grateful for the opportunity to mentor others on their cancer journeys, offering them encouragement and insights from my experience. When I hear a cancer patient who is struggling emotionally say, "It's so comforting to hear that you felt the same way I'm feeling," it makes it all worth it. Wisdom can come from sitting on the couch. Be open to the stillness in healing and what it has to teach.

What has been your experience lying around during cancer treatment? How did it make you feel? Have you experienced any benefits when sitting in stillness?