Often, I’m told that I have “such a good attitude” when it comes to dealing with my ongoing, er, relationship with cancer. Perhaps I do, but I dunno — it’s no different to me than how I deal with most things. One thing I do know is that my “attitude,” or however you want to characterize it, is how I get through most days. In the hope that this may help you or a friend or loved one, here it is in five fairly-easy steps:
First, know and accept that you’re in a Fight, perhaps the fight of (or for) your life. Even if you’ve been a pacifist all your life, it’s time to glove-up and be prepared to do battle. You will be battling your fears, your pain, the medical establishment, most-definitely your insurance company, and, possibly, time. Enter the arena with your head held high. Bring as many warriors into the battle with you as you’re able. Everyone will rally around you. Just ask!
Ignore a lot of what you read when you begin doing internet searches about your cancer. Don’t let recommended treatments scare the crap out of you before treatment even begins. The best sources of information will be the oncology nurses where you receive your treatment. Allow them to hold your hand and ask them your questions. They are knowledgeable, empathetic, and honest, and many treatments aren’t as bad as they sound.
Giggle. That’s right, laugh! If there’s one thing cancer hates, it’s to be laughed at. If you’re new to the fight, you’ll probably find this hard to believe, but it’s true. There are many humorous aspects about cancer and cancer treatment. You’ll find that looking for the humorous side will leave you feeling a lot better both physically and mentally!
Hold hands with your loved ones. Hold hands with your friends. Hold hands with the fellow patients you meet when you go for treatment. If you’ve never in your life been a “hugger,” now’s the time to start. Human touch is healing. Become a dispenser of hugs and “I love you’s” and you’ll feel the love — and the healing — returned tenfold.
Take time to smell the roses! If, like me, you’re no longer able to work due to your cancer, you will surely have more time on your hands than you did before! Cancer can be a blessing in this way. Go take pictures of that sunrise. Attend that community event. Take up that hobby you always wanted to do but never took the time. Treat yourself! Now’s the time 🙂
So, there you have it. I guarantee that by following at least some of my suggestions you’ll be well on your way to kicking cancer’s ass! Fight on and fight well, Fellow Warrior!