It’s a beautiful 78 degree day in Hawaii! I’m sitting here with all the family around thinking how lucky I am to be alive.
I was recently contacted by Self Magazine for my thoughts and my advice for handling a cancer diagnosis. (You can read on the above link). If I could stress one thing to newly diagnosed cancer patients it would be that knowledge is power. Learning everything you can helps you be a better patient. I was lucky in that my Oncologist supported this. I was an equal partner in my treatment. There is a certain feeling of helplessness that comes with any cancer diagnosis, but taking control of your own personal choices is empowering.
Another critical piece of advice is to not stop being you! Where you can, get out and do the things that you love. For me, I was eager to keep working during my treatment because it signaled to everyone that I wasn’t going to just quit. While there were some super tired days, I am so happy with the decision. I was afraid if I quit work that my whole life would be consumed by cancer. I still have constant reminders of my treatment (neuropathy, arthritis, gastro issues, and a beautiful scar) but it is a small price to pay to be alive!
As we move into 2019, I am resolved to continue forward with a positive can-do attitude. Each year, I choose a one word goal for the year rather than a whole long list of resolutions.
My goal for 2019 in to be #impactful in all that I do. I’m already thinking about implementation of my #oneword for 2019! My runner-up word was #Reflective.
Thank you for following and sharing with you friends! What is your #oneword for 2019??
Yesterday, I spoke of ways to help your friend with cancer….so, the big reveal….this is a big way to help! My friend Liz wanted to find a way to be supportive and decided on cutting her hair! over two feet of hair will be sent to Locks of Love.
Have you heard the song, “Here I go again” by the 80’s band Whitesnake?
“Here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
An’ I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time.”
Are you going it alone? You don’t have to! Giving help benefits both the recipient and the giver. Surveys show that cancer survival can improve with a support network (10 tips on how to survive cancer)…and a 25% increase in survival rates! I like those odds. The American Cancer Society rated my survival odds at 41% for five years. If you count the original year of diagnosis….I am in the survivor group! Yeah!
The two parts of support include offering help to those that are ill, and the ability to accept help that is offered. When you are sick, it’s hard to reach out to friends and family because you don’t want to be a bother. Share this article with a friend if they ask what they can do to help? When you reach out to someone who is ill, it’s hard to know what to offer that will actually be a help.
Here are some suggestions for way to help:
Offer to drive to an appointment or watch kids (many clinics don’t allow children)
Offer to sit with your friend during chemo (it’s pretty boring and more fun with a friend or loved one)
Make a meal! (Check with the family first for dietary restrictions. Kid friendly dishes helped my family immensely and took the burden of making a nightly meal off my shoulders.) Check out Take them a meal (this website is an awesome way to organize meal delivery for families).
Send a card-seems simple, but this is so uplifting when you are having a rough day.
Send a care package. It can be simple! Saltine crackers, cough drops, tissues….etc.
Send a positive text message. You got this! was my favorite one!
Call! Leave a message! Many times it is not a great time to talk, but hearing your friend’s voice is a cheery reminder that friends have not forgotten you.
Visit! (Don’t just drop in unannounced please! Set it up in advance)
Aloha Friends! ‘Tis the Season to reach out to all of you and say thank you! I am still (yeah!!!) cancer free and working on my eating and my fitness. In August of 2012, I wasn’t sure if I would be around in 2013 and now I am looking forward to 2019.