So you've made it through treatment…now what the fuck are you supposed to do?
As if hearing the words “it’s cancer” isn’t scary enough. For me the first thought that came to mind when I heard those words was “holy shit, I’m gonna die! I just started my family!”
I had already been battling depression and anxiety so this new diagnosis made the battle even more arduous. I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge though.
I went through four months of chemo starting with two months of AC and two months of Taxol. The next month I underwent a double mastectomy with the beginning of reconstruction. A few months later I had seven weeks of radiation to the affected side. After all the treatment and about six surgeries I was done with “cancer treatment”. Or so I thought.
When the storm finally began to calm I was left with the ghosts of what I had just been through and all the thoughts I had been pushing down. The depression and anxiety came rushing at me. I didn’t know what to do. I made the decision to get help, and anyone who knows me knows that was no easy decision for me to make.
Being the independent, people-pleasing, take care of everyone else type of person that I was I had to learn some new skills. Through the internal work I was doing, I began to see a flicker of light at the end of the dark tunnel I was traveling. That flicker got stronger and brighter.
I started down a path to healing that not only brought me continued health from cancer, I began healing wounds that caused the depression and anxiety. Looking back I started to see why I was depressed and anxious. Then I saw how my depression and anxiety caused my breast cancer. It was no coincidence that my tumor grew directly over my heart. Then I found the one thing that I knew in my heart cured my cancer and would prevent it from ever coming back…I found the gift that cancer brought me.
Yep, you read that correctly. I said cancer brought a gift. There was a positive side to the shit I had been through. As I thought about my cancer journey I started to think about all the people who came out of the woodworks to support me, to love me, to show me I could beat this. I started seeing all the connections to love, like cords from me to them. Then in a meditation I saw myself and the cord that had been broken between me and my Higher Self. Together, with cancer personified, the three of us healed that broken cord. Then cancer waved good-bye and faded off into the distance. I knew I didn’t have to worry about it ever coming back.
When we can find the gift that situations bring we don’t have to worry about those situations anymore. They may come back to test us, but we know how to handle it. We know how to deal with the emotions that come with the thoughts. We are open enough to learn how to shift our thoughts from those dreadful Negative Nelly’s to the empowering Positive Polly’s. We can do this with any situation, “good” or “bad”, not just cancer.
Here’s my simple process for finding the gifts that any situation may be bringing to you:
- Find some time for yourself to just sit in silence. Maybe you light a candle, maybe you draw a warm bath. Don’t get wrapped up in doing anything perfectly, just sit by yourself without distractions.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth making the “ha” sound. This will help slow down your nervous system and bring you into a calm state of mind.
- Start to picture yourself in a beautiful meadow. The breeze is softly blowing, the sun is gently kissing you skin. You’re surrounded by colorful flowers and cool green grass.
- Picture your situation as a person. What does this person look like? Envision as many details as you can. Is there a lightness about them, or a heaviness? Are they clear or dull? Bright or dim?
- Notice how you feel being in their presence. Do you feel peaceful or angry? Is your body tensing up or are you relaxed?
- Ask them what lesson or gift they have for you. Listen as they share their knowledge.
- Acknowledge them by thanking them for their generosity and support, and gracefully embracing them.
- Watch them as they walk away, waving with confidence that you’ll continue to be supported on your souls journey.
So when you start to wonder what you’re supposed to do now that you’re done with treatment and those negative anxiety ridden thoughts start crawling into your consciousness, stop yourself. Take a few deep breaths. Thank the anxiety and negative thoughts for showing you that you are alive, that you are human. Give them a big ol’ hug, then send them on their way. It takes practice but you are stronger than any of them so take back the steering wheel and go 4-wheeling. Give me a call, I’m always up for a little adventure.
Lots of love and healing vibes,
Ready to find the gift of any situation?
PS: Think this is a little too terrifying to handle by yourself (I sure did, that’s why I reached out)? Would you like to take someone with you so you’re not alone? Contact me and I’ll support you along the way.