Tuesday, October 9, 2012

" What About Now ... "

Shadows fill an empty heart
As love is fading
From all the things that we are
Are not saying
Can we see beyond the scars
And make it to the dawn? ...

The sun is breaking in your eyes
To start a new day
This broken heart can still survive
With a touch of your grace
Shadows fade into the light
I am by your side ...

Now that we're here
Now that we've come this far
Just hold on ...

What about now?
What about today?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
What about now?

~ Daughtry ~ What About Now ~ 

With cancer diagnoses on the rise there is a good chance you or someone you know in your lifetime will hear these dreaded words ... “ I’m sorry, it’s cancer”.  

When we were at the Gerson clinic, we were told the statistic of 1 in 3 is actually 1 in 2.  Yet the positive side is that more of us are surviving our initial diagnosis and treatment ... going on to live full and vibrant lives.  

Some of the hardest moments are often between diagnosis and the beginning of treatment for a person battling cancer ... mainly because it is easier to deal when you are doing something about it.  You have a plan of action.  

So when the news is raw, and you mind takes over, there are some things you can do in what I call the “meantime”.  And by the way, this “meantime” feels like forever as your whole world as you know it has just collapsed.  What you knew doesn’t exist anymore ... and you are left trying to make sense of what appears to be a death sentence but is truly an opportunity for change.  

I can only speak from experience and since I am obviously not a doctor, this is by no means medical advice.  So this is not to “convince” anyone as to what treatment to pursue.

Realization ... 
One of the first things I realized was to have grace for myself.  Practice compassion and kindness towards me.  Contrary to what I was “heard” about breast cancer, this is not the end of the world.  So when my imagination started to head towards worst case scenarios, I had to reel it back in.  Our bodies are ALWAYS listening to our thoughts and feeling our emotions and the extra stress is un-necessary.  So I had to stop torturing myself as to what will go wrong and start focusing on what would go right.  I practice this daily.

Realization ... 
Next was to share my burden and get support.  Yeah no, that doesn’t mean updating your facebook status but tell someone.  Know this is a heavy burden, so carrying it alone is not wise.  I am blessed with my amazing husband, family and few awesome friends aka angels ... yet not everyone has that option.  So reach out and find support services that will help you will your diagnosis and how to cope.  

Realization ... 
Understand your diagnosis.  We all have cancer cells in our bodies and therefore they are not foreign invaders.  Healthy immune systems are always fighting them, seeking them out and destroying them.  Yet when cells grow beyond the capability of our immune systems and they can't handle it ... we "get" cancer.  Good, efficient cellular environment ensures we don't "get" sick ... it is important to understand that cancers have four characteristics: weak immune system, low oxygen uptake by the cells, excess acidity & excess toxins.

Realization ... 
Probably the most important is to get educated when it comes to your treatment.  Learning about options ...  your best defence is making a decision from a place of knowledge NOT fear plays a vital role in your survival.  If you don’t understand, ask questions ... and then ask again.  You have a right to know.  (And when doing online research, beware of Dr. Goggle ... there is a  great deal of mis-information so check the legitimacy of the site.  Also, avoid worst case scenarios as they do absolutely nothing for you.  Trust me, I know).

Realization ...  
Do yourself a favour and make it easy for others to help you.  I found that people want to help, but they just don’t know what to say or do.  So tell them what you need.  Loved ones may be afraid to offer help for fear of offending you, so give them the opportunity by openly communicating.  Once you let them in your world, they will take cues from you and can be an integral part of your healing journey.

Realization ... 
Finally recognize that there are and will be rough days and amazing days.  I tell myself often to hang in there even after being in therapy for 20 months.  Does it get easier ... well depends on what time or day you ask me.  But what I do know is I am still here ... and that you can have cancer and a good life.

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