Having cancer is like you are in official custody to be in a dark abyss. You may think that you are the most unfortunate person in the whole universe and started to ask yourself, “Why, me?”
Having cancer means your whole body is being attacked with a deadly cell that can kill you anytime. And not only that, while you are on a journey of your cancer treatment, it also distresses your mental and emotional well-being.
Yes, that’s what cancer does to a person.
First, your physical body will suffer, both internal and external. Second, because you found out that you have cancer, your anxiety level reaches to a maximum state that thinking every day that you have cancer will drive you insane! And the last, your emotions are not stable – people around you seem cannot understand you. You are acting ridiculous but in fact, all you want to happen is people can simply be there and more empathetic for you.
But this is impossible!
That’s what cancer can do to you, to us, and to your loved ones. It makes your daily life as dark as grey skies before a torrential rain will lash out. It makes you feel you are alone and no one is fighting for you. It makes you feel you are useless. It disables the goals once you planned before. Cancer is indeed a bitch. It will tear you down and drive you insane.
But you know what? You can actually do something –
Look for the stars.
While you are now in the middle of your battle with cancer, let me sum you up with these three practical ways so that you will not feel defeated and too exhausted. You need not to use all your strength in one day only just because you are keen to beat cancer right away! Do it – one step at a time. Do it – mindfully. Do it – slowly, steady and progressing.
- We can only rely on our doctors who have been studying in the laboratory for years just to give you the appropriate treatment to cut the activity of your cancer cell in your body. See your doctor and cooperate what the treatment plans he made for you.
- It’s time to give yourself back to nature. A healthy plant-based diet is not only a mere gossip or a myth. Nature is the greatest healer.
- Sleep is very essential to our body. After all the hard work you did just to earn money for your needs and wants, and to be called “independent”, yet the sleep you must give to yourself was deprived, do it now. Try to regain the sleep once you lost, regain your sleep like that kind of sleep when you were a baby. There is nothing impossible to do that unless you are willing to try no matter how hard to start all over again. Just try.
- Exercise regularly. Find out which kind of exercise that is easy for you to start. It needs not to be a strenuous one. A 30 minute-walk daily is essential to your physique, mind, and emotion.
- What we eat is what we are. The food that you are consuming can make you sick or can cure you. Why am I talking about food again? Other than to eat healthy during your cancer treatment, sometimes you can’t avoid cheat. But it’s a matter of choice! You can plan the meals that may help you feel better or you can have foods that can make you feel worse.
- Validate your feelings. It is normal to have mood swings. The moment you feel happy now, the next moment after you feel sad. Feelings change from time to time, go through that exact feeling and let it go. Never extinguish or hide your emotions. You need to have an acceptance that you feel low, afraid or useless – you may need to talk about your feelings to a friend who can understand or just simply be alone and talk to yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can do that each time you feel so low and anxious? Don’t wait when depression kicks in, sometimes it is too hard to tread the deep waters especially when you don’t know how to swim. Take a precaution before you dive in the depth of the depression.
- Meditate or pray. I am not promoting you to follow a certain practice. Just do it – whether you want to practice meditation or pray directly to the highest. You can pray at the same time, meditate. Mediation appears to help tame your emotions which only you can do that. It is an internal task and you cannot rely on this to other people.
- Our thoughts affect our emotions, the same way our emotions affect our thoughts. When someone had told you to trust your gut feeling, it is because your guts that found in your stomach are actually the second brain of your body. And these two organs are connected both physically and biochemically in a number of different ways. So, if you could effectively follow the practice I mentioned earlier in how to manage your emotion and which food you need to consume daily, you will be most likely a proactive mindset that can help you to make a better decision while you are on your cancer treatment.
- Self-awareness is the key to a healthy mind. If you have good emotional health, you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Coping up with your negative emotions during your cancer treatment is very helpful on the road to survival.
It is always a matter of choice.
When cancer gives you dark days, thrive to look for the stars. Don’t keep nagging and pitying yourself why you have to experience this kind of disease. You are only helping cancer cell to grow more aggressive. Cancer may make you weak each day, but try to use that small strength wisely.
Strive for resilience. Strive for a healthy lifestyle. Strive to thrive.
My name is Cielo, the author of “The Cancer Voice Asia”, a blog that aims to support and inspire anyone who is facing cancer. I know how it feels to be diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer, Leiomyosarcoma, at the age of 29. I know the challenges, the fears, the hopes, and the joys of living with cancer. I want to share my story with you and connect you with others who understand what you are going through. Together, we can empower ourselves and fight against the disease. Join me on this platform and let’s make our healing journey a meaningful one.