I have the opportunity every couple of months to facilitate a wonderful workshop with Cancer survivors. Every time I show up to facilitate I feel like a kid, I learn so much. Everyone in that room has survived cancer, some multiple times, and each has a story. When you get the word from the doc that you have the “C” word, there are many things that happen, your relationships change, work changes, health changes, attitude changes, everything that you once took for granted becomes a real blessing. Not just some word to be positive, but real. Very real.
As I listen to them share their personal journey’s of loss, love, and discovery, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with life. What I mean by overwhelmed is the that experiencing life fully becomes the mandate, everything becomes heightened. See when someone gets cancer, what people don’t talk about, is the people around them that automatically think the person is going to die, or their partner who hears the news can’t deal with it, so he/she goes off and cheats or hides or runs, because seeing them with cancer reminds them of the places they run from on a daily basis. And frankly this is all to close and not the right time for them. Life getting in the way of their lives.
I am not a big fan of fighting things, so when I hear the announcers at the World Series baseball game on TV talk about fighting cancer, it rubs me wrong. But I get it. It markets better, than STAND UP FOR HEALTH. We live in a country that loves to fight life, fight through it, survive it, beat the other team down, beat out people at work, do anything to rise to the top, and resist death on a daily basis.
Yet what do you do when it’s in your face? When the news comes? What then? Listening close to 80 people over the past year and half talk about dealing with cancer, it is tough. But some things that stand out:
1. Wake up today and smile, because you woke up today.
2. There will be pain, lots of uncomfortable sensations, do your best with it.
3. Read inspirational, heartfelt, and positive books, music, and look for support, you are not alone.
4. Don’t blame yourself. You didn’t call this into your life. Be gentle.
5. Some people are not going to be around you, and don’t want to be around you, including friends and family, it’s okay.
6. Meditate, breath, do Tai chi, yoga, whatever will help you calm your mind and soften your heart.
7. Eat right. Food is energetic. You are in control what goes in your body.
8. Find ways to surround your house with beauty, roses, flowers, etc… hug lots of times.
9. Find time to be outside and feel.
10. You will have good/bad days, it’s okay, do your best to find the little things in your day to inspire your heart.
Many of you who read this blog are survivors of the War, Cancer, Divorce, Jobs, Health, Money, addictions, etc… the point is when you judge another, says more about you than them. In Christianity they have saying, “If you haven’t made a mistake, cast a stone.” But we all have, each of us. Yet we pay millions of dollars to people in media, to cast stones, and we forget, that they are casting it at another human. We are all in this together. Imagine a world who took this to heart. And lived as one.