This post contains the story of a cancer recurrence. I know you may find that difficult to read about. The story contains a priceless pearl of wisdom, so I encourage you to read it when the time is right. If today’s not the day, that’s fine; perhaps save it for another day, and reflect a bit on why you resist reading on. Is there a pearl of wisdom in your resistance too?
L was a model breast cancer patient. A single mom of two special needs teenagers, she was determined to do everything she could to heal herself and “extract the treasures” from her experience.
She delved into nutrition and adhered faithfully to the best guidelines she could find. She surrounded herself with a circle of loving friends. She noticed where in her life she hadn’t been fully happy, and bravely shifted those situations for the better.
Feeling grounded and inspired after treatment ended, she trained as a cancer coach. She envisioned creating retreats for survivors to explore what she saw as “profound and beautiful” about the cancer experience.
Having done everything “right”, she found herself at the edge of her sanity when six months later, she was diagnosed with extensive liver and bone metastases.
“This shouldn’t have happened!” she railed. But her anger exhausted her, and she knew she needed to conserve her resources to get through her upcoming treatment.
She endured two months of unbearable pain that left her no choice but to stay heavily medicated. As foggy as she was under the medication, she persisted in believing there was a way out. “I can’t die,” she told me. “I haven’t had the opportunity to live my best.”
She had hair extensions put in so she could feel as normal as possible when she looked in the mirror. She visualized the cancer cells exploding and leaving her body. And as tired as she was, she brought home a puppy. While she knew she might have to hire a dog walker on days she couldn’t get out of bed, the puppy gave her a reason to get moving and out of the house. “She helps me focus on something outside of me,” she told me. “She’s so full of life!”
Despite it all, her tests showed no improvement.
You’ll find out what L did next in my upcoming post. Meanwhile I’d love to hear from you:
- What helped you feel most alive while you were undergoing cancer treatment?
- What makes you feel most alive now?