Do you have a question you ask yourself when you want to slow down the spiral or just to do a self-check of your priorities?
Many cancer “survivors” experience fears of recurrence. I am no exception. I don’t get paralyzed in this fear as I do sometimes with other challenges, but instead I do this self-check. At the time of my diagnosis, I was most worried about feeding my children with everything I possibly could if I didn’t survive. Now life is back to normal, but I have a heightened awareness that it can change on a dime.
A side effect from my medications are achy joints. Sometimes my legs throb at night while I’m laying in bed and I let that awful thought creep into my head, “what if this is bone mets?” Breast cancer can recur all over the body. When it shows up in a new place it has metastasized (mets). Having had a mastectomy doesn’t keep it from rearing its ugly head again. This reminds me that the time to do all that is important to you is now. It also gives me a healthy reaction to this fear. It is so easy to fall into a dark place or a self-pity, but what good does that do for you, your family or the community you are a part of?
Life is busy and I cannot live 24/7 dedicating myself to all that I think is worthy. Sometimes I just need to lay on the couch and veg in front of a television show or read a book just for sheer enjoyment. Instead of learning and growing I just need to relax and enjoy just being. In fact, most of my time is spent just living….working, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. But through the choices I make, the people I surround myself with, the books I read for enlightenment, time spent meditating and writing this blog is setting the intention in my life. We are not in control most of the time, but we do have a lot of control over the course we decide to take.
It gets easier as you go. If you aren’t in a good place, start with acceptance. I often find that telling myself that whatever emotion I am experiencing is ok, it helps me to move through it faster. I often felt the need for validation (and sometimes still need to know that I’m not crazy from an outside source), but most of the time I’m able to validate my own feelings and acknowledge that they are real. Once you do this and believe it, you can start setting your intentions for what you want your life to look like. What you want to surround yourself with. What you want your legacy to look like when you are no longer here. I challenge you to think about your personal mission statement. Don’t write anything. Just mull it over for a while. What does your mission statement look like? Who does it effect? How will you change things in your life to align with this mission? When you are ready, write it down. Re-visit it from time to time. Change it if necessary. Choose your path.
Choose your path.