When I was going through chemo treatments, I was also freshly uprooted from my beautiful Kodiak Island nature paradise home, to live in a noisy city, for a whole dark Alaska winter, during Covid, without my circle of close friends, without beloved doggies, near-broke, in the middle of a business sabbatical and not actually sure at that time how I was going to MAKE money, and often feeling like shit.
Everything in my life was uncertain. Challenging. Each a big challenge in itself.
How did I then, manage to feel OKAY during this time, even find JOY? And start turning things around?
One key was that I decided I CAN.
(That’s also the time that I decided to start writing cancer as “CANcer.”)
Easier said than done when your mind tells you otherwise though, right?
And that’s eXACTLY where the magic is at.
Catching those mind stories that tell you “You can’t.”
And transforming + healing them, one by one, into “Yes you CAN!”
This week I had the wonderful opportunity to be guest on Evey Rosenbloom's CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY podcast, and we spoke about my CANcer journey, her own healing journey, and how we both got out of fear and worry into wellness and JOY!
It was a wonderful conversation full of powerful wisdom nuggets, for ALL of you who are going through hard times - CANcer or otherwise.
Are you giving yourself PERMISSION TO JOY?
Do you WANT to create more JOY in your life and THRIVE?
Come tune into this podcast episode and get inspired!
A dear friend just asked me what it means to me to thrive as cancer patient.
And then he asked me an even better question: what I think is the GREATEST BARRIER TO thriving as cancer patient.
I didn’t even realize that’s not obvious! But I guess it’s not for everyone!
How I see thriving, in the context of my personal CANcer journey (from breast cancer stage 4 that had already metastasized into my lungs, to none present:)
I did really well with the whole challenge, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Against all odds - already while in treatments.
I started thriving in the middle of my harshest chemos:
Instead of wild side effects and getting weaker, I walked away with the blood lab numbers of a healthy person. I stunned my doctor! She said most people take a dip!
Me celebrating my last day of heavy chemos.
What happened? How did I start to thrive?
It all started on the inside.
With my thoughts and emotions and attitude.
When realized I was...
I recently got the title “cancer warrior” awarded in a group for my contributions and my powerful story of going from breast cancer stage 3 to zero present.
While I was honored, and understand that the title is meant in an empowering way, it brought up an important topic for me that I want to share:
I do NOT use words like “cancer warrior”, survivor, “kicking cancer’s butt,” or other other war-like lingo.
I choose words like THRIVING. And SPARKLING. And living with JOY.
I found that words affect my wellbeing.
Words evoke emotions. And different emotions create different responses in our body.
If a word scares us, (like “chemo”) our body sends “danger and defense” signals and can cramp up. When we’re relaxed, we allow our immune system to be strong and support us.
There’s an interesting experiment about the effect of words by Masaru Emoto who took photographs of water crystals: when...
I had wonderful doctors who were kind and helpful and had great strategies and tools for my healing. What they didn’t directly support me with is mindset and emotional support, and how to internally deal with it.
I did that on my own. (With support of additional mentors and spirit support.)
My mindset and how I navigated my emotions has been a HUGE part for me to help me with healing - actually my foundation. It helped me do well with treatments, have pretty gentle side effects, and support my immune system (hint: being afraid doesn’t - feeling calm does.)
It’s so fascinating, depending on how we feel, whether we’re afraid or calm, and what we expect … we can have a stressful experience, or one that supports our healing.
One of the things that always helped me is to find a reframe and choose feelgood words for myself that feel like wellness.
So instead of being scared or expect or talk about burns and the like, I ended up thinking of it like a...
Here’s a mindset and energy concept that helped me cope really well in treatments, experience only minor side effects, and accelerate my healing. (And go from breast cancer stage 4 to no evidence!)
I found that WORDS are super powerful in my healing, and in general. When I say (or think!) words that make me feel GOOD I noticed that also affects how my body feels, literally!
(Simple experiment: say “I love and accept myself just like I am!” Then say “I suck.” And notice the difference in how it feels in your body. Striking, right?)
During my cancer healing, I became acutely aware of the importance of this. And that I needed (and wanted!) to think and use words that helped me heal.
(That’s also one of the reasons why I chose JOY as focus at some point - joy energy heals! Inner critic voices are NOT wellness promoting!)
One area where I used this concept of positive words was in chemo treatments: instead of the word “chemo”, I...