January 13, 2023
There is a big difference between making the decision to focus on recovery before going through all the intensive cancer treatments, and the reality of actually recovering after all the treatments.
Years ago I went to Tony Robbins talks. He has a story of driving racing cars and having to focus on where you want to be because you will end up where you are focussing on. My surgeon counselled me in the same way - “you have to believe in what you are doing, you have to focus on being well”.
Very early on after my diagnosis I set my mind to my recovery. I would recover through each step of my treatment as best I could, and then, once all the intensive treatments where completed I would focus wholeheartedly on my recovery, so I could live my life well.
I believe that the decision I made to focus on recovering and living life well was like a guiding star for me. There is a lot of information to deal with a diagnosis of cancer. At times its overwhelming. Having the context of recovering and living life well was invaluable to me. A practical example was exercising as soon as I could after surgery, and keeping going with it while I slowly recovered. I was also able to put the ongoing lymphedema care that I do every day into context of taking care of myself (which is a necessary part of living my life well).
Focussing on recovering well and living life well kept being my guiding star after all my intensive treatments. I was alive, and determined to live the rest of my life (however long that was) as well as possible.
A cancer diagnosis can make you question everything. It did for me. I questioned why I wanted to be alive, if I saw any value in natural medicines (the answer by the way is a wholehearted yes, I am so grateful that I was already a naturopath when I was diagnosed, it helped me significantly and now I get to support others in their recovery). Part of the questioning process was also, what was important to me? What did I want my life to be about?
For me, when I was diagnosed being alive meant seeing my kids grow up. That was my number 1 reason to live.
My recovery focus was different. I was depleted and feeling very low. Feeling well seemed like a huge uphill struggle for me. I needed a new way of living that supported my health. I needed to build up my mental well-being. I needed to navigate how I wanted to live my life, what I wanted to do with my life. I needed to be able to support myself, and have physical strength and resilience. Also, I needed to be well enough for surgery in a year.
My recovery was about how I wanted to live my life, what I wanted to be doing, how I was going to pay for all of it, and how to stay (become) healthy and well.
To be honest though, my goals were very small to begin with.
What’s your dream? What do you wish your life to contain and be about after you have recovered?
As your wellness improves and you are able to do more and more, what would you like that to be?
What’s the motivation to take care of yourself? To build healthy habits? To keep your mind firmly set to recovering well?
Even these questions might feel overwhelming.
When recovering, I suggest you start as small as you need to. Recovering well is a process and depending on how depleted you are feeling right now, feeling well may seem like an insurmountable mountain. The goal is to recover as quickly as possible, but part of taking care of yourself it to be kind and understanding of where you are right now and what you are capable of today, tomorrow, this week.
A cancer diagnosis can cause you to question everything. It did for me. It was a great opportunity to renew myself, to choose anew my beliefs and actions that were most useful for me.
Recovering and staying well is really about taking care of yourself. Then it becomes about finding ways to still take care of yourself (use healthy habits) as you reintegrate back into “real” life. Into busy-ness. Into pressure and demands.
Now that I am more recovered, I am able to reflect on how far I have come.. As I “live my life”, and pursue my goals and dreams the focus of taking care of myself is part of my daily life. My wellness and well-being are precious and hard won and I value them highly. They are worthy of my daily attention and focus.
I don’t know where you are in your health right now. You may have just finished life saving treatments and be at your lowest point, or you may be feeling like your health just needs a tune up.
By keeping your focus on your recovery and what’s important to you, you will be able to navigate your way to developing the healthy habits that allow you the best quality of life for yourself possible.
As a naturopath I called my business Anewable, because I wanted to promote the process of taking what is good and improving, keeping going and growing, and taking care of yourself. If you would like an individual consultation please contact me at Amanda@anewable.co.nz
October 06, 2023
I have found with the people that I help that using minerals gives us a strong foundation to work with.
On a personal level I am extremely grateful for the support of minerals!!
September 01, 2023
August 25, 2023
When you start to think in a downward spiral, or become distracted or focussing on negative “unwanted” thoughts - of the past, the present or the future you simply tell your brain “Useful Thoughts Only”
The trick is catching yourself in the act, but I suspect you may have a few (or even many) opportunities each day to practice this technique. The great thing is, even if you realise after quite a while that you have been riding the unhelpful thought train, you can stop at any time and tell yourself - USEFUL THOUGHTS ONLY.