One of the most critical actions that you can take when you are diagnosed, or while you are in treatment, is to define your experience in your own words. How you do that sets the tone for everything that will follow and how you can impact your outcome.
We are programmed by society to respond to acts of aggression with acts of force. Confront and conquer any aggressor. Far too often, people approach cancer in the same way. They are going to “fight” and “beat” the cancer as if it were some military exercise or athletic event.
In my experience, this is a mistake. It defines your disease in cancer’s terms. The outcome will be waged on the battlefield of your body where the cancer has already scaled the walls of your immune system and is seeking to take control of your life. You respond with anger, bitterness and the false belief that you can conquer this enemy. The stress that you bring on yourself fuels the fire of your cancer and minimizes the impact that you can have on your own outcome.
Instead of approaching your cancer as a confrontation, choose the path of “Two For Twenty” which defines that part of who you are that the cancer cannot attack or affect. That place, within your heart and soul, is yours and yours alone. Show your cancer how serious you are about impacting your own outcome not by “beating” it, but by the sheer power of your will and who you are. Be positive, not defensive. Instead of fighting the changes that cancer brings, accept them. Celebrate what motivates and inspires you. Feed your body with your mind. As I wrote three days after I was diagnosed:
“When the armies of the morning meet the angels of the night
All that will remain will be the love and the light
They will sanctify my soul and lay my burden down”