You’ve just met with your doctor and received the news that you have cancer. Maybe you saw this coming. Maybe you didn’t.
In any case you are suddenly feeling overwhelmed with a rush of every emotion you’ve ever felt. People are talking but it’s all a blur. Even hours or days later, you’re still in a fog, still overwhelmed, still not sure what’s going on, and still not sure how to move forward. Here are three things you can do right now to slow down and get yourself in a space where you can make the decisions that are right for you.
Don’t panic. Stop the never ending rush of thoughts in your head. Nothing is going to change between today and tomorrow. You won’t be able to make the decisions you need to when you’re panicking. The most important thing to remember right now is that cancer is a word, not a sentence.
You are stressed to the max and in fight or flight mode. Your breathing is quick and shallow. This is not how we need to breathe to be level-headed, calm, and centred. Take 5 deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Take 5 more. Do this every hour. Set an alarm on your phone if you need to. Keep breathing.
No doubt you’ve got everyone telling you what to do: your doctor, your family, your friends. That’s not who I want you to listen to. I want you to listen to yourself. Stop. Sit quietly. Take a few deep breaths and take note of how your body feels. Then, one by one, think about your options. Think about the options your doctor told you (surgery, chemo, radiation), one by one, and note how that makes you feel. Notice your emotions and any physical sensations.
Now think about your other options (holistic therapies, naturopathy) and notice how your body feels when you think about them. Think about combinations of therapies (chemo + reiki, diet + surgery, etc) and see how those feel. Listen to yourself and decide what is right for you. You are the only person who can do that.
Know that this is your body and your life and you get to choose what is best for you. Your doctor is trying to help but may not know all the options that are available and/or may try to scare you into thinking their options are the only ones. Take time to research what else is out there. Talk to a holistic cancer practitioner or naturopathic doctor who specializes in cancer about what they can offer you. Take time to decide what is best for you and don’t be afraid to take a stand for what you feel is right. You are unique and the only expert on you. You got this!