Life doesn’t look very good from the inside of the oncology ward. Contrary to popular belief, women and men alike both suffer from breast cancer diagnoses. The disease isn’t the only thing that plagues the individual. It’s the day to day like living with illness. It’s the emotional and financial strain it puts on their loved ones. It’s the fact that they might not win the battle. Fortunately, 89.7 percent of breast cancer cases are still surviving five years later. Nonetheless, that means just over 10 percent are not. This is a grim reality to the 1 in 10 that won’t make it.
How can a person who is battling breast cancer maintain a sense of normalcy in a life that seems to be falling apart? Understandably, it’s hard to imagine there is any way to turn off the mind and forget that one is living with an illness that could claim their life. The truth is, it doesn’t require forgetting about one’s reality to live a full and happy life in the midst of battling cancer. Instead, it requires shifting perspective from what is going wrong to what is going right.
There is always room in our lives for more positivity. Anything that helps to lift your mood is worth your time. There is time to deal with cancer tomorrow. For today, set aside the worries of the family you might leave behind to focus on spending time with that family while you’re here. Direct your attention to the friendships that have brought you this far in life. Devote time to them. Nurture them and let the people in your life know why you want them there and how much you appreciate them.
Spend time meditating. Work on yourself. Take time to reflect on who you’ve been and where you want to go from here. Look at breast cancer as a chance to shake things up, not a terminal diagnosis. In all likelihood, you’ll be fine, and you’ll thank yourself later for the improved health and state of mind.
You’d be amazed at how much grief people suffering from cancer have over the mistakes they’ve made in their life. They are often full of self-doubt and worried about what the afterlife might hold should they be doomed to meet it sooner than expected. Sometimes, they’ll avoid making amends with family members they’ve wronged or loved ones who they’ve hurt in the past. Often, they hold off on this thinking that if they go the extra mile to make amends, it somehow means they are admitting defeat.
Quite the contrary, going out on a limb to put old battles to rest gives you the energy and positive frame of mind to focus on the battle you are waging now. Making peace with old flames and old demons is the kind of selfless behavior that can make you feel lighter and give you the fortitude you need to want to stick around in this life.