When you have gone through cancer treatment and survived, it’s easy to feel lost. You are not in the same place that you were before cancer. Cancer is a life-changing experience that most people do not talk about because of how traumatic it can be. Surviving cancer almost forces you into a Lifestyle Change! Some people want to bury their experiences with cancer and forget about them as quickly as possible.
Others find themselves on an advocacy journey, helping others who are going through similar experiences or just starting on the long road towards recovery from cancer.
Cancer changes everything. It’s a journey that is riddled with fear, uncertainty, and oftentimes, pain. But the result is worth it in many ways: you have been given a second chance at life! So what are you going to do now?
One group of cancer survivors were asked this question and they all said: “live.” They live their lives as fully as possible while enjoying every moment.
This post will discuss how you can change your lifestyle to fight against cancer recurrence and enjoy every moment of your new life!
What is Lifestyle?
The definition of Lifestyle in the dictionary is ” The way in which a person or group lives”. – Macintosh Dictionary
Let’s look at what Lifestyle was like before diagnosis. Most likely involved what would be consitered a “normal life routine”. Broken down, probably looks like this…Wake up, Small or no breakfast, commute to work, Work, lunch, commute home, maybe a happy hour with acquaintances, family time/ Dinner, and Bed.
This routine over and over again makes our bodies feel sedated and unmotivated.
It’s easy to get locked into the routine of ease and comfort. But after a period of time where nothing changes, no forward momentum, that stagnation makes that preverbal “RUT” harder to get out of.
And when you add bad habits into the daily routine like excessive poor consumption habits (Drinking, Recreational Drugs, Poor dietary decisions, lack of exercise) can lead down a path of poor lifestyle.
Over time, this adds to the Toxic Load, accumulating all the elements that can lead to a cancer diagnosis.
What is Survivorship?
The definition of survivorship is “The State or Condition of being a Survivor”. –Macintosh Dictionary
Survivorship is a way to survive a traumatic experience. It makes you question the path that put you in this situation to begin with. When a stigma of cancer survivorship is added to the mix, the element of reflection becomes obvious. That stigma has everything to do with facing one’s mortality.
And surviving “A Cancer Experience” is a huge accomplishment! and were able to live in a day and age that treatment is getting better, but still not easy.
I believe Survivorship comes with some responsibility. Especially with cancer. Like for instance, Sharing stories that might help others going through the experience in the future. Exchanging tips and tricks that have worked during treatment to ease the pain and anxiety of treatment.
Because at the end of the day I do feel like we are Experts in this survivorship field only for the fact that we are the ones that have to endure the side effects that come along with the treatment!
Combining the Two
My experience as a Cancer Survivor has given me the opportunity to use my voice for change. I have learned that we all need breaks from life, but they can lead to stagnancy and poor habits if not managed properly.
It is important to take time out of your day whether it be in nature or just enjoying some downtime or use that down dime to explore an area of interest.
As a 2 time survivor, there is an element that I have to keep in mind. And that’s what my treatment options are if there is another recurrence. Unfortunately, I am running out of options, and because of this, I am taking my Lifestyle seriously.
Statistic show human beings are living longer and healthier lives than ever before because we have better healthcare services available to us now! But as I age, it becomes more difficult to be on top of all aspects of personal health, like diet and fitness.
The Macro Picture
When time is spent on reflection of the “Cancer Experience”, and then take into account the rest of what life throws at you, the perspective is easy to understand and that a new lifestyle is not only important but imperative!
Cancer is a disease that has to be beaten with lifestyle change!
And that means being fully aware of what is going on in our environment and understand all the decisions we make. No matter how small those decisions are, they matter!
I cant tell you how many times I have taken a step back to look at everything! To question everything! Maybe its my way of Making a Aase for Change. My way of not feeling guilty or embarrassed for leaving the status quo behind. The view from 30,000 feet.
But the big picture is more important than that. It is also an opportunity. And one that stares you right in the face.
I guess I look at the situation like I’m running out of options for the “What If’s” within my cancer Journey. All I can do is rely on what I have control offer at this moment. Since cancer is a life-changing journey that is completely out of my control, I am choosing a new Journey of a complete transformation of body and mind.
That my friend is a lifestyle change that is completely in my control!