Getting Cancer Creates a Mindshift Change?

Change is terrifying to some, although growth without Change is stumped. If we don’t make changes, we ultimately will get bored and feel like we are caught up on a hamster wheel making no progress, and when things are stagnant, we are not making any progress. Life will often send us something that will force us to shake things up, which might well be a dirtier and more fearful word – Cancer.

I wake up most mornings and wonder if life will ever be “normal” again. I get up and go through the daily motions. I do my physio; I try to remind myself that it will all be okay and that I will be able to raise my arm and do my hair one day. Even with my personal development training, I can still find myself stuck in the space of wanting to stick my head under the covers and not get out of bed. Feeling frustrated sometimes, I know I must keep doing the little things every day to continue to see the improvements.

It all started when I found the lump in my throat. I thought it was just from muscle strain from the gym, but as it turns out, when I got it tested, I got the diagnosis – it is the big C.

I got that sinking feeling – Cancer OMG, it can’t be. As many women do, I immediately went into fix-it mode. Biopsies, referrals to surgeons, and then had the operation booked within two months.

Conversation with the surgeon convinced me that they would remove the cancer mass, a few neck muscles that you don’t need, part of the collarbone, and then after six weeks of radiation, I will revert to normal within three months. Life will continue as usual.

It has now been eight months, and I am still struggling with mobility from the operation. It seems all those neck muscles are required to hold your head up. Who would have thought?

Cancer changes lives!! Cancer forces changes in our life.

Going through a cancer journey, I am continuously making changes and improvements. Still, instead of steaming ahead at the pace I want it to happen, it is at a frustratingly snail’s pace. Stuck on a hamster wheel conjures up an image of running in circles and making no progress.

We all know the old tale of the rabbit and the turtle where the rabbit challenged the turtle to a race and the rabbit expecting to win because of the turtle’s speed, he took a nap, and the turtle won the race with the morale being steady wins the race.

I know that Slow, productive progress will always lead to success. I can’t fall in a heap and take a nap. I must keep strengthening my body put under the knife to save my life.

When life is at a standstill, we must remember to take one step – just one step continuously in new directions will take us off the hamster wheel.

Every day I do my physio and slowly increase the band strength and hand weights, by direction of my physio, to increase the muscles in my neck and arm to be able to have them hold my head up high and lift my arm so I can do things like my own hair again. Sometimes small steps may appear slow, but small steps possess immense power. Tiny changes are easier to incorporate into our lives and will guarantee progression.

·     How do you start taking small steps?

It is hard to start making changes, even small steps, so you must desire. You know that intense feeling of wanting something so badly that you will do anything to make it happen. In my case, the desire is to get my life back. To enjoy the simple things I was able to do before the operation. So, to ensure I do my physio, I have made it part of my routine.  

·     I have set up a trigger. 

I am using the day-to-day habits to incorporate the small step required for Change. It is easier to integrate Change into a routine without even thinking, cleaning your teeth, having a shower. Think of ways you can include your Change while making those daily habits. My trigger is when I wake up and have my physio band by the bed, so I do a few physio exercises before I get out of bed. When I make a cup of tea while the kettle boils, I do the bench press physio exercise against the kitchen bench.

·     I reward myself.

Find a reward that will help keep you motivated and puts a smile on your face. Rewarding yourself makes you feel good, for it allows your brain to see that the changes have benefits. After hard work with my physio exercises, I enjoy a lovely massage.

·     I figured out my motive.

Ask yourself why and what you will gain from the Change. How is your life going to be improved? Get clear on your motive. Make it so enticing that it will get you back on track if you even think about stopping that. I am clear on my motive. I will be able to attend an outing without having a sore neck, and I will drive a car and go to the gym again.

·     I acknowledge my progress.

Tracking the changes are so significant as it keeps you motivated. We often forget where we started, so seeing the progress reminds us how far we have come. When I next have my physio appointment, my physio measures the cm I am can now move. It is so rewarding seeing the improvements –even if they are small, I can see continued progress, which keeps me motivated to push through the painful exercises.  

Taking all these small steps is required to take the pressure off your mind and make it easier to stick it out. The small changes are the most effective, allowing Change and improvements without requiring too much mental energy and hence more successful than massive changes overwhelming the brain and increasing the risk of failure.

1. Have you decided you have the desire and the motive to make changes in your life? 

2. What changes will you make to improve your life?  

3. Write a list of the things you want to improve and decide what small steps will allow you to improve.

Decide on what triggers you will use to make your small changes part of your daily habit. Remember to reward and acknowledge your progress.

The decision to make the changes to get out of a rut is all in your hands. You might need to seek assistance and the opinions of others for ideas and fresh concepts but remember the responsibility to take the actions are all yours. 

This is your time to get off the hamster wheel and turn life into the life of your dreams.

Are you willing to do whatever is required?

Are you ready to turn Change into a desirable word instead of a dirty word?