Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
When one person is diagnosed with cancer, the impact on their life bleeds over into the lives of loved ones, friends, business associates and other significant relationships. We cannot cut the cord of connection. Though cancer survivors often try to insulate others from the concerns and fears they face, the interconnected nature of our human experience creates an opportunity to reach out.
Cancer and other chronic illnesses affect us all whether we, ourselves, are diagnosed or touched by it through someone we know. If those who are in our inner circle are not physically well, it impacts our own experience of life.
Patient, caregivers and others affected by a diagnosis have a say in HOW it impacts them. As a caregiver, friend or business associate, there is an opportunity to make a difference for the person going through treatment. We can also integrate the experience into our own lives and do a personal inventory. Are we living in alignment with our priorities and our core values? If not, how much more time are we willing to waste knowing that life’s circumstances can change in an instant?
As the cancer survivor, you also get to choose how you will respond to the challenges you face. There are times you will give yourself permission, perhaps, to feel sad, angry or sorry for yourself. As long as you don’t wallow in it, it is okay to have those feelings.
At one point, as much as Gary and I focused on creating a meaningful experience out of his healing journey, we agreed that sometimes all there was to do was to admit he was having a shitty day. They happened. To deny that would not have been authentic. To stay stuck in shitty would not have allowed us to continue to enjoy the wonderful moments we were able to share in between CT scans, chemo drips, fevers and low energy.
Cancer survivorship coaching is about tapping into that connected web to reach out to someone with the training and paradigm to help you move through the challenge with greater awareness and making more conscious choices so you can create a meaningful life even in the middle of a life threatening illness. I cannot live a responsible life if I am not helping others to navigate through the rocky terrain that is now behind me. Each of us is connected to the other and now is the time to escalate our intention to lift up another…knowing that in doing so, we too shall rise up to live a more meaningful life.