It’s natural when you’re first diagnosed to be on a huge emotional rollercoaster.
Waves of sadness, fear and uncertainty can overwhelm you.
For me, I couldn’t stop crying when my doctor told me. I had to break the news to my poor fiancé and told him we had to cancel the wedding. The first two weeks of my diagnosis probably ranked as Number 1 most awful moments of my life.
But when you’re diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, you’re often not in any pain or suffering, so flitting moments of denial can kick in.
Am I really sick? I sometimes forget. A painless lump is the only reminder that something sinister is growing inside me.
Being shocked at how my life has turned so unexpectedly was an understatement - during those first few days I had to pinch myself and shake my body back to reality.
The introduction of every article I read on google or pubmed would make my blood run cold - apparently I had an aggressive form of breast cancer.
For most cancers, the diagnosis process can take a while. An initial biopsy is then followed by numerous scans to detect any spread of rogue cells to other parts of the body.
I left my lab bench and work desk in a mess because I had left in the middle of the day to get my lump checked out by the doc. I didn’t go back to work till weeks after my diagnosis was complete.
My life had suddenly revolved around big scary scanning machines, hospitals and doctors visits and waiting rooms. I felt like a spectator, waiting for someone to tell me if the cancer has spread.
Suffice to say that waiting around drove me bonkers! I twiddled my thumbs in the waiting room, pretending to read and re-read that same article in Vogue. I felt envious of the smiling models as I mindlessly flicked through the pages.
Don’t they realise how bad this situation is?
If you’re anything like me, I was beside myself with worry, fear and anxiety.
However, it’s important to stop yourself from getting crazy anxious, try to control those panic attacks and distract yourself from worrying to death.
I’m going to tell you how.
I want you to start fighting cancer FIRST with your mind and SECONDLY with your body.
I want you to start your cancer journey STRONG, and in the BEST MENTAL SPACE you possibly can.
Turning around a serious illness like cancer is no easy feat - you need the mental strength and resilience in order to get through it.
Cancer isn’t like a bad cold that you get over in two weeks. There’s going to be long periods of making hard decisions, gruelling treatment and recovery ahead, not to mention the emotional, financial and relationship struggles.
We’re talking about 6 months to a year for early stage cancers - even longer if you have advanced stage cancer.
Your life is going to be turned upside down, inside out and back to front.
Being resilient protects you from getting too overwhelmed by stress.
And one of the components of resilience is the belief that you have control over your life.
So being mentally tough is going to be a huge help for you and your wellbeing.
Think about it, your mind is your BIGGEST ally and cheerleader.
It’s your mind thats going to process the emotions.
It’s your mind that’s going to make the hard decisions.
It’s your mind that’s going to push you harder and not let yourself give up.
It’s your analytical mind that’s going to solve problems when there seems to be zero solutions.
If you’re able to have the right mindset to tackle this huge health problem, then you’re in for a smoother ride my friend.
You’ll be able to deal with what’s ahead of you with:
CLARITY and CERTAINTY.
Because if you feel more in control of your mind, then it can guide you into making decisions that’s right for you.
So you might be asking:
"Will thinking POSITIVE enough to get me through this? ”
Wishful thinking you’ll beat cancer isn’t enough.
You see, you may have limiting beliefs that are holding you back from fully recovering.
Do you believe that cancer is death sentence?
Answer this honestly.
What if you have a family history of cancer?
For example, if your mother and grandmother have lost their battle with breast cancer, how do you think you will approach your own cancer diagnosis?
You can only get so far with positive thinking.
You’ll have to change your beliefs and mindset completely.
It needs a huge overhaul because having those limiting beliefs can be a huge obstacle. Your mind won’t be focused on solutions and recovery and instead, you’ll look for evidence that supports the fact that cancer IS a death sentence.
Do you see how important your mindset is to your battle with cancer?
It’s not enough to think positive, you’ll need what experts call a GROWTH MINDSET - as opposed to a fixed mindset.
Having a growth mindset means you’re able to adapt, to try hard things and to keep learning.
Fortunately, our thoughts are malleable - our thoughts can change.
To encourage a change in mindset, there are two things you can do:
…. Firstly, observe your thoughts.
In order to change a fixed mindset, you first have to acknowledge it.
… Secondly, challenge your beliefs.
Ask yourself, is this really true? Or is this a limiting belief you have about X. This exercise is going to feel a little weird at first because what you believe is reality might not necessarily be reality for everyone.
We all have a lens through which we see the world - and our beliefs shape the way we understand the things that are going on around us.
To get you started, I wanted to share with you the 7 Crucial Mindset Shifts that I believe is the key foundational piece for building unshakable inner strength.
It’s the difference between those cancer patients who survive and those who thrive. You can download the free PDF guide HERE.
Remember, the way to limit fear is to take massive ACTION.
After reading the PDF guide comment down below and tell me - Which of the 7 Mindset Switch have you made and which do you still NEED to make?