More Than Our Story

Embracing Life With Cancer

Table of Contents

Introduction

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing moment that brings a myriad of emotions and challenges – I know it was for me – but finding happiness and learning to embrace life with cancer is not only possible, it’s essential. Living with cancer is about more than just surviving; it may be difficult, but adopting a positive mindset and finding joy in every moment can significantly impact your well-being. Together we’ll explore ways to cultivate happiness while navigating the challenges of living with cancer.

Embrace Positivity

The power of embracing and cultivating a positive mindset cannot be overstated, and is a powerful tool in your fight against cancer. While it’s natural to experience grief and a range of emotions, embracing a positive outlook can make a significant difference in your overall well-being and quality of life.

Surround yourself with positivity in your daily life, and with supportive friends and family who uplift and encourage you. Practice mindfulness and gratitude to keep your mind focused on the present and positive aspects of your life. Focus on what you can control, celebrate small victories – whether it’s completing a treatment session, enjoying a good meal, or spending quality time with loved ones. This practice can shift your perspective and help you appreciate the goodness that exists, even in challenging times.

Build a Strong Support System

Facing cancer alone can be overwhelming. Surrounding yourself with a strong support system of friends, family, support groups and therapists who uplift and encourage you is crucial during your cancer journey. Reaching out, networking and meeting other cancer survivors is a great thing to do. It connects you with others who understand your journey in ways that others can’t, and something that I have found incredibly helpful along my own journey. Open up to your support system, share your feelings, fears and joys, as it provides an outlet that will unburden you, lighten your emotional load, and provide a sense of security and comfort.

SUPPORT YOURSELF:
Reaching out, networking and meeting other cancer survivors is a great thing to do. It connects you with others who understand your journey in ways that others can’t, and something that I have found incredibly helpful along my own journey.

Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is essential during your cancer journey. Prioritize self-care to nurture your physical and emotional health. Follow your healthcare team’s recommendations, ensure you get enough rest, maintain a balanced diet, and engage in activities that bring you joy, such as meditation, exercise, and spending time in nature. 

I found my calling through training for triathlons and open water swimming. I find the endorphins released through exercise improves my mood and outlook greatly. Prioritizing self-care is not selfish; it’s a vital part of your overall happiness.

SELF-CARE:
I found my calling through training for triathlons and open water swimming. I find the endorphins released through exercise improves my mood and outlook greatly. Prioritizing self-care is not selfish; it's a vital part of your overall happiness.

Set Realistic Goals

Cancer can reshape your daily life, but setting realistic and achievable goals, no matter how small, can help you maintain a sense of purpose and accomplishment. No matter how small the goal, whether a household task, pursuing a new hobby or skill, or a personal milestone – make sure to celebrate each one, and use them as stepping stones that provide a sense of control and satisfaction, and lead towards a happier and healthier life. Breaking the larger tasks into manageable steps, creating a roadmap to help empower you to embrace your life and accomplishing your goals.

Express Yourself

Find an outlet to express yourself, your thoughts and your emotions. I started More Than Our Story as a direct result of my own diagnosis and it has been proven pivotal, cathartic and therapeutic in its ability to help me to process my own journey, access my emotions and find the language needed to start talking about them. 

It can be anything creative – but finding a way to express yourself helps provide an outlet for the difficult emotions and grief that often accompany a cancer diagnosis.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools for managing stress and finding inner peace. They connect you to the present moment and help you foster a sense of calm. Techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are easily integrated into your daily routine and help promote emotional well-being and happiness.

Celebrate Milestones

Cancer diagnoses often alter your perspective on life – I know mine did. It made me more appreciative of the moments that truly matter. Every step forward in your cancer journey is a milestone worth celebrating. Whether it’s completing a round of treatment, a health-related goal, or simply experiencing a good day, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate these victories. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones with enthusiasm. Create a bucket list of experiences you’ve always wanted to have, and make an effort to fulfill them. Recognizing and appreciating progress can contribute to a more positive mindset.

LIFE'S PRECIOUS MOMENTS:
Cancer diagnoses often alter your perspective on life - I know mine did. It made me more appreciative of the moments that truly matter. Every step forward in your cancer journey is a milestone worth celebrating.

Laugh

Maintaining a sense of humor is a powerful tool for coping with adversity. Find moments of levity to laugh during your day. Indulging in lighthearted and fun activities can be a valuable coping mechanism to navigating the challenges of cancer.

Seek Professional Help

Coping with cancer can be emotionally challenging and draining and should not be taken on alone. Seek out the help of a mental health professional who can provide you with the additional support you need. Therapists and grief counselors can offer strategies to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, ensuring your emotional well-being is taken care of alongside your physical health.

RELATED ARTICLE:
For more information on how to deal with grief check out the article: Moving Beyond Grief.

Conclusion

Embracing life with cancer is about finding a balance between acknowledging the challenges and embracing the moments of joy that exist alongside them and embracing life with resilience, positivity, and gratitude.

 

By cultivating positivity, building a strong support system, practicing self-care, setting realistic goals, expressing yourself, being mindful, celebrating milestones, and maintaining a sense of humor and seeking professional help when needed, you can live a happy and fulfilling life despite the challenges of your cancer. Remember, life is a journey not a destination, and each day offers an opportunity to find moments of joy and fulfillment.

Picture of Daniel

Daniel

Daniel is an extremely curious person, a wealth of random knowledge and facts. Extremely passionate about a vast array of interests ranging from health to history, science to athletics, everything culinary and the list goes on. Trust us, you would want to be on his team for Trivial Pursuit. Daniel is also years into his battle with brain cancer. He experienced a seizure while on a Zoom call at work in late 2020 and quite literally, his life changed within minutes. After his operation he started to talk about his story but had always known it was more than just him. From then, More Than Our Story became a PROJECT that has evolved into the starting point it is today.

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