Life and the pursuit of happiness…what I want to do when I grow up

Are you a cancer survivor?  If you are, then you’ll get what I mean.

Public health experts seem to point out that overall rates of death from cancer haven’t budged, and that some cancers are of course a lot more survivable than others. Granted brain cancer isn’t one of those more survivable kinds of cancers, that’s why I keep doing what I can for that cause.  However, there’s light in this big dark tunnel.  More so than ever, a diagnosis of cancer isn’t the death sentence it may have been…let’s say 20 years ago.

There are some adult cancers where the survival rate can be as high as 70%, and for some pediatric cancers, the cure rate can be even higher.  The diagnosis of breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, rectal cancer and certain other kinds of cancers, where it’s doesn’t feel anywhere near as hopeless as it once felt…far from it.  The fact that I’m able to write this blog today, also means that certain other kinds of cancers are not without hope either, even the rarest. We survivors are out here, but after fighting the fight, we most likely will see things differently than we did before.  Most everything we will see differently!  We also will not take our future lifespan lightly.

You may come to find that your relationship with many of your friends has changed.  You may wish to change jobs because you’ve been through a tremendously meaningful, life-changing experience, and now that job isn’t what works for you anymore.  Maybe the job is earning you a living, but now you’re thinking beyond just earnings.  What are these other things?  What would it take to make them happen?  How can you do them both?

Not unlike after someone dies in a family and everyone attends the funeral, and your friends feel you’ve made it through to the other side and that “you’ve survived”, they start moving away from you, many friends may do this after you turn towards the healthier side of your life after being sick. You’re friends get back to their own lives because they assume you’re fine.  They may think you look good, you’ve got your hair back, you’ve gained you’re weight back, and if you look fine on the outside you must be fine on the inside. They think you’re ready to get on with your life.  Not so easy.  Not that easy at all.  Many of us are not prepared for the fact that everything isn’t going to be what it was, or even more important…we don’t want the same things as we used to want. Many of us start thinking about our friends, about where we live, about what job we are spending our precious time doing day in and day out.  We may be thinking that if we are only in the world for so long, we want to make sure we live in it the best way we have the power in which to live in it.  It’s like that Talking Heads song “How Did I Get Here?”  You want you’re beautiful life.  It’s time to start thinking about how to make that happen.

I have spent many years sitting in treatment centers with other patients; we’ve talked to each other.  Often when you’re in waiting rooms all you can do is talk to each other, it’s all you’re capable of doing…and that’s on your good days.  Some of those people have become my friends and are still here in the world, some are no longer here, but it’s because of my life experiences and because of those conversations with those people that I’ve decided to become a certified Life Coach.  I am Coaching Cancer Survivors.  I want to help EMPOWER others with what I’ve learned over these years.

I understand that there is a place for therapy and to talk about the past and all the heartache and pain that we’ve been through. Life Coaching is about being able to feel differently about Life and re-stabilizing ourselves. Life Coaching is about looking towards the future. Yes, WE have a future.  If we are here, we have a future.

I can’t wait to spread all that I’ve learned through the International Coaching Academy, and what I’ve learned on my own over the many, many years I’ve lived alongside my own situation.

If any of you survivors out there would be interested in being a pro-bono client, please message me either here on Twitter or on the Brain Matters website @ www.brain-matters.org, so that we can talk further about your future.