Reinventing Yourself After Your DiagnosisNov 09, 2023
After you complete treatment, your head may be spinning, having NO idea who you are now. Do you go back to your old self? If so, how? It’s all so confusing. So keep in mind even though this process can be challenging and takes time, it's also an opportunity to rediscover your strengths, passions, and priorities.
Here are some tips to help guide you through this transformative period:
Give Yourself Time to Heal
Let those emotions flow freely! There's no need to put on a brave face for everyone else. While everyone is cheering for you after completing your treatment – and that's awesome – it's completely okay if you're grappling with a mix of feelings, including shock and sadness. Trust me, it's something many women, myself included, experience. I remember feeling numb, unsure about who I was and what the road ahead held. It was like being in a maze, and you know what? It’s okay…And normal. You're essentially saying goodbye to your old self, while also recognizing the incredible strength you've shown in tackling this enormous challenge. And believe me, things will brighten up eventually. Feel the anger, let the tears flow, and revel in the excitement of your amazing accomplishment. Embrace it all and let it pass through you.
It's all about nurturing your body, mind, and heart. And guess what? It's like a secret weapon against those post-diagnosis fears...That everyone typically has. Dive into things that light up your soul, help you relax and unwind, and give your spirit a boost – whether that’s taking a yoga class, finding your zen through meditation, diving into a good book, or sharing laughs with your girlfriends. Anything that wraps you in tranquility. Take it slow, savor every moment, and just bask in this beautiful thing called life. I think this is one of the gifts of a diagnosis…We learn to appreciate the little things in life.
Explore New Avenues of Interest
Why not take advantage of this period to venture into uncharted territory? It's like your personal playground for all those "I've always wanted to..." moments. You know the ones… That you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t taken that leap. Or how about nurturing your artistic side, embracing new talents, or becoming part of a support community – these can all be pathways to a renewed sense of meaning and camaraderie. Oh, and speaking of communities, have you heard about the Reset & Rise Community (more info on that on the side of this blog)? Seriously, it's like a treasure trove of awesomeness. Don't wait around – go seize those exciting opportunities!
Reconnect with Your Identity
Take a moment to ponder what sets you apart and what truly matters to you. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can shift your viewpoints, nudging you to reconsider what's important and steer towards choices that genuinely resonate with who you are. Below I have journal prompts (questions) for you to journal on and to work through what's important to you now.
Prioritize Your Physical Wellbeing
Focus on your physical health by adopting a well-balanced diet, incorporating regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy sleep routine. Of course get the okay from your medical team first, but once you do…It's go time. Even If you weren't into fitness and health prior to your diagnosis, why not take on this challenge to become your healthiest self yet. Can you imagine the profound impact? Baby steps of course..and I'm here to offer guidance and support throughout the process. By the way, it's worth noting that integrating fitness and exploring dietary adjustments could potentially reduce the risk of recurrence. EMAIL ME HERE if I can help you get started
I'll be real with you – I was pretty resistant to change at first. It made me sad and angry, but I'm kind of digging life now, maybe even more than before. The thing is, change is that friend who just won't leave your side, right? So, take a deep breath and give it a hug. It's like this wild ride that transforms you into a cooler version of yourself. Let that new you shine, gracefully and fiercely. You've got this!
Remember that reinventing yourself is a personal journey, and there's no right or wrong way to navigate it. Be patient with yourself and give yourself the space to heal and grow at your own pace. Your strength and resilience will guide you through this transformative process.
Super important…It’s normal to have a day, maybe two of sadness, but if it’s not going away you really need to consider working with therapists or a counselor. A cancer diagnosis is traumatic and sometimes can cause PTSD. Get whatever support you need.
Here are some questions that might aid in your journey to rediscover your identity after a challenging experience like a cancer diagnosis:
- What were the activities or passions that brought me immense joy before my diagnosis? When thinking about those activities now, do they still bring out excitement and joy?
- How has the experience of facing and overcoming challenges like cancer changed my outlook on life?
- If I were to describe myself in three words, what would those words be? Has this description changed post-diagnosis?
- What are some values that have become more important to me since my diagnosis?
- Are there any new interests or skills I've developed during my journey that I'd like to explore further?
- What are the aspects of my life that I feel truly grateful for, even in the face of adversity?
- How has my perspective on success and achievement evolved? What do I consider meaningful accomplishments now?
- What kind of impact do I hope to have on others and the world around me, given my unique experiences?