A woman holding a heart in her hands

The Important Reminders

Last updated: December 2022

When coping with an illness like lung cancer, the fewer reminders of what you're experiencing in real time, the better. I know it sounds easier said than done. “How can you move along when you feel like crap?” I don’t know if there’s a sound answer that will satisfy everyone, but I will say it’s what you take and make of the situation. Will you move forward, or will you sulk in the unfortunate? There’s a difference because one of the two will indicate how your quality of life plays out.

Appreciate any bit of light

So, when you're not feeling the best, whether right after treatment or in the post-treatment days, you move and do what you can. Remember that when there’s some ray of "get up and go," you should move and embrace it. Here are some options to consider:

  • Slowly walk around a serene setting (if you can). It’s something fulfilling about viewing nature or a vibrant atmosphere that is uplifting along the journey.
  • Eat what you like.
  • Avoid big decisions (for a little bit), and embrace that mental break.

Live life your way

Take solace in understanding you still have some control. If you want to do things that still hold a glimmer of possibility, why not go for it? The hike up to Mount Everest may not be the way to go, but if the goal is feasible, go for it. Here are some possibilities to consider:

  • Exercise. With your doctor’s clearance and note what you can tolerate, then make a go of that Zumba or Yoga class.
  • Increments matter. Rome was not built in a day, so take your time doing something you enjoy - don't go about it in one gulp. It’s okay to start and stop and then move along when you feel the gusto again.

Surround yourself with love

We always want people around us that want to understand and know us before we get to this level of our fight. Having loving and kind faces during this battle is a good idea (but this does not include pity). Loving support allows you to move how you need to, even when things aren't exactly how they used to be.

I had a conversation recently where someone discussed that having a solid network around them during their cancer journey was key, and protecting their space and boundaries was a top priority. I loved hearing about that concept. Others often feel they have to be there for people not directly experiencing the actual condition. This can be a burden for a cancer patient, dealing with carrying so many loads.

Staying mindful

Here are some other reminders to help you embrace life in doses:

  • Journal. Keep an account of the good days by writing about how well the day went, and reflect on those positive vibes on the bad days.
  • Laugh. Find a movie or surround yourself with those in your sector that make you laugh and smile.
  • Cry, and own it. Regroup.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile... when you feel like it.

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