In the Fight Against Cancer, Survival Isn’t a Good Enough Goal: 4 Tips to Help You Thrive During Your Healing Journey by Veronica Villanueva
In the fight against cancer, you have a choice: live or die. Which one will it be?
To be clear, living is not the same as surviving. Living means choosing to live an extraordinary life. Making that decision means focusing on the outcome you want for yourself, removing negativity from your life and being open to trying anything that will help you heal.
In my own fight with cancer, I knew that if I set my sights on a beautiful and fulfilling life, that confidence would carry me through. Never underestimate the power of commitment and discipline when building your dream life.
It’s not enough to be on autopilot. It’s not enough to just survive. You need to be alive and engaged in order to thrive. Make the decision to live and put yourself in the right mindset to begin your healing journey.
1. Continue to Live
It may sound obvious, but when you choose to live, you have to continue to live. This means not staying home all the time; you need to get out into the world. Sometimes, this meant adjusting my lifestyle to accommodate the illness. For example, I cut sugar and animal products from my diet. If I went out to a restaurant with friends, I either ordered steamed vegetables or ate beforehand, but I went out.
2. Redesign Your Life
We are all guilty of taking life too seriously. Adults forget to live like kids, but no matter what they do, kids always have a great time. They move through the world free of anxiety and other negative emotions. So make sure you are living a life worth fighting for. If anything feels gloomy and unfulfilling, change it. This is your chance to redesign your life.
3. Don’t Give Your Pain Too Much Power
It can be difficult to continue living when your illness causes symptoms like pain or nausea but you can take steps to mentally fortify yourself against the discomfort. Just like you can decide to live, you can decide how much power you will give to your pain. Focus on taking away your pain’s strength, and you can fight through it.
4. Take Action
Remember, choosing to live means choosing to take action. I set a goal for myself to make every day exciting. Even at my sickest period, I still woke up, put on makeup and styled my hair because those steps were an important part of self-care for me. Your self-care routine might look different from mine. What is important is to stick with yours. When you choose to live, choose not to live an unconscious and mediocre life! Be alive! Do more than exist on autopilot.
Many people die from cancer before they have actually died from the disease. They die a metaphorical, emotional and spiritual death. They might be surviving, but they certainly aren’t living. Survival is not a good enough goal. I want you to not only strive for a normal life but aim to make every day extraordinary. When you decide to fight to live, honor your choice by doing everything in your power to make your life exciting.
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