I look back at all of this and see three important tools that helped me to navigate and even thrive through the cancer diagnosis.
My Self Care.
My self-care game has been strong. We caught the cancer early because I get regular physicals and all of the screening recommended for women.
There was a time in my life (a good twenty years!) where my self-care game was in the pits. I procrastinated visiting the doctor and hoped for the best. If I were still playing that dangerous game, the cancer would be growing in my body right now – unchecked!
Even before the diagnosis, I was operating with sub-optimal energy. My business projects moved along nicely because I made the most of the good energy I did have AND I put many important tasks into the hands of my team. Tishia Lee, my Community Manager, Samantha Angel who takes care of all of my graphics, and Val Selby who I'd hired to manage Great Big Life & Biz Bundle have been my powerhouse support network.
When the doctor said ‘Cancer' to me, it was surreal. I was in fact that day feeling stronger and more full of energy than any of the weeks before. Even though I knew she was telling me the truth, I could hardly relate to the concept.
As it sunk in, I had two primary thoughts.
First, I want to deal with this FAST. The prognosis for this type of uterine cancer was very good when treated quickly. I hoped I could see the surgeon and get the recommended complete hysterectomy FAST. (And I DID! I was in the surgeons office eight days after diagnosis and having laparoscopic surgery a week after that. This happened because I asked for what I wanted and made myself available to fit any opportunities.
Second, I felt POWERFUL.
Wait, what? How did being told cancer was in my body make me feel powerful? It sounds weird but I tell you, it's true!
For one thing, my doctor made it clear – this was the least scary kind of cancer. 70% of patients are cured by surgery. That was comforting.
Of course, my brain was hooked by what it could mean to be in the 30%. Would it have spread? Would I need chemo or radiation? How much was this going frick up my fall? All the fearful possibilities rolled through – but still, I only felt POWERFUL.
This idea was front and center: This is my life and I will make the most of it – however long it is, however challenging it is – the time I have is MINE.
The presence of cancer invited me feel brave.
A gal from the hospital called me a Cancer Survivor and I told her it felt like at best, I rode on the same bus with cancer for a little while. I hardly feel worthy of the title. She smiled and said ‘Well, you're one of the lucky ones for sure.'
Cancer only tripped me up for a little while. It inconvenienced my schedule and took body parts I'm not using anymore. It was in the grand scheme of things, no big deal.
So what, now what?
Having had the experience is still an invitation to me to feel brave.
To step up.
To create more of what I want in the world.
And I am!