I recently celebrated my 4th annual cancerversary. That means I am officially cancer free for 4 years now. It’s a big milestone, at least it feels really big to me. Even though I try to celebrate every day, there is something very special about the anniversary date of my diagnosis. There is something in the air when December rolls around, and for me it's much more than the holiday spirit. It's a reminder of my journey. It's the good, the bad, and everything in between. Breast cancer is one of the hardest things I’ve had to face in my life. My diagnosis threw me on to an emotional roller coaster that I wasn’t prepared for. Sometimes it can feel like I'm still on the ride. It has taught me so much about courage, confidence, strength, and gratitude. Today I want to share a story about confidence and courage. So many things happened along the path of my cancer journey. There are stories I haven’t shared yet, but they're the ones I reflect on the most. They were the little things, the times that helped me find my confidence, and realize just how courageous I can be. The overall fight with cancer is big, but it was the little things along the way that kept me going. This was the time in my life when I learned how to put myself first, stand up for what I believe, and stop taking any crap. Then there was the time I told my surgeon that I would not need chemotherapy. Have you ever told a doctor no? Have you ever disagreed with a doctor so strongly that you completely surprised yourself? I have, and I remember it so clearly. It was at the follow up appointment after my surgery, sometime in late January of 2014. This was the appointment where I would learn the stage of my cancer and if it had spread to any lymph nodes. The results would be a strong indicator if chemo was needed as part of my treatment. I sat in the hospital room patiently waiting for my update, already knowing that I would not need chemo. Call me crazy, but I had a super strong belief that chemo would not be required in my course of treatment. I listened to my surgeon confirm stage 1a (a good thing) and that the cancer did not spread to any lymph nodes (even better). She informed me that there would be one more test to determine if I needed chemo. I looked her in the eyes and said "I will not need chemo". She was an amazing doctor with a wonderful personality. She gently looked at me and said "you don't know that". I held my ground, and said with a shaky voice "but, you don't know that I will". I was convinced that I would not need chemo. I remember her comparing chemo to an insurance policy, reassuring me that it would be okay either way. But, my belief wasn't coming from fear. I was completely certain that I would not need chemo. It was the most confident I have felt about anything in my life. I have never disagreed with a doctor so strongly before. She eventually realized I wasn’t going to budge. I wanted to keep my thought, so I did. I continued to believe that I wouldn't need chemo. Several weeks later I met with my oncologist for the results of the final test. This was it. I still felt certain that chemo was not part of my future. The results confirmed my belief. Chemo was not recommended. The rate of cancer reoccurring was so low there was no benefit to chemotherapy. I sobbed. My oncologist and his staff were grateful for happy years that morning. Before leaving the hospital we booked a trip to Florida to celebrate. It was a good day. This happened a couple years before I decided to become a life coach, or study Reiki. My cancer diagnosis definitely opened those doors and I started by dabbling in meditation, the Law of Attraction, and other forms of energy healing. This work was critical on my journey, because it helped to keep me grounded and centered during a very chaotic time. Little did I know at the time that this would be the start of learning how to manage my mind. This story is a great reminder to me that we can control our thoughts. We get to decide what stays and what goes. There were many times when my doubt would try to take over, and the fear would slip in. I allowed it. I also allowed myself the opportunity to remember that fear is not real, and either outcome was possible. I got to choose which outcome I wanted to believe. This was just the beginning.
As a life coach I help my clients see how their thoughts and beliefs shape their world. I teach them how to manage their minds, just like I did for the first time those few short years ago. Each one of us has the power to control the thoughts in our minds, and determine how we want to feel. If you would like to learn how you can manage your mind, I would love to help. You can schedule a complimentary transformation coaching call right here. What do you have to lose?