In my March 4, 2021 blog, I gave some definitions of diagnosis to destiny. Diagnosis to Destiny is a tribe and a crusade. Diagnosis to Destiny is many things, but the foundation of Diagnosis to Destiny is the 10 cancer lessons that have helped me redefine my new normal and move forward from diagnosis to destiny. These cancer lessons to go from diagnosis to destiny fortified my defiance and provided destiny fuel. I hope that they do the same for you.
REDEFINING MY NEW NORMAL
Cancer Won’t Stop Me
I’m Claiming my Destiny
THE CANCER LESSONS I LEARNED
- Living with a new and different sense of urgency
- Becoming a quick study
- Becoming a more calculated decision maker
- Managing constant change
- Navigating uncharted territory
- Embracing my courage and fearlessness
- Tapping into my own strength
- Flourishing outside of my comfort zone
- Assembling my A team
- Getting comfortable with being selfish
MOVING FROM DIAGNOSIS TO DESTINY
After my diagnosis, my life changed in every way imaginable and some unimaginable ways.
Living with a new and different sense of urgency
- The luxury of time was over. I was living with a new and different sense of urgency. Someday, tomorrow are no longer acceptable options. Deferred dreams and a deferred life are no longer acceptable options.
Becoming a quick study
2. I became a quick study and learned new medical jargon to understand my diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and options.
Becoming a more calculated decision maker
3. I had to make lifesaving and life altering decisions. Becoming a calculated decision maker forced me off indecisions’ fence. I had to be proactive.
Managing constant change
4. Change, change, and more change! I managed constant change. Physical changes, emotional changes, and spiritual changes. Financial changes and relationships changes. I fought change. I was angry at my altered life. But, I had to accept constant change. I had to move forward.
Navigating uncharted territory
5. Navigating uncharted territory was part of my new normal. Cancer is uncharted territory. So many new and unfamiliar experiences. I had been a healthy adult. I had never had surgery where I was put to sleep. Other than childbirth, I had no adult overnight hospital stays. I understood primary care visit copays, but not the fine details of health insurance or the health care system. Operating rooms, hospital rooms, chemo lounges. My life. Uncharted territory.
Embracing my courage and fearlessness
6. I embraced my courage and fearlessness. I was afraid of cancer, of dying, of my life falling apart completely. But, I couldn’t let my fear paralyze me. Scared of all the chemo side effects, but I had to keep going for the best long-term prognosis. Sometimes it’s self-talk. Sometimes it’s an almost immediate and innate response. I started summoning my courage and fearlessness daily.
Tapping into my own strength
7. Tap into your strength, Mel. I heard people discussing someone’s life threatening illness. “She’s so strong, I never saw her cry.” The message: crying equals weakness. But, I found strength in the midst of my tears. As tears rolled down my cheeks, fear and negative self-talk rolled away. I confronted the next challenge with fortitude.
Flourishing outside of my comfort zone
8. Flourishing outside of my comfort zone, yeeeeeeeees. I was uncomfortable in my sick skin, my exhausted skin. I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Assembling my A team
9. My A team is the best. I survived with the care of my A team. My phenomenal A team is my medical team, my co-survivor and caregiving husband, and sister and small group of close friends and family. Assembling my A team meant recognizing who deserved a spot on my A team and who didn’t. It meant letting go of some toxic and unhealthy relationships. It taught me to let go of baggage that was weighing me down.
Getting comfortable with being selfish
10. I had to be selfish. And, I learned that being selfish is not bad. I had to be selfish with my time, energy and resources. I devoted my time, energy and resources to getting better.
I’m redefining my new normal. I rely on these 10 cancer lessons to go from diagnosis to destiny. They provide discipline and focus for me to grow, chase and achieve my dreams. I’m designing my happily ever after. I hope that they work for you. Please let me know.
Celebrate with us. National Cancer Survivors Day® Celebration – THIS IS MY MOMENT. Free online celebration. Sunday, June 6, 2021 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time. Registration at https://thisismymomentcancersurvivor.eventbrite.com