Anita Shares: Cancer Now What?
My Personal Cancer Story
In March 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This diagnosis hit me “out of left field”. I thought of myself as a mentally, physically and emotionally healthy 53 year YOUNG woman. I was fit, ate healthy, exercised and managed my stress really well. I had even had a genetic test done a couple years before this and it did not show that I had the breast cancer gene. So, I was relaxed and felt confident in my good health.
After my diagnosis, I went through all the stages that someone with a serious illness goes through…”What did I do wrong”?, “Why ME”?, and “How will I ever feel safe and secure again”?
A cancer diagnosis alters your world in a VERY big way. Now, at the end of 15 months of surgeries and treatments, I’m feeling like I can see light at the end of the tunnel. AND, I want to share that I like the new ME. I like the way I’ve slowed down, become more present, how I honor my body, and each day I get to be in it even more. I can say with conviction, this diagnosis and journey brought me more blessings than heartache. Of course, I’m one of the lucky ones. The cancer diagnosis I had was not terminal. I also had cancer in a part of the body where it could safely and easily be removed. I am very fortunate and I know that so many other people are not so fortunate.
As a certified coach of 8 years, I was able to chronicle my experience, gain some amazing wisdom, and (compile) helpful tools that helped me, and has helped other cancer thrivers that I’ve worked with. Now I want use what I’ve learned to support others through their cancer journey. See my videos below!
How Cancer Affects Us All
Cancer does not discriminate. Everyone has been touched by cancer, either by a personal diagnosis, or a family member or friend being diagnosed. Not only is it hard for the person diagnosed, but it is also an illness that greatly impacts their family and friends.
The statistics are alarming. Each year 12.7 million people discover they have cancer and 7.6 million people die from the disease. The number of people currently living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014, and is expected to rise to almost 19 million by 2024. Approximately 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes (based on 2010-2012 data).
Why Emotional Support is So Important During and Post Cancer Treatment
Having support systems actually benefit a patient’s treatment process and can positively affect their chances for cancer survivorship
With millions of cancer survivors in the US, there are so many people struggling with the emotional, physical, and financial aftermath of the disease and the treatment.
Having a personal coach (that has experienced the same challenges) can help you navigate your personal journey. Having a personal coach can assist survivors (and those who love them) with their overwhelm, stress, confusion, relationships changes, physical pain, low self-esteem, loneliness, and fear.
Studies indicate that with the assistance of a life coach, people are better able to set realistic goals they can stick to and adopt into their lifestyle. Often times, support from an outside source is necessary for learning and applying appropriate coping skills. Research has shown that life coaching is extremely effective in helping those with chronic illness become better equipped with self care and self management skills to live productive lives (Kelly, J., Lindner, H., Menzies, D., Shearer, M., Taylor, S. (2003).
See links and information below for more articles and other resources.
Specific Areas a Coach Can Assist You
- Leading a productive life during and after diagnosis and treatments
- Finding peace and limiting your stress and anxiety
- Be a better advocate for yourself and your care with your doctors.
- Communicating your needs to your loved ones and friends without going to victimhood or having a “pity party”.
- Moving through the stages of grief and loss instead of getting stuck in one of the levels.
- Experiencing ALL possible blessings available to you during your journey.
- Adapting to and accepting of the facts of your illness and prognosis
- Letting people “in” so that you may receive their love and support more.
The stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Wright, J., 2012). Acceptance is one of the hardest challenges for patients, it is also one of the most important to achieve so that the patient can progress towards living an abundant life. Life coaches are valuable resources for helping clients reach the acceptance stage and find meaning and purpose in their lives, even if their life expectancy is short.
Cancer Support Coaching is Ideal For
- Current patients undergoing cancer treatments.
- Post treatment cancer patients.
- Family members wanting to support and be supported their loved one’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
- Health care providers in managing the emotional, mental and physical stress of caring for cancer patients.
Anita Shares: Going Through Treatments
Anita Shares: Changing Your Mind
Anita Shares: How Our Minds Work
Anita Shares: Limiting Beliefs
The study found that patients who regularly went to such intervention programs were found to have a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence and death from the disease compared to patients who did not.
Researchers say the reason for this may be because patients stress levels were down, which may have helped to keep their stress hormone levels under control, as well as their tumor sizes.
Another study that same year by University College London found that stressful life experiences are related to poorer cancer survival rates and higher mortality, but not an increased incidence.
And in 2010, the Journal of Thoracic Oncology published a study exploring the impact of lung cancer patients’ outlook when it comes to their illness.
According to the study, patients with optimistic attitudes were more likely to live longer. Both men and women who were classified in the study as patients with optimistic attitudes survived an average of six months longer than those with negative outlooks.
The five-year survival rate for optimists were almost 33 per cent and only 21 per cent of pessimists, Science Daily reports.