Fighting cancer is not the best way to heal. Think about it: if you’ve got a broken ankle do you try to force it to mend? If you’ve got a cold, do you fight it into submission? If you’ve got diarrhea to you challenge it to a duel?
Healing occurs in a restful, peaceful state. ‘Fighting’ isn’t so peaceful. Fighting is resisting. And you all know that what we resist, persists. Like that annoying zit you keep picking at, and it keeps coming back. Like the neighbour’s barking dog that drives me batty, and kept driving me batty, until I decided to bless it instead of curse it. Like the cranky teenager that digs his heels in with your repeated attacks on their unsociable behaviour.
Resist = persist.
So if you’re given a cancer diagnosis, what are you supposed to do if you don’t ‘fight’ it? Do you just give up and give in?
Nope, not at all.
Not fighting doesn’t mean surrendering to the disease. Not fighting means surrendering to peace, surrendering to healing, surrendering to positivity, surrendering to faith, surrendering to a new focus on health and wellness. When you are calm, positive, and peaceful then your body’s cells are given the best chance at returning to their natural state of vitality. If you’re strung out on adrenaline and stress, the body is busy managing all those ‘fight’ hormones, trying to replenish the adrenals, and the immune system is put under enormous strain. It moves in to survival mode. And there is little energy and resources left over to heal, cleanse, and move back in to balance.
Your true ticket to abundant health and wellness begins with a shift away from what you don’t want (cancer), to focus on what you do want (health and vitality).
I didn’t say this was easy.
A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of crappy stuff: a medical profession that only knows how to cut, burn, and poison the disease; an entire cultural hysteria around the very word ‘cancer’; and your own very poignant, very acute physical sensations and emotional responses.
‘Fighting’ seems like a reasonable response to the terrifying proclamation: “You have cancer.” When my doctor rang me with the test results, I don’t remember a single word she said after that first three word message. With sheer terror, the natural response is to fight, or flee. Fleeing wasn’t going to make it any better, so fighting seemed like a reasonable option.
Except that I was exhausted. The cancer was aggressive, my immune system was a pathetic wreck, and fighting seemed overwhelming.
I turned inward instead. I focused on peace and tranquility. I cut out all stressors in my life – resigned from various volunteer roles for the coaching industry, put my business on hold, and focused on being well. I took it one day at a time. I rented funny movies and read a lot of historical romantic dramas. I looked out the window at the sunshine in the yard. I ate croissants and cookies as well as vitamins and fresh fruit juices. In short, I relaxed. I went for ease. I embraced the moment. I forgave myself for innumerable crappy thoughts and past woes. I welcomed life each day, instead of fearing the lack of them to come.
I think it’s the loved ones who want to see you ‘fight’ the disease. I know my family and friends felt completely helpless watching me be cut open, and then poisoned with chemotherapy. If they felt like I was fighting it, they could rally behind me – it would give them a sense of purpose.
I told them to focus one seeing me healthy and well, rather than struggling. I told them not to ‘pray for’ me, but to see me healthy and whole – to focus on the wellness, not the sickness. This really helped a lot – I was living into their (and my) vision of me in perfect health. And I felt pulled along by this strong positive vision.
So I won’t be joining any fight against cancer – I’ll join the campaign for health and vitality instead. Likewise I won’t walk against war, or poverty, or child abuse; I’ll walk for peace, prosperity, and happy kids. I’d rather invest my money in research for perpetual and abundant health than in dissecting yet more disease.
I used to call myself a cancer survivor. I didn’t survive cancer; I embraced it. Cancer taught me what was most important: to live fully each day, to seek and embody peace, to have fun, to dance more, to wear silly wigs, to laugh at myself, and most importantly – to live in faith, not fear. Even if I transitioned through death, the sweetness of really learning peace and joy and love would have been worth it.
Coach’s Challenge: Whether you are living through cancer or not, find ways to feel peace, to rest, to relax. A life is made up of moments, make yours good ones.