Cancer is a terrifying menace, and fear is only a natural reaction. After all, courage does not imply the absence of fear— it merely means that we can give precedence to something else, and prevent negative emotions from completely taking over. And even in the moments when they do overwhelm you, know that it is precisely from silence and suffering that true strength is forged. Also, when feeling lost, the light at the end of the tunnel comes in the form of family support, inner strength, or life decisions.

The monsters in the dark

This may seem grim, yet, there are many ways to regain hope, that physician of every misery, and have a normal life, as much as the illness permits. Mindset is the single most important thing when facing the intimidating reality of cancer. So, you can either think of yourself as a victim or a survivor. Death is the only worthy opponent we have in life because it is the only one we cannot hope to beat. It teaches us the value of life, and gives it that brimming essence which shines bright even in the deepest shadows.

It is always possible to find inspiration and a means of survival, even in anguish. In other words, it is only when strength becomes the only viable choice that you find out just how strong you can be. Alas, our prowess knows limits, and we cannot face all the monsters in the dark alone. Keep in mind that encouragement and support from others go a long way in improving quality of life. Thus, people who are close to the patient must not grow distant over time, which often happens as the months and years roll by.

Your way or the highway

Cancer is often a chronic illness, much like conditions such as heart disease. It can be controlled with the proper treatment and allow people to live a fulfilled life. In fact, many patients decide to do things they have always wanted upon hearing the bad news. Some of them embark for the unknown, wandering the highways and byways of the world, soaking in the sun and the mesmerizing nature around them. There are even cases when the entire family joins them on the trip of their lives.

The point is that we are free to choose, even when doom and gloom surround us. Numerous patients report the sense of treasuring every moment, finding joy in small things, and a shifting outlook on life. Some turn to neglected hobbies, others put on their gym wear and start exercising, and there are those who just waste their days. So, there are physical effects, and then there are the “human effects” of cancer. The latter are within your power, and it is only your approach that will determine the outcome. You might not possess health and vigor, but nothing can strip you of a positive attitude.

However hard it may be, you can embrace the pain, and use it as a fuel for your life journey. Many patients forget that damage or despair does not end the world. The end of the road (at least in this world) is when you are dead. But, until then, we all have more punishment in store. You must stand it and endure, as the alternative is to give up and hoist the white flag. The only problem is there would be no one to accept your surrender, only the eerie sensation of defeat. Remember that cancer has the sinister power to take away your physical wellbeing, but there are certain things it cannot taint— your mind and soul.

Ain’t no mountain high enough

In life, there are countless pitfalls, hurdles and obstacles, and then there are also mountains. For as long as humans dwelled on this rock in outer space, they have longed to conquer even the highest of peaks. Cancer is one of the banes of our existence, but it is not insurmountable, because we are not without weapons to fight it. Family should offer emotional support all the way and understand the needs that are born out of the cancerous predicament. Every day you challenge and survive cancer is another victory, even if the ultimate outcome cannot be eliminated, but only delayed. Live the life of a fighter and approach the greatest challenges on your own terms.

 

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Samantha Olivier is a fitness professional who is excited to be a part of the NOU community. Samantha has a new blog coming soon where you can read more about her as well as pick up some great fitness ideas and tips!