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Nicole Yablun Headshot

How We Deal

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I have found it very interesting to witness how different people react to having cancer. Some folks sail away on my favorite ship -- "Denial" -- while others become vegan eating, yoga touting enthusiasts. While many yet find hope and solace in religion (even if this spirituality has never been apart of their existence before). Even more interesting is the fact that in most cases when you hear you have cancer you go a little crazy... I include myself in this last fact.

The normal consensus becomes not just about taking care of yourself, but instead becomes a feverous tornado of throwing out all your food and only buying organic, along with investing in tons of yoga wear. Yoga! Organic! Change your life!

Yoga, in my humble opinion, has the ability to make you feel incredibly unattractive, and a hot sweaty mess if you are a newbie. Seriously, if you are over five pounds, the "downward dog" is torture.

In my case, I preferred to pretend like everything was normal and I refused to "go there." It's the panic and loss of control that makes us all go koo-koo, grasping for anything that helps us feel somewhat in control again. Spending your time scrambling for that thing that will cure us or offer some sort of salvation. I understand the loss of ones mind when facing a life threatening disease. I have come to the realization that taking care of your self is very important, and yes I know how funny this sounds coming from the girl that could eat chicken fingers and fries for every meal (I have done this diet, and I am not ashamed).

It's just as important to live your best life, I swear I'm not trying to sound like Oprah, but the lady has a point. Doing what makes you happy verses doing the latest cure-all is what is most important. Because, eating only green food while standing on one foot hoping around repeating your new mantra, "I'm a cancer killing machine," is just time being wasted. While this may help to make you feel like your doing something to feel a bit more in control, it is in fact just "jumping around." Now, I'm not saying to eat cake for every meal and go live on a commune, I just mean that nobody knows what life has in store. None of us know the next step, the month, or the next day. Your diagnosis does not change who you are, and drastically changing your life, your thoughts, or your understanding of who you are will not give you more time... or make the cancer stop.

Unfortunately, for those of us with stage 4 cancer we have an understanding that is only ours. Your life is yours, and never take a moment for granted. Don't chase. Don't control. Don't change who you are.

Instead, travel, spend all your time with family and friends, go to that restaurant you have always wanted to try, eat desert for dinner, buy that expensive dress you have been stocking through the window, don't continue to put things off. My husband bought me a wooden sign for my last birthday that has become my new mantra and does a much better job then I can in summing up my point.

Have Hope
Be Strong
Laugh Loud
Play Hard
Live In The Moment
Smile Often
Dream Big
Remember You Are Loved
And Never, Never Give Up

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