Halloween is coming soon, and for those out there newly diagnosed with cancer, and their support team -- even those in treatment currently -- this diagnosis is downright spooky and frightening.
However, I have been there -- I was diagnosed with stage four cancer when I was only 33 -- and I know first-hand you don't have to be tricked into living each day filled with fear. The paralyzing fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis is a huge problem because it can cause you to severely limit living your life!
There is a solution though! I discovered there are really just three things you need in order to face "Cancer with JOY." Sure, that's a play on words with a unique double meaning because my name is Joy and I'm serving as your personal guide to getting through this -- hence the literal meaning to you facing "Cancer with JOY." But there's a figurative meaning too; you've heard "Laughter is the best medicine," right?
While no one's happy they have cancer... you can have cancer and still be happy! This is very good news indeed!
You simply need the right
2) Support. Have you noticed when we share our burdens they become so much easier to bear?
3) En"courage"ment. The opposite of fear is courage, so a dose of courage is exactly what the Dr. ordered to combat your fear
Let's jump right in with resources!
Trick #1 (from my Cancer With JOY book) -- I have a whole chapter of 13 crucial "Dos & Don'ts at Diagnosis!" My #1 "Do" on page 61 is "Do get a second opinion/go to someone who makes you comfortable!" Here's the resource I list on page 115 to help you find the best hospital for cancer in your area.
Trick #2 (from Cancer With JOY) -- Let me give you a don't... that I did ... because unfortunately I couldn't find a resource like Cancer with JOY at diagnosis that really gives you all the essentials you need -- those resources, support, and en"courage"ment! My #1 DON'T listed on page 65 is "DON'T go to the Internet as your primary, initial source of information." I wrote, "I can recommend this after doing this. I am hoping to save you the anguish and pain I put myself through unnecessarily. Google is my friend, I thought!"
I personally know it's so difficult to stay off of Google while waiting to get in for a medical appointment. Instead of "googling," we're familiar with the American Cancer Society web site at www.cancer.org, but few seem to know about www.cancer.net, which I feature on page 116 in the "Cancer Information" section of my detailed resources chapter. Cancer.net is oncologist-approved information, and everyone facing cancer owes it to themselves to visit this incredible resource!
Trick #3 -- Another DO I share -- DO #6 -- from page 67 is "DO write all those questions down!" Often people wonder (and reach out to me asking if I know) what questions they are "supposed to" ask their doctor. If you're on cancer.net looking under breast cancer, you'll see "Questions to Ask the Dr." which takes you here. That's quite a comprehensive list of questions that saves you a lot of time and energy trying to think of what you should be asking!
You can find your cancer type and the corresponding list of questions to take with you starring what you feel is most important or relevant; for example for lung cancer the list is here. November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month too!
Trick #4 -- On page 69 another "DON'T" listed under #8 is "DON'T try to handle everything alone." On page 121 in the "Cancer Services" section I share www.lotsahelpinghands.com as a great resource.
Trick #5 -- DO #9 on page 70 is "DO talk to someone who has 'been there.'" Here's where we're getting into the second critical thing you need -- support from someone who's "been there!" I have a whole "Cancer Support" section in my comprehensive Resources chapter with more resources, but here's a wonderful one to check out -- www.imermanangels.org
I've heard from quite a few people who want to know if they can be coached by me personally so they really get that "dose of JOY" for their journey. While my current availability for new clients is very limited to just a couple evenings a week, I'm here to help you serving as your personal guide on how to face cancer and still be happy! To schedule an appointment with me (a Google Helpout) over live video so I can share more resources customized for you once I "meet" and talk to you, go here. If you'd prefer to talk over the phone vs. Google Helpout, schedule the same way and we'll just connect over the phone.
I know personally it's possible to have cancer -- even stage four -- and still be very happy. As Halloween approaches, this hopeful news could be the best treat of all!
I speak to groups at hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and churches too so we may get to visit if you request I come to your area or church by e-mailing email@example.com with the subject line "Speaking Request."