10 Tips That Got Me Through My Health Journey
It started with a change to my breast.
The center had sunken in on my right breast, but it was not a lump, like my mom experienced two times. Yet, it was a change and I went to my doctor. A mammogram that led to another mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy. Ultimately I had the same diagnosis as my mom, breast cancer. I was fortunate to have my mom on my journey, but I wondered about others on this journey alone. How could I help them? After experiencing the loss of a friend and pink sister, I put all of my energy into action, creating a podcast called DJ Breast Cancer.
As the host of DJ Breast Cancer, a Podcast created to inspire hope in the cancer community, I have been the recipient of amazing tips from the cancer community. Each show has a tip where the guests can provide some advice to the listeners. With nearly last 100 episodes, I definitely have noticed some common themes in the cancer community. Here are my top 10 tips that got me, and a lot of my cancer survivor friends through our health journey’s.
1) Advocate for YOU!
Open your mouth! Listen to yourself and your body. I know “me” better than you. We all have gut feelings and intuition, it is so important to listen! And if something doesn’t feel right, it’s ok to talk to another doctor and seek another opinion. Be picky!
2) When in doubt, WRITE it out!
Keep a journal at your side. The first time I showered after seeing my new body after a double mastectomy, I wrote my feelings into a poem. It was very therapeutic to take the hurt, sadness and loss and put it into words. I still revisit that poem often, as a reminder of how far I have come. It’s also a LOT to handle with any health crisis. Having TAMVOES to keep your life organized would have been so helpful when I was going through my cancer journey.
3) Community is everything!
Find your tribe, people that you relate with! I found an amazing community on Instagram of young breast cancer survivors and also joined a local support group. Additionally, I had my mom to talk to, but it was very important to me to find as many people that I could identify with. I found someone to cry to, I found someone to laugh with, and I found someone to dream with.
4) One day at a time!
Sometimes it helps to focus on the little steps, celebrate the small wins and take deep breaths.
5) You have a purpose!
Remember that you are assigned this mountain to move to help others. After a big life experience, you may realize that this is truly an opportunity!
6) Be grateful!
Countless guests has shared to me that having a practice of gratitude opens their hearts and allows goodness to flow through. I started a gratitude journal after my active treatment, but found it truly a blessing in these Covid days. Starting each morning with something that I am grateful for, has helped me to focus on the positive and not get lost in the sorrow.
7) To heal you need to feel!
I love this advice. Trauma doesn’t go away, it is critical to sit with your thoughts and feelings.
8) Share your story!
Your story has value, it can be such a relief to share it. I have heard in guests’ voices how their load becomes lighter after they share their cancer journey on my podcast.
9) You got to move it, move it!
Exercise is so important. I found walking very therapeutic during chemo. When fall faded into a polar vortex winter, I turned to a gentle Yoga DVD every single day. Connecting the mind, body and spirit is so important.
10) Positivity rules!
This does not mean you have to be positive every minute of every day, but if you focus on the good, it makes a big difference!
Of all of these tips, community is truly everything. Finding others to talk about treatments, survivorship and feelings, is so so important!
Do you have a story you would like to share on Talkative? Send us a submission! And if you haven’t already, make sure you signup for a free TAMVOES account so you can get started on tracking all of your vitals to stay up to date with your health as it changes. Learn more on the TAMVOES platform.