Beyond the treatments, beyond the worry and soothing the frazzled nerves of concerned loved ones, there is one vital thing that must never be forgotten: You.
It is so easy to get swallowed up in the vortex of your disease when it seems all you do is go to the doctor, get a treatment, come home and recover just in time to return for another one. Like a sleep walker you go through the motions of life. It is too hard not to. Denial can be very soothing at times like these and if it helps, it is okay to keep your true feelings at bay until you have time to throttle back and let your real life begin again.
You may find that while you are making sure all your cancer T's are crossed and I's are dotted you ignore yourself. Make the time to care for yourself. What does this mean? Pretend you are your young self at age 5 and adult you is in charge of the well-being of that beautiful little five year old.
First, you make sure she is safe, then you do the simple things for her that keep her healthy.
Feed her nourishing food -the kind of food that heals and helps her grow.
Make sure she gets enough restorative sleep. You put her to bed at the same time every night and if she needs a nap during the day, make sure she takes it.
Find a way to give her joy. Do things that lighten the day, take in a good movie, go outside and play. Be a part of the natural world around you. Great peace can be found in nature.
Run, walk, ride a bike, swim, plant flowers - give her exercise outdoors where the air is clear and the proof that life renews itself over and over again surrounds you.
Let her be sad. If she is sad, let her mourn. Allow her to feel what she has to feel and hold her tight until things don't look quite as bad as they seemed.
Keep her away from people who will harm her - not harm her physically, but emotionally. Negative people can do as much damage as physical harm. Stay in the light with the true friends and famiy who really care.
This little girl is you, remember? When you want to deny yourself this self-care, think of it as denying caring for a child in your charge. It is this combination of self reliance and self love that makes you stronger, braver and healthier. Don't wait for someone else to make you feel better because they may never come or if they do, they don't understand what you are going through.
You have more strength than you know. It is inside you. You just have to let yourself discover it.