Going The Distance with Cancer

Cancer Is A Marathon Without A Set Finish line

Dealing with cancer in your family is like running a marathon without knowing where the finish line is.  Most often there are no quick fixes and you are in it for the long haul.  From initial diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, all of it takes time.  Emotionally, you face so many ups and downs in that period, it can be exhausting.  Like a marathon however, you just have to keep going.

Going It Alone

My husband and I ran this marathon the first time he got cancer.  Then we relied on  friends and family for support, but did not seek out any other type of professional support.  We didn’t join any support groups, see a therapist, or seek out coaching.  We didn’t even really know how coaching could help.  It was tough, but we endured.

When I think about that time, we were running the race, but had no preparation for it ahead of time.  Instead of building up our muscles gradually and building our endurance with several practice runs, we just started running with no idea what was ahead or how to cope.

So we figured it out as we went.  Over time, we got better and knew what to expect when going to the oncologist office.  We were able to mentally steel ourselves for the waiting period between getting a scan or test and finding out the results and implications.

Honestly though, while we were changed from that experience, I’m not sure how much we really grew. We went back to our lives and found ourselves facing the same issues of stagnation and inability to dream of the future that we had before.

With A Coach

This time around, we stumbled upon a life coach podcast, and it completely changed our experience. The free podcast was so helpful that after a few months we signed up for coaching.  It made all the difference and continues to help us not only survive but grow through this process.

Having a coach while dealing with cancer is like having a trainer who prepares you for the run. The coach takes you on practice runs so you know what to expect and can plan ahead.  The coach helps you build your emotional muscle by teaching you how to process all the difficult feelings that come up. The coach teaches you tools so that you become aware of how your thoughts effect everything else.  The coach shows you that you get to decide who you want to be and how you want to show up for your spouse, your family, and yourself.  The coach helps you to become a better you.

The biggest difference in having a coach through this process is that now we can honestly say, we both are better versions of ourselves now because of it.  Cancer presented one of the biggest opportunities to grow in our lives, and coaching allowed us to capitalize on it.  That may sound crazy, but I truly do believe it.  And so does my husband.

Coaches aren’t friends.  They are not going to commiserate and lend sympathy.  That is what is so fantastic. What they will help you see is that you have power and control over how you think and act in this situation. They hold a mirror up and say: This is how your thinking is creating your result. If you don’t like your result, you need to first change your thinking.  They will train you so that you have all the skills needed to run not only the cancer marathon, but any other race life offers up.  That is truly a game changer!

2 thoughts on “Going The Distance with Cancer

  1. That is so beautifully stated. Using “training/running a marathon” is such an apt metaphor for your journey. Indeed, a very applicable metaphor for each and all of us in whatever challenges we are facing in life. Your posts have all been so relevant to life‘s journey for each individual. Thanks for sharing what you are learning.
    DEL

  2. So well written. Am there with you. Gems of insights. So glad for Life Coach resource for you.

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