Life now as a cancer caregiver…
Is full of doctor appointments and medications…
Helping your partner cope with terrible nausea…
Scans and changing treatment schedules…
You’ve stopped planning family trips and don’t even think much about the holidays except to wish you could enjoy them worry free like those around you. Everything in your life is about your partner’s cancer. It feels like it will never end…
Just Want Our Life Back
Even after a year and a half of dealing with my husband’s cancer re-occurrence, I would find myself resisting my reality. I was constantly thinking I just want our life back. Even though I know we were far from that. In all likelihood, our life would never be the way it was before.
Arguing With Reality
When we argue with reality, we are resisting what is. We are wishing and pining for a different life, maybe our “old” life, even though that life is gone. Sometimes these are just occasional thoughts. Other times they are all consuming. During the holidays when you see others participating in festivities it can be especially tempting to wish you were as care free as they seem to be.
When we do this we make it worse for ourselves! By wishing our life was different than it is, it just adds pain on top of suffering. We suffer more by trying to resist our suffering! And yet we keep doing it!
Grieve, Then Make Peace
Our brains don’t like change and uncertainty. Cancer brings all sorts of change and uncertainty to our life so it’s completely normal that we would wish it away.
First know that it is completely normal for your brain to want to go back to a “simpler” time pre-cancer diagnosis. Of course I’m going to think this way!
Then allow yourself to grieve for your pre-cancer life. It may not have been wonderful in every way, but at least there wasn’t cancer to deal with. Say goodbye to that life. Think about it and let it go. Take a day or several days to do this. Every time you find yourself resisting your current situation, remind yourself this is just your brain wanting comfort.
Then think about your life as it is in this very moment with all the nausea, and drugs, and appointments, and insurance, and uncertainty… and choose to accept it. This is my life now and I accept every bit of it. When you willingly accept it, you will be better able to handle what ever may come.
By accepting where you are, you allow yourself to move out of resistance. It will not make you happy or change the reality of your life. It will however bring you some peace. It will allow you to be more calm. It will allow you to be present in your life and perhaps notice and recognize that there is good in this life too.
This is one of the fundamental skills I work on with my clients. It’s the first thing we uncover and is critical to moving them forward. Getting a coach to help you with this will make all the difference! Let’s talk! Don’t stay stuck in resistance!
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