Looking Back at My Story in 2018
Does your partner’s cancer battle feel like a marathon? You want to go the distance with them, but it’s wearing you both down?
(I wrote and published this post originally in June of 2018. My husband was still alive then and in the midst of his battle with cancer.)
At the time of writing, I had no idea what the future would hold for us and how his health would go. ..
I had no idea that what I was learning from coaching would get me through so many difficult times to come and be the inspiration for a brand new career for me…
We can’t know what the future holds for us. But we can develop the strength and self resilience to know that we can handle it, what ever it is. It took me a while to gain that strength, but I owe it to all the amazing tools and insight from my coaches who helped me in this journey.
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
When my husband’s cancer came back, we wanted to do things differently. We wanted to get some support, to feel more empowered than we did. We stumbled upon a life coaching 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 journey is that nowI can honestly say, I am a better version of myself. My partner’s cancer presented one of the biggest opportunities to grow in my life, and coaching allowed me to realize that growth. That may sound crazy, but I truly do believe it.
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!
If you are going the distance with your partner’s cancer, I’d be honored to be your coach. Click here to set up a time for us to talk and see how I can help.