WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE MIRACLE?
Connie survived her surgery and chemotherapy. She had invasive surgery and had the same first line of chemotherapy drugs that almost all patients have for an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Connie survived the treatment for the symptom (cancer). Why has she survived her treatment for ovarian cancer when so many other women have not? Her story is amazing. Some view her 5 years surviving ovarian cancer as a miracle. So what happened before the miracle of surviving 5 years?
Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Connie was presented with her husband wanting a divorce. Are you kidding…seriously? Connie just recovered from invasive surgery for an abdominal mass, just learned it was ovarian cancer and just attended an educational class teaching her about what it will be like when she starts chemotherapy. All that and she also had to wrap her brain around a failing marriage. Connie confronted and overcame amazing obstacles throughout her cancer treatment. She just celebrated her 5th year surviving ovarian cancer. What happened before the miracle of surviving 5 years?
She never gave up.
It sounds simple, right? It is so easy to put all she went through into one sentence, but it is the truth. Connie never gave up. You can rest assured she had moment after moment of despair, restless nights, tears fraught with fear, concerns for the wellbeing of her children and then there were the fits of anger.
Knowing all too well what women emotionally undergo when facing a cancer diagnosis, I cannot begin to image those emotions compounded with emotions that accompany a divorce. With a cancer diagnosis we face the fear of taking chemotherapy and the fear of facing mortality. When there are children involved, women expect the spouse will be there to help with the daily responsibilities of raising children. Connie had to figure out how to manage both her cancer treatment and raising her children by herself. She didn’t have time to waste with being disgruntled or depressed; she just picked herself up and did it.
I have met and interviewed many long-term cancer survivors who faced similar decisions about their relationships with friends and family members. While most did not experience the tragedy of divorce, some did remove themselves from relationships, or friendships, that were not providing favorable exchanges of time and effort. Many others confronted the person to let them know what behavior was more encouraging under their new health condition. Facing and making decisions about relationships are difficult, but necessary for survival. In Connie’s situation, she can now reflect upon her decision to accept and flow with the divorce. She found that with her decision of acceptance, new doors opened for her to make stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
Connie had to place herself and her health as number one priority…Numero Uno – before her marriage and before her kids. Connie learned how to fit the importance of her health into the equation of life – including her divorce and taking care of her kids.
For example, I know most mothers would jump over, around and into a fire to care for her children. What Connie learned to do was to first jump into her protective Nomex® fireproof suit – a suit that race car drivers wear to protect themselves from burning if a collision causes the racing fuel to burst into flame. Once in her protective suit (taking care of her health), Connie could safely jump over, around and into the fire. Connie knew she wanted to be around for her kids even after she completed her treatment for cancer. She learned to make her health part of her care for the entire family. Connie’s behavior became a key component to her long-term survival.
Connie also learned to accept change. Connie knew that life throws obstacles at us all the time. She found that by having favorable thoughts behind her reactions to each obstacle, she could more gracefully handle challenges and receive more positive results. As she overcame each obstacle, she got one step closer to surviving another day. Before long Connie survived cancer for 5 years. Ultimately, Connie has understood she created a better life for herself and for her children.
In Look Beyond What Medicine Can Do, we observed what long-term cancer survivors (LTCS) have done to survive their cancer diagnosis. They treated the symptom (cancer) with surgery and chemotherapy. LTCS went even further. LTCS have also made conscious changes in their thought. By changing the way they thought about what they observed, they have also changed their cellular response to people and events.
Connie did just the same. She changed her thought about herself, her health and her marriage. She re-routed her pattern of thought that in turn re-routed her behavior. Connie learned by accepting her divorce, she created the best outcome. By making these conscious changes in thought and behavior, Connie encouraged her good cells to unite and used her GOD given power to dissolve what fueled her cancer. She restored her health.
Remember, I have never met a depressed or disgruntled LTCS. Each and every LTCS I have met has something good and uplifting to say. They admit they make the best out of every moment, find humor even in the most trying of times and are grateful for each and every day they have lived. Please know that cancer – like weight gain – did not happen overnight. And so becoming N.E.D. (no evidence of disease) takes time (patience and persistence).
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. NIV
Embrace all you can do to survive. Now is time to look beyond what medicine can do.
Make a conscious decision to use your thoughts to your highest good.
Failure comes when we give up before the miracle. – L. Dunn
Follow Connie’s lead – do not give up. Use the power of your thought to your advantage.
1. Make decisions of acceptance –flow with life
2. Make your health your number one priority
3. Choose to create favorable thoughts – your response will follow including your body’s behavior on a cellular level.
Learn more about long-term cancer survivors (LTCS) – visit spotmany.com
Before you know it, you too will look back and understand exactly what happened before the miracle.