Just hearing the sound of the word “cancer” gives off that shuttering effect that resonates in every molecule of the body. There’s unimaginable shutter that is happening inside when the breast cancer diagnosis is delivered to you. It seems like the entire world closes in front of your face.
But then, with a careful and day-by-day living with a dire diagnoses, there enters H-O-P-E. Quietly, one tiny step at at time. It embraces you with its shadow that warms you up like nothing else out there. Still, you feel like a ghost living this life. But with one slight movement of your soul, with that bleak glimpse of being ready to receive – here she is, unveiling the most precious morsels of herself. HOPE, now, shines through you and your incredible presence in this world.
Here’s how HOPE transformed Nancy Parker. Here’s her story and her HOW-TOs to elevate any woman going through any dire situation in life.
Breast Cancer October Relay
Illuminate. Encourage. Shine!
Campaña de Concientización Contra el Cáncer de Mama.
Alienta. Incentiva. Brilla!
Back in 2006, I underwent chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer, the most emotionally draining and vulnerable time in my life.
Through my support group (Gilda’s Club Seattle), I learned that when you are ready to give up, draw from the strength, compassion and wisdom of social workers and the women in your group.
The women in my group were constantly cheering me on through their words and most importantly their actions. They illustrated their willingness to show up for life, even when some knew their cancer was terminal. They were constantly striving to be positive and looking to the future. Hope. They gave me hope at times when I was faltering. And they received hope and encouragement from me when they were faltering.
Through their trust, grit and strength, wisdom and support I found the courage and determination to launch my business during the most difficult time in my life. I continue to donate to local area hospitals to distribute to cancer patients, which allows me to give back to others who are experiencing what I did.
During this incredibly trying journey I learned what built me up and gave me resolve to persevere during an impossible time. I would like to share with others that there is hope and strength in numbers. I learned some valuable lessons and some tried and true rituals that I hope others will find valuable.
HOW-TOs Of Giving & Receiving HOPE
Stay Connected With A Support Group For Encouragement And Inspiration
The community we built facilitated hope and demonstrated that this journey is not just about me, that it is really about helping others. They inspired me to give back to others. We shared ideas and dreams, which gave me the courage and resilience to pursue my dream.
Grow And Nurture Community Partner Relationships
I built genuine relationships with the oncology social workers who appreciated that the baskets were coming from someone who has gone through the experience and knew first hand what patients needed during their journey. After launching my business, they helped me promote my business through the donation of baskets to their patients.
Be Mindful Of Your Time And Learn When To Say ‘Another Time’
Many of us have a hard time saying no (especially when so many great suggestions are being shared and you certainly don’t want to discourage good ideas!), so instead I learned how to tell people I may not be able to do it right now but I may be able to do it later.
This approach allowed me to manage my time better, be mindful of my health and business pursuits while reducing stress and anxiety. Also important to remember when it comes to your time and focus, don’t get lost in the many resources available on the internet regarding your diagnosis, trials and treatments. Select a few reputable, independent sites that will help educate and empower you without overwhelming you.
Eat Well And Exercise
I have become a green vegetable lover – broccoli, kale, cabbage, you name it! Devouring good healthy vegetables are key to keeping my energy in check and my spirits high. I have lots of great recipes to share! Getting exercise, primarily walking for me, clears my mind, boosts endorphins, and makes me stronger inside and out.
Be mindful of your time and learn when to say ‘another time’.
Ground Yourself With A Spiritual Awakening Practice
I’ve created a ritual of reach practice. Each morning I read a morning devotion that helps guide my thinking, meditation, and planning of my day. Through the ritual of reflection and mindfulness, I am able to reach for (and attain) more than I ever thought possible.
This speaks for itself. If you don’t think it how can it become a reality? Having goals, planning for them and envisioning you reaching them is critical to your recovery and to the success of your organization.
Surround Yourself With A Superb Team
Find employees and contractors who augment your strengths and skills, understand your vision and are committed to helping you achieve that vision. Having accomplished supporters that can rally beside you to help you grow as an entrepreneur is the key component to a sustainable and rewarding life and business.
Dream big! If you don’t think it how can it become a reality? Having goals, planning for them and envisioning you reaching them is critical to your recovery.
Through love and courage, you can find the strength to survive and shine.
Join In Conversation To Lift Each Other
— Celebrate Woman (@DiscoverSelf) October 4, 2017
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