~Cancer Recovery and Navigating your next step

Find Your Next Best Step for Healing After Cancer

Posted on May 20, 2014 in Going Internal, Recovery from Cancer | 8 comments

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Find Your Next Best Step for Healing After Cancer

Healing After Cancer, Your Next Best Step

Coming out of cancer treatment may be one of the most difficult and conflicted moments in your cancer journey. As much as you want to be finished with chemo and radiation, the next step to staying cancer free is confusing and uncertain.

As a cancer survivor myself, reaching the end of treatment felt as though I’d been cut loose from the safety net of medical intervention. Before being deemed cancer free, the system held me close and guided me along every step of the way.

But cancer remission brought with it a whole new set of questions

Once released from active treatment, I found no clear-cut answers on where to turn or how to regain a life of health and balance.

Asking how to stay cancer free became an elusive question. There was no comprehensive plan or course of action offered. All I received was a generic answer: eat healthy, exercise, manage your emotions. Sounds easy enough, right?

Wrong…

I was overwhelmed. There were enormous amounts of information and even more mis-information everywhere I looked.

It was impossible to decipher what would keep cancer away and how I was going to regain my quality of life.

Family and friends were both happy and relieved the battle was done. They were ready for life to turn around and get back to normal. While they believed the fight was over, it became clear to me, it had only just begun.

Sick, bald and weak, along with feeling physically and emotionally wrecked…I felt I’d been set adrift, hanging on to a sinking raft with no land in sight.

I was happy to be cancer free, don’t get me wrong, but every part of my world had shattered in the process. The whole of my sanity came down to answering one question…

What’s the Next Best Step?

Unfortunately, just as each diagnosis of cancer is different from person to person, finding your way back to health is also a personal endeavor.

‘What’s next’ goes way beyond the parameters of just physical health. There’s the emotional and spiritual edge that’s also been chipped away.

Finding internal healing and balance is multi-dimensional — something that needs to be pursued on many levels.

When stepping out of the cancer patient role and into active recovery, there’s a shift that needs to take place. It’s now your job to choose those things that bring-in-life. Begin to weigh the vibrancy of everything around you.

•Laughter over drama
• Whole-natural food over processed food-like ‘stuff’
• Forgiveness over resentment
• Truth over fear
• Faith over despair

Get quiet, and begin to partner with your inner-wisdom. Your internal compass will lead you to the path that’s right for you. IF you choose to listen.

The Next Best Step for healing after cancer is to implement healthy practices that line up with inner beliefs.

While working through my own recovery in 2006, I began organizing and leading cancer support groups.

I now understand that surrounding myself with other survivors was the life raft I needed to feel that sense of normal again.

I embraced energy medicine as a way to heal emotionally and spiritually. And I began a slow exploration of Naturopathic, Holistic and Ayurvedic ways of living.

I’m not suggesting you follow my path. That’s the direction I was led when I began to listen deeply.

This is the time to follow your own path. It’s not so important what you decide to do, but that you deeply feel (that deeper, internal knowing, kind of feel) that your actions will pull you into a healthier place.

Listen to your heart and follow its guidance

To put it simply, follow what feels good and right.

If you know deep down inside that eating green vegetables (exercising, yoga, managing stress, prayer, meditation, making love, etc…) will make you stronger, healthier and more efficient at staying cancer free, then every time you perform that action, you’ll invest in your own health.

The next step may be as simple as committing to a daily walk or taking five minutes to sit quietly and contemplate the beauty of life.

We become empowered when we take responsibility for our own healing. Each next step is a new beginning. And each new beginning slowly awakens us to a new way of living.

Are you ready to commit to finding your own answers?

As a cancer survivor, cancer recovery coach, ordained minister and Reiki master-teacher, I’ve worked with women survivors from all walks of life.

Coming out of treatment is one of the hardest and most crucial turning points to regaining control and power over your own health.

While working with clients, I help them connect to their core beliefs of what inner health looks and feels like. It’s about getting a clear internal picture of physical, emotional and spiritual balance and the actions needed to bring them about.

Whether you work with me, work with another, or make the commitment to journey on your own, it is important that you invest in your own health and healing.

To discover your ‘Next Step’ in a private, one-on-one session, check out my Work with Me Page.

 

Keeping you all in the brightest of light,

 

 

Have you already found your next step? I’d love to hear about it as would other survivors on the same path. Leave a comment below and take part in sharing your journey!

8 Comments

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  1. Michele McLeod

    Oh Terry this is so well written and wonderful to read. I felt the same way when I was “all done.” I like the idea of creating my own new path…and it is a slow process that’s given me some new insights. I am grateful for the support offered through groups and sports…without which I would have lost my way. Thank you!

    • Terry Maurer

      Thank you Michele! It continues to amaze me how far we can get by taking the next little step to keep us on point! I love that you found new insights through such healthy activities!

      Blessings to you…

  2. Kim Mauro

    Hi Terry, this is so beautifully put. It really helps to know that others are going through the same and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as we go through this so called journey. I know myself that I struggle emotionally with what I have experienced and am incorporating many of the steps that you have listed to recoup “my life” as well as discovering it’s ok to color outside the lines. Thank you for sharing this message.

    • Terry

      Yes Kim, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, yet, when we make it to that light, it takes some adjusting. There are new roles we are once again needing to step into if we want to move forward. And coloring outside the lines…that’s where the magic happens!

  3. Melanie Kissell

    These words jumped off the page, Terry …

    “Listen to your heart and follow its guidance … follow what feels good and right.” There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. I love your advice to “personalize” your post-treatment healing. :)

    I believe this with every fiber of my being …

    “We become empowered when we take responsibility for our own healing.” Too true! No matter what you’re healing from … divorce, loss of a loved one, homelessness, losing your job, cancer … the philosophy is still the same. “Own” your own healing!

    Beautifully written post!

    • Terry

      Thank you Melanie! I am so happy this moved you…and as you stated, it makes no difference if it is cancer you are healing from or some other life changing event. I think we are tested in these ways as an opportunity to find our own strength and find a sense of peace in the unfolding of each experience. Life is beautiful and amazing with so many variables, shifts and changes. Thank you so much for your comments and pointing out how we are all living a parallel experience, regardless of the details!

      • Melanie Kissell

        We’ve all heard the adage, “Time heals everything”. While that’s true, Terry, “how” you spend that time is what matters most.

        You’ve done a bang up job of opening peoples’ eyes to help them make those choices! :)

  4. Norine V. Grzesik-Rathbone

    Your writing is beyond awesome. It invokes us to live deeply. Cancer is shallow yet it can capture our intermost being and hold us emotionally hostage. Break the shackles of your mind from it and live your life fully.

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