We develop tools to navigate through life’s rough waters but when you’re on the receiving end of a cervical cancer diagnosis, it’s like your toolbox is suddenly empty.
Something that almost everyone in our Cervivor community has said is that no one ever wants to be in a ‘cancer club’ but when you do find your community, things feel less scary. Now you can share coping and wellness tools, help others and find support from those who ‘get it’.
To provide that support, our community is sharing their tips for coping through a cancer diagnosis.
Keep a box of cards/letters/hospital bracelets/etc. This can be a vital way of processing through your emotions every now and again. You can reflect on the support you received and everything you survived. ~ Morgan N.
During treatment, sleep when you’re tired and eat when you’re hungry. Keeping your body well rested and nourished is a priority. ~Emily H.
I had to learn to say, “NO!” and to take time for myself to rest. Morning and evening meditation really helped me and art is my escape from it all. ~ Tasha B.
Yoga and meditation and eating clean! Meditation helped me focus on one thing. Eating clean gives me advantage on fighting back with nutrient vitamins to restore and help my body and digestive system. ~ Re’gina P.
I schedule time to rest. Be it meditation, reading, sitting in the sun, even aimlessly scrolling – just to be still for 30 mins or 1 hour during the day. I say I’m busy. Busy resting. ~ Samantha R.
Not only are our bodies going through so much with side effects, treatments and surgeries but cancer takes a toll on our spirit and mental health. Taking time to rest and reset, however that looks to you, is so important. Maybe this means reaching out and asking for help. Maybe it’s calling that friend who always knows how to make you laugh, or maybe it’s lying in bed and just crying. Creating space for ourselves is healing. Self-care comes in many forms and none of it is selfish.
Getting outside, even if it was just to walk to the mail box or sitting in my backyard. A little vitamin D always makes me feel better. ~ Carol L.
For me, it’s always been; yoga, meditation, walking/hiking, a religious sleep schedule, cooking/baking, time with friends, music, and quiet time reading. ~ Tracy C.
Listen to your body and resting whenever needed. This was very hard for me because I was so used to go, go, go but it’s so important to let your body rest and repair. ~ Gracie C.
There was overwhelming gratitude from survivors for their medical providers. From amazing Gynocological Oncology teams, Infusion and Radiation teams, to PA’s, RN’s and everyone who works hard to keep us alive to live. When you have a good oncology team, it’s a game changer.
Eating healthy food and sessions with my Oncology Physical Therapist to help with hip pain, regular varied movement, and journaling. ~ Christina B.
Finding my ‘safe spot’ to mentally escape for a bit. Learning to let others take care of me. Coloring and enjoying nature. I’m very tactical and the ears on my dog help soothe me. ~ Karen N.
I learned to create boundaries from negative things/people. Using no, for my own wellbeing is essential. ~ Lorie W.
Another common thread we heard from you was the support you received from family and friends. Being surrounded and supported by people who put care into action means so much. Whether this comes in the form of prayer circles, meals being delivered or being that person holding our hand, all are great acts of loving kindness. And who doesn’t need more of that?
As cervical cancer patients, survivors and thrivers we have a special community. One that feels tight-knit because we know that through our voices we have the power to ignite a conversation and to help others. We know that our stories can have an impact on someone else’s life. That, through those stories, ending cervical cancer can be reached.
What are some tips you used to get through your diagnosis or life-changing event? How does wellness play a part in survival today?