During a lifetime, half of men and one-third of women in the U.S. will have cancer. Did you know nearly 1.1 million Americans will live through a cancer diagnosis this year alone? After receiving the news of a diagnosis—or, in the best-case scenarios, cure, remission, or watchful waiting—they leave the exam room, schedule a follow-up, and are told to go live their lives. But how do you do that when the simplest daily tasks can be a struggle because you’re out of your mind with worry?
It’s not easy, and I’ve been there. In 2011, newly diagnosed with terminal blood cancer, I really wanted to live. I was only thirty-nine with a one-year-old son. In a six-month span, I quit my job, left my yoga classes to another teacher, put my house on the market, and flew across the country to world-renowned City of Hope for chemotherapy and radiation treatments leading to a life-saving stem-cell transplant.
I was one of the lucky ones—one of the millions of survivors I mentioned above. But I faced some big questions when trying to move on to the next phase of life:
- Where do I go from here?
- Why am I still stuck in this world of cancer?
- When do I restart my life?
- What will make me happy?; and, most importantly,
- How do I become whole again in body, mind, and spirit?
I write and speak about how to use mindfulness and yoga wisdom to discover answers to these vexing questions.
It’s not enough to just survive life. After cancer, we deserve to thrive.