Who Am I Now?
Who Am I Now?
Those of us who have experienced cancer are forever changed. We now know, to differing degrees, how much our bodies can fail us. We face scanziety, follow up appointments, treatments, side effects, surgeries and more. We also experience going from being, “Lisa, a mom and teacher” to “cancer patient”.
Being ill strips us of our identities, even if we can keep our full time gig (which a bulk of us will not as many folks who get sick have to take time off from working full time or lose their jobs) we have significant differences in our bodies, hairstyles (as in bald and beautiful) and in our relationships. Once you are diagnosed with cancer, some folks treat you differently, some treat you worse and others just drop you or leave you.
In all of this, we have to figure out who we are now – what makes us happy and how to balance our lives become more important than what others think of us and how they treat us – or at least, it should become more important.
Cancer has economic, sociological and psychological effects that impact us in all areas of our lives. Grasping on to what makes us happy and what makes us “us” is a great first step on that long road back to “normal”. And for us, what is normal will not necessarily ever be what it was before diagnosis, and we have to come to peace about that, too.
Start by thinking about what you are NOW – what makes you happy? What are your priorities? If you could design your life from this point on – besides being cancer free – what would you want to see? Envision it, manifest it and stay tuned for the next installment about using your hobbies to achieve balance after cancer.
Lisa Vento Nielsen is an author, speaker and cancer survivor. She is the founder of the nonprofit Balance After Cancer.