On the cancer journey, there are times when you may feel you want to give up. My guest today, Bill Potts, a five-time cancer survivor, proposes another option – gear up for the fight instead.
Advocate for yourself as best you can and bring your medical team into the fold.
I’ve always said what you do and how much you do (of treatment) is up to you. You don’t have to do a treatment just because it’s “advised” or “recommended”. You should do it because you feel it will help you.
If you don’t want to do a treatment protocol, bring your medical team into your world, tell them why you don’t want to and ask if there is any other protocol. If you’re not satisfied with the answer, seek a second or third, or tenth opinion. Whatever it takes to feel good about your treatment plan.
Being happy (enough) vs. toxic positivity.
There is a really big difference between being open and honest and being toxically positive. Being open, honest, and authentic means you know what information to share, who, and when to share it. Toxic positivity is pushing your emotions away and not fully acknowledging what is happening.
Going through cancer treatment is hard. No one will dispute that. But there is life all around you, see the beauty in it, in the small things, even if vicariously.
Physical activity and nutrition for the win!
There may be days when you don’t feel up for the fight, but being moderately active and eating well can be great ways to practice self-care, and help you adopt a better mindset. I expounded on the gifts of physical activity in my last episode (59) on the Hallmarks of a Life Well-Lived – Physical Activity. One of the benefits is the endorphins released and resulting mental health benefits.
“You can set small goals to achieve a big one.”Bill C. Potts
Nutrition works hand-in-hand with exercise to nourish your body and mind, and help you feel stronger too. Nutrition is so important and plays such a big role in total body wellness I devoted the first of the Hallmarks of a Life Well-Lived to nutrition (episode 58).
Having a purpose and doing work you love.
Having a reason to wake up and be up for the fight on a daily basis is a pillar in my formula for a life well-lived. It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have! If your purpose involves making the world a better place, in any way, that’s the best work.
When Bill talked about working at the Clearwater Acquarium, I was amazed and delighted to hear every story (okay, many stories). Some made me cry, some made me laugh, all warmed my heart and made me want to find work where I could have similar experiences. I hope one day I find it. And you find it. And we make the world a better place, one without cancer.
Here are some of my favorite moments from this episode:
- 2:36 When you get the unexpected.
- 3:32 Turning pain into purpose.
- 6:17 Being the most educated patient you can be.
- 9:00 Advocating for yourself.
- 12:58 Being happy enough.
- 21:42 Money can’t buy you a cure, but it can buy you memories.
- 29:23 Live to 93!
- 34:12 The importance of staying fit and eating well.
- 42:01 The BEST job in the world!
- 51:57 Langiappe!
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Up for the Fight by Bill C. Potts
- The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist
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If you’re stressed about what to eat check out episode 34 with Cathy Leman, RD, or episode 35 where I talk about food rules vs. food values. Episode 19 and episode 30 were about balancing components of an anti-cancer lifestyle. Episodes 25, 31, and 32 were about helping you find ways to heal your soul through Reiki and healing touch, writing, and art therapy. Funny episode 16 with Dr. Shari Fox.