When you have Chinese food, do you open up your fortune cookie and get some fortune that makes no sense whatsoever? I bet that has happened to you more than not! But every now and then, we get one that somehow has significant meaning and the timing of it is perfect!
That happened to me last week! But instead of one, I got two that had meaning to me both as a cancer coach. They made me think of what I can impart to others as a resource.
The fortune in the first one read"Engage in group activities that further transformation." Wow! I couldn't believe that was what it said. I thought about what I am doing as a coach, offering workshops to hospitals and other organizations that work with cancer patients. Why? To share what I have developed to aid other cancer patients in having a life that is as close to "normal" as possible. It is about helping people transform from the negative feelings they have and turning that energy around and begin thriving.
That fortune also had other meaning to me as well. My suggestion to anyone who is dealing with cancer is to find a support group, whether local or national. By being part of a community with others dealing with the same issues, we can gain inspiration to fight harder and become the warrior we can be! Remember the adage - "there is strength in numbers". Do not isolate. Find a support group and take an active role. Not only might you learn something. You may be helping another patient just like yourself. And wouldn't that make you feel good?
I opened my second cookie and this was that fortune - "Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it." What this means to me is that we cannot be reactive, we need to be proactive. That may seem difficult when you are overwhelmed with a cancer diagnosis. But there are ways we can take control of what our journey will be.
One way to steer your ship is to educate yourself as much as possible about the journey you are starting. Ask questions of your medical team about your staging, your prognosis, the effects of any treatment. Do research on what resources are available with regards to finances, travel, research. Secondly, learn to advocate for yourself if you need something. Do not be afraid that you are being a burden. When you are in control of these things, you will feel better about what's ahead. Some of the fear and anxiety will abate. Again, this will help you return to some sense of normalcy. Lastly, practicing self-care is very important. Find things to do to help remain physically, emotionally and spiritually strong. Exercise, eat well, get enough rest and sleep, remain strong in your faith and be as social as possible. All of these will help you form the basis of a toolbox you can use to overcome the day-to-day obstacles we face as cancer patients.
Were these fortunes in "my" cookies for a reason? I believe so. They were there to tell me to remain proactive and continue to talking to groups. I will continue to find ways to share my program with as many as I can. I am not throwing these fortunes away. They are taped to my laptop. There they will serve as a reminder to follow my calling and be the best coach I can be.