When told you have breast cancer, life as we know it changes drastically, and how to get back to what life was, can be seemingly be out of reach. Trite as it may sound, cancer truly is a life-changing event. Often, someone who has weathered a cancer diagnosis comes through treatment much stronger — and ready for change. At 43, Sue was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer and told she’d need a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Treatment began immediately. Coming round after the surgery, she remembers lying in bed and reflecting on her existence. “I thought to myself: ‘ My life is so out of balance’,” she says. “That was the first stage of realisation.” Sue saw a holistic doctor at Penny Brohn UK , who encouraged her to look at her work-life balance and to think, for the first time, about the impact of stress. “He asked me: ‘What do you enjoy doing?’” she recalls. “It was a light bulb moment. I had so lost myself, I honestly didn’t even know what gave me pleasure any more.”
Rebecca’s battle with breast cancer started in the summer of 2014 when she discovered some lumps that were initially identified as menopausal cysts. After seeking a second opinion, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy soon after. Rebecca says, “I had to really think past the disease, especially with the chemo. I had to think of it as a temporary solution. Something that would make me better and allow me to get back my fitness and strength back so I could do what I wanted to do.” “I really do believe that everything happens for a reason, that sounds silly but having cancer really made me reevaluate my life. It made me think I needed to slow down and appreciate things. You have a completely different perspective when you go through something like that. You need to keep focused and my way of doing that was exercise.”
If you’re a typical cancer survivor, you have a sense of “forward propulsion” that comes out of the experience, a sense that the sickness, was perhaps one of your greatest motivators. And, with some patience and planning, the end of your cancer story could be a happy one, complete with more meaningful relationships and perhaps a new career.
The Bristol Whole Life Approach, recognises that cancer affects every aspect of our lives . To find out more about the Bristol Whole Life Approach, check out the Penny Brohn website: http://www.pennybrohn.org.uk/what-is-the-penny-brohn-whole-person-approach/or call the helpline: 0845 123 23 10 for more information.
A website that can offer help and ideas for finding a career path forward is Cancer And Careers:https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/at-work/where-to-start Including free guidance from a career coach.