Mindset Tool: Re-Framing This Experience 

So much of getting through treatment is a challenge of the mind. 

Yes, there are undoubtedly very unpleasant physical components to treatment. But for me, the biggest test was mustering the strength day after day to go thought the physical and psychological ups and down, as well as adjusting to this weird new reality. 

So I did everything everything in my power to re-frame and “high vibe” the experience to make it all a bit more bearable (thanks Emma Cannon – friend and mentor – for the encouragement).

Listen, this WAS NOT me bypassing the shit show that is cancer. It’s lonely, traumatic, monotonous, anxiety-inducing…

But working on my mental attitude and my outlook was my way of managing cancer as best I could, to take out some of the fear I had, and to confront this chapter of my life with as much zeal and self-affirmation as I could muster.

Here’s some of the stuff that I found helpful:

Toxic chemicals  VS. Medicine made from flowers and nature

I rejected the idea that toxic chemicals were being pumped into my body, and instead re-framed chemo as medicine, lots of which are powered by plants (YES. Loads of chemotherapy drugs are extracted from plants! Look up which plant is looking after you right now! It radically shifted my relationship with chemo knowing that many of the drugs were produced by fungi compounds and periwinkle flowers.

Battle against cancer VS. Healing my body back to health

I rejected all war language. I didn’t regard my body being in a battle, I didn’t like envisioning an enemy in my ranks, I don’t subscribe to the idea that people “loose” or “win” when it comes to navigating cancer. Instead, I tried to position my experience as a healing journey, getting my body (& soul) back to health and balance.

Chemo day VS. Dressing up day

Every chemo day, I dressed up and wore a great outfit. It made it more fun and uplifting.

Night before chemo anxiety VS. Pre-chemo ritual, involving lots of bouji spoils

In truth, I was never able to eradicate the pre-chemo nerves, but a nice dinner out in a pretty frock and wig did help ease things somewhat.

Horrible medicines VS. Put them in a lovely box

All those medications the hospital give you to take home are so overwhelming. And there’s so many. I made a comprehensive meds schedule, pinned it up, and then put all the meds in a pretty shoe box (A Gucci one for me! You can buy different ones on eBay!)

Cry and freak out when being injected with mustard gas VS. Sing “Mean Mr Mustard” by The Beatles to undermine it

Literally, ANYTHING to withstand the fact that I was being administered a torture gas that’s used at war… Really had to pull out the stops here and get creative!

So much of getting through treatment is mindset. 

So, I invite you to ask yourself:  what can you do to elevate your experience, even by 1%? What re-frames can you create to make it more bearable? What light can you let in when it feels dark? 

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