A family shares their cancer struggle.
To see a picture of my family on social media, we look almost perfect. Two beautiful little girls, an athletic, handsome husband, the quintessential golden retriever puppy, and me. Social media is this century’s biggest PR machine. But, social media often doesn’t tell the story behind the photo.
My family is amazing but severely broken. Not only do I continue to recover from a brain injury that occurred five years ago, but my husband, Jeff, was diagnosed in September with esophageal cancer. This is the kind of diagnosis that takes your breath away: a diagnosis that leads me to cry openly walking down the street, because the pain and fear inside is so intense that it is wild and uncontrollable.
By the time his cancer was detected, he had a six-centimeter tumor that had spread to his stomach and surrounding lymph nodes. If you were to search online for his prognosis, you would understand why we are so terrified.
Every time we look at the girls, our hearts break for them. They are 6 and 8 years old. They know their Daddy has cancer, but we have kept the outlook very positive for them. We don’t want to burden them with worries about the struggle their hero is facing as his treatment begins — to fight like he has never fought before to save his life. To live to see them graduate elementary school, high school, university, to walk them down the aisle at their weddings and to meet our grandchildren — there is still so much ahead of us.
So, how do we cope? First of all, there will be a lot of days we probably won’t. We will be hanging by a thread, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I have no idea what we are in for. Support will be key for us. It’s amazing to see your neighbors, as well as family and friends, step up in a big way.
I believe that to stay strong, we need to dig deeper into mindfulness. We have to stay here, in this moment, to be focused and make the best decisions as well as to not let future fears take hold. Continue to work throughout this journey. Continue to take on new clients. Your mind needs to stay focused on regular life from time to time. Keep working to support your family.
I am continuing to share with my executive coaching clients the tools around mindfulness that I am using myself. I believe the fact that I am balancing everything I have going on in my life right now is a testament to the power of mindfulness. I am approaching my coaching work with a slightly different attitude. I am pushing my clients harder.
This journey shines a light on the preciousness of life and making every moment count. We really don’t have time to be complacent in our work and in our lives. My husband’s cancer can serve as a reminder to all of us that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Next time you are on Facebook or Twitter and see a photo of someone having the time of their lives on the beach or getting that great promotion, remember there is always a story behind the picture. Every person faces a struggle.
Read full article: What A Cancer Diagnosis Teaches You About Life
|Read Full Article: What A Cancer Diagnosis Teaches You About Life|