The Mind is a Powerful Thing

Having cancer imposes a tough challenge on us and raises at least one big question. Can we take control of the situation and get on with our lives? That depends on many things, not the least of which is the severity of the illness of course. I can only speak from my experience, which is currently responding well to immunotherapy treatment for malignant melanoma after eight rounds of single drug treatment with Nivolumab.

As time goes by I consider myself to be very lucky and to have had very good treatment, so that I am able to lead a very normal life. Doing that has given me the motivation to really embrace positivity, a definite move to the “glass is half full” rather than the “glass is half empty” outlook.

I suppose when cancer first rears it’s head it’s like you’re getting a big shock, and then as you come to terms with it and find that the treatment you’re getting is working in your favour, you might realise you have a second chance to look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. In actual fact you might have the opportunity to see how you can make your life better than it was believe it or not.

The start point for this, as in any setback, is to consider what philosophers have stated for centuries that “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it, that makes the difference”

You can have determination, because that is up to you, and within your control, as to what you do and how you do it.

You can start from where you are right now, not looking back on what you used to be. You can tell yourself you’re doing your best, you can have compassion for yourself rather than self criticism, you can celebrate little wins in your life as you make progress, you can have an outlook that is to find the positive in situations and people, and turn away from negativity. If you tell yourself you want to do this you can do it.

The popular term to use would be Go with the flow – in other words see any challenge, no matter how mundane, as an opportunity to achieve something when you tackle it. If you look to have a good end result from every task you take on, the chances are you will, and that feelgood factor is important in keeping you positive and on the front foot.

In my experience you can get a sense of peacefulness and calm from adopting a positive mindset, which really helps with keeping you grounded as you continue to deal with your illness. Without being blasé it helps to keep your illness in the background not the foreground. That gives you much more control of your life I would suggest.

  • <p>Hi &nbsp;<a class="internal-link view-user-profile" href="/members/secret-agent">Secret Agent</a></p> <p>Thankyou, I&#39;m glad you found it of value. Best wishes for you.</p>
  • <p>Tim,</p> <p>This is a very inspiring message and positive responses. It sure has given me a lot of food for thought.</p> <p>Blue heartPray tone1Cherry blossom</p>
  • <p>Hi&nbsp;<span>&nbsp;</span><a class="internal-link view-user-profile" href="/members/floody">floody</a></p> <p>Thankyou for reading and commenting. I think that&#39;s a great philosophy for you to adopt. You never really know how you&#39;ll react until something like this actually happens, but in my experience it really gives you the chance to re-evaluate everything, and maybe in a bizarre way that&#39;s quite liberating. I&#39;m sure there are better prompts to make you do that than getting this illness of course, but the fact is we do have it and we have the power to choose how we react. So I&#39;m with you, that fights and battles are not terms I&#39;d describe for myself, but adopting a positive mindset&nbsp;is really beneficial in coping and living well. I think you can make that transition to positive thinking very quickly too, I read a lot of articles and philosophies on the subject, none which were connected with cancer, but it enabled me to apply it to these circumstances very well. I&#39;m very pleased it works for you too</p>
  • <p>Hi&nbsp;<span>&nbsp;</span><a class="internal-link view-user-profile" href="/members/buttercup01">buttercup01</a></p> <p>That&#39;s a very good observation! I guess we all are in a way, or at least our bodies are fighting cancer, but I never actively think I am, or tell anyone I am, &nbsp;because it doesn&#39;t feel like that to me. To me it&#39;s part of my life now, I have to live my life knowing that, and trying to do what I can within my control to support my treatment and help myself to live as normally as anyone else, through diet, exercise, lifestyle, mental attitude. For me it&#39;s accepting it and not letting it take over everything!</p>
  • <p>Hi&nbsp;<a class="internal-link view-user-profile" href="/members/hello-24">Hello 24</a></p> <p>Thankyou for your kind comment, please stay positive. I&#39;ve had all the emotions like everyone else, and it&#39;s easy to see nothing but the bad side from this illness. But if you can, spend more time on anything else that interests you, explore some new stuff, and whilst you can&#39;t and shouldn&#39;t forget about it, focus more on those other things that give you interest and pleasure and it will be easier to live with overall. You&#39;re so right that each day is an opportunity to start again. To think like that is very uplifting.</p>