Cancer Diagnosis: After The Shock, What Next?

After a cancer diagnosis, you may feel the end is near. But there is good evidence to suggest that you can survive and even thrive. A holistic and integrated approach for healing may be the key.

Cancer diagnosis: Shock and heartbreak

So you have cancer. Or someone close to you does.

You are undoubtedly experiencing all the tumult and turbulence that every person with a cancer diagnosis goes through. Surely, shock, fear, vulnerability, anger, uncertainty and despair swirl about in your mind. Consequently, you may be unable to eat or sleep well; and even feel depressed.

Well, you are not alone. Medical statistics indicate that 1 in 3 people in the Western world will get cancer. (In India, the estimate is 1 in 12 and rising rapidly.)

The cancer statistics are chilling

Given recent medical advances, 50% of those who get cancer will be ‘cured’ i.e. they will survive beyond five years of their diagnosis. This is primarily due to early detection and successful surgery. Hence, one must ask the question: is it enough to rely on medical treatments alone?

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in December 2001. I underwent surgery to remove the entire large intestine. Fortunately, there were No tumour cells in the lymph nodes and there was no metastasis. I was given a choice to undergo chemotherapy or not. I opted for complementary healing treatments instead.

Vijay Bhat and Nilima (his wife and caregiver) decided quite early that remaining a victim was not an option. They investigated the ‘cancer thrivers’ and what they do. Here are some of the key lessons:

  1. An holistic and integrated program can be very effective in returning the body, mind and spirit to health after cancer diagnosis and treatments.
  2. Cancer affects not only the patient but also the family. So healing too has to take them into account.
  3. Further, it is important to reach out for help and equip yourself to deal better with the situation.

Reflection

  • How did you react to the news of your cancer diagnosis?
  • What is your view of illness? Do you see it as a rude and inconvenient obstacle?
  • Review your key lifestyle factors. Are there any changes you feel you can make here?
  • As a caregiver, are you trying to do it all alone? What holds you back from reaching out and asking for help?

Nothing can prepare you for the cancer journey. But advice from someone who has been there and done that can provide valuable guidance. You can watch the Cancer Awakens video series here and read the articles here.

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