Completed By Cancer
December 8, 2019
BY MISSY BEAVERS
Willie has completed another round of chemo.
This time it was a very low dose variety that he tolerated really well. It didn’t knock his white blood cell count down so there wasn’t as great of an infection risk as he’s had with other kinds of chemo. (Yay!)
The plan was to do this maintenance chemo, then receive a white blood cell infusion from his original donor on December 4th. We got a call on the 3rd saying that the timing didn’t match up for the donor infusion so it was delayed.
I laughed with the nurse when we chatted on the phone and she said, “We’re not superstitious around here, but his donor cell infusion has been moved to Friday the 13th!”
We’re not superstitious either, but I've been laughing about the timing on this.
I am in constant awe of the things I am learning from this experience and the person it is turning me in to.
A year ago, I had a strong impression that I needed to grow. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and we own a health food store where I see clients and live the dream of practicing nutrition all day long. When I had this feeling in the end of 2018, I couldn’t identify what it meant or what direction I should go. I spent weeks in this feeling and concluded the growth needed to benefit my business and myself.
Through a series of divine interventions, I ended up in an Integrative Life Coach training which has been revolutionary for me! I have learned how to manage my mind and thoughts in order to find peace and joy in every circumstance.
I thought I was doing this training to benefit my clients, but God knew I would need the training to get me through Willie’s relapse in August.
Divine timing is the BEST!
Recently, I’ve been having some really fun conversations with clients and working in my group program on how to stop doing a negative behavior. It could be overeating, complaining, gossiping, addiction, etc.
It’s human nature to beat ourselves up each time we do the thing we wish we hadn’t.
In the example of overeating, our thoughts may become:
“I hate myself for eating a whole cake.”
“I’m NEVER doing that again!”
“I am so gross!”
“Why do I keep doing this?”
“I don’t know how to change!”
None of these thoughts create a positive feeling so that leads to a negative action and we end up with a negative result! Then we go right back to the negative behavior and the cycle starts all over again.
There is a simple fix to this viscous cycle and it is to simply acknowledge the experience you've had with that behavior as something that you have done enough times and no longer need to do. The thought changes to “I have had enough overeating to last a lifetime. I know EXACTLY what it’s like to feel sick, bloated, embarrassed, and angry at myself for eating too much. I am complete with the experience I’ve had and no longer need to feel those feelings anymore.”
What a game changer this is!
There is no shame in this acknowledgement, it’s simply an accounting of feelings you have felt and an understanding that you have felt them enough.
The next step is my favorite! You then can re-write the story by finding something to be excited about as you move away from the negative behavior. In keeping with our example, it may look something like this: “I have had enough overeating to last a lifetime and I am complete with that experience. I am excited to move forward with confidence that I can eat all the foods I like in appropriate portions.”
I challenged my clients to create a list of things they are done with in one column, and in the opposite column they would write what they are excited to do.
I never ask anyone to do something without participating in it myself so I started my own list and had a very interesting experience.
As I sat, pondering and praying over the things I am ready to move away from, I had a thought as clear as day come up in my mind.
I am done with cancer!
I have experienced enough grief, fear, sadness, terror, anxiety, loneliness, uncertainty, injustice, and tears to last a lifetime. I am complete with the depth of the experience I have had and no longer need to live in any of those emotions.
So I let them go.
The only reason I continue to suffer from the circumstance we are in is because of my thoughts and feelings about it.
It has nothing to do with the actual cancer!
But, I obviously can’t let the cancer go so how do I flip it to create excitement?
What could possibly be exciting about cancer?
I asked myself these questions and listened quietly as God taught me a fabulous lesson.
The second column of my paper looked like this:
I am excited to be present and experience the full range of emotions that cancer brings with it. I am excited for every additional moment I am given to celebrate life with my husband and son. I am EXCITED to see Willie smile as he plays with our son and live in gratitude for that exact moment without looking forward or backward. I am excited to see the people we are becoming and discover what God has planned for our family.
It’s all exciting!
When I think this way, I am free from the burden of continuing to experience the heavy, painful emotions that come along with any trial. I’ve experienced them for 7 years and I am completely fine if I never feel them again!
I love this process of mental work because it is what our Savior also offers to us. When we are ready and willing to hand over whatever burden we have shouldered for long enough, He will take it from us so we never have to feel it again.
I rejoice with Isaiah when he said:
“Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows.”
What’s more exciting than that?
I’m grateful for this Christmas season to celebrate the birth, life and mission of my Savior Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate source of strength, guidance and hope that allows me to walk through the negative thoughts, feelings and trials of a cancer relapse with grace and faith.
We appreciate the prayers and kind wishes that continue to flow toward us and pray for each of you in your individual trials. I hope you all feel the JOY and LOVE that fills this holiday season and find excitement in moving away from the negative things you have completed!