4 Keys For Life After Cancer

4 Keys For Life After CancerThis is a guest article by Gabby Mottershead, founder of the site Confidence After Cancer.

When my doctor first delivered the news of my cancer, I remember feeling an icy dread envelop me. A diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer, rare and aggressive, at just age 44. This was not a part of the life I had planned.

Back then I was always busy—working in finance, managing big teams, studying at night school while fulfilling my roles as a wife and mother. I thrived in the hustle and bustle, believing that to be a good person meant sacrificing my own needs for others. Little did I know, I was slowly compromising my health and well-being.

Later, when I was going through the grueling cancer treatments—chemo, surgeries, radiotherapy—I often found myself feeling like a zombie, yearning for a return to my normal life.

However, when I was finally declared cancer-free, I realized I didn’t want to go back to the life that had inadvertently contributed to my illness.

I knew that I had to change, but how?

My life post-cancer was uncharted territory.

How could I care for myself emotionally and physically, and ensure that I led a happy, healthy life going forward? With the threat of recurrence hanging over my head, I decided to take control of my life. It was time to learn, change, and grow.

4 Keys For Life After Cancer

Below, I want to share with you the four key pillars that guided my journey of rebuilding my life after cancer. If you find yourself feeling lost or stuck after your treatment ends, I hope my experiences will inspire and help you find your path forward.

1. Prioritize Self-Care: The Cornerstone of Post-Cancer Recovery

One of the most significant lessons from my cancer journey was the realization that I had to learn to put myself first. As women, we often prioritize others before ourselves. But to heal, to truly recover from the trauma of cancer, we must learn that self-care is not selfish, it’s essential.

This can be a challenge. After all, life can get so busy, we can sometimes feel like hamsters on a wheel. If we are not careful we can go, almost mindlessly, through life, doing, working, giving, helping, teaching, showing up for people loving and caring. It’s so easy to get used to just running on empty. 

But you must remember to do self care in the same way that you remember to eat to to fill up. Similarly, you must remember to fuel your own heart. I know that may sound a bit woo woo… but I believe we’re all spiritual beings. And so we all need to look after ourselves on so many different levels. After all, you’ve only got one life. (Unless you’re a Buddhist, and you believe we’re going to come back!).

But my point is simple: We’ve all got limited time on this planet. And so you need to be good to yourself.

Also, please remember self care goes beyond an occasional bubble bath. It’s also about setting boundaries, taking time out for ourselves, and ensuring we’re not always running on empty.

2. Formulate a Personal Health and Wellness Plan

The second pillar of rebuilding life post-cancer is having a plan. Upon embarking on my wellness journey, I was initially overwhelmed with conflicting advice on diet, exercise, stress management, and more. At this point, I’m a health coach and I have adopted simple routines and habits.

But I want you to keep in mind that when it comes to nutrition different people recommend so many different things. Some say to go vegan. Other say to go keto.  So I’m not going to recommend a particular health plan for you. I believe it’s up to you to choose which healthy habits work best for you – then try to adopt a health plan that you can make a regular lifestyle habit.

Plus you need to be gentle with yourself with this health plan. After all, you will have times when you fall off the wagon and don’t eat well. Be sure to let go of your guilt quickly – and just try to move forward in a healthy way.

3. Boost Your Energy Levels: A Fundamental Key to Post-Cancer Life

The third key to navigating post-cancer life is rejuvenating your energy. If you’ve been living under the strain of cancer, your energy reserves are likely drained. Now, it’s time to replenish them.

Consider this: Your body is an amazing regenerative machine. It instinctively heals a cut on your finger without any conscious direction. This same healing power extends to your entire body, continuously renewing itself. In fact, we essentially have a ‘new’ body every seven years.

Regardless of past health problems, the potential for renewal and vitality is ever-present. However, you may need to shift your mindset. If you see your cells as old or irreparable, it’s time to adopt a new outlook towards your rejuvenated self. Your body can be as young, vibrant, and vital as ever, with cells full of energy and life.

By focusing on activities that enhance your vitality—nutrition, exercise, stress management, or mindset shifts—you set the stage for a healthier, more vibrant future. Remember, you are not just a survivor but a constantly renewing being with the potential for an energetic and vibrant post-cancer life.

4. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help: A Sign of Strength in Post-Cancer Journey

The fourth and final pillar is asking for help. This may be new territory for many, particularly if you’ve always been the ‘strong one’. However, seeking help when you need it is a sign of great inner strength. Finding a guide, someone who has walked this path before, can be a game-changer in your post-cancer journey. With this in mind, I can support you as a post-caner mentor in a range of ways.

>>> Please visit my site for post-cancer courses and coaching – here.

I hope you embrace these four pillars as key strategies to reshape your life after cancer. You’ve overcome the formidable challenge of cancer. Now it’s time to move forward, building a healthier, more fulfilling life on your own terms.

ABOUT GABBY: I’m Gabrielle Mottershead, known as Gabby,  wellness coach, author & cancer thriver. I show people how to take back their health & power. I’m also the founder the life improving course Confidence after Cancer.

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