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For Everyone Touched By Cancer

With A Cancer Diagnosis It Is Important To Be Inspired And Set Goals

Written by Stanley Beavan on 
7th February, 2022
Updated: 29th January, 2024
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

We all have daily routines, varying degrees of work, social and family commitments and often the pace of life keeps us busy, it’s easy to lurch from one day to the next, absorbed in what we are doing with our lives.

A Cancer diagnosis can suddenly throw that day to day stability into absolute chaos, a ’curve ball’ from nowhere, the news of which is difficult to process internally. You will ask yourself, ‘How can this be happening to me?’ and ‘Surely cancer is something other people go through?’………’Will I die?’…..’How do I urgently resolve this?’

Cancer has this long-standing perception of what people think it is, a stigma, that other people now attach to you.

Your new predicament can quickly become a burden of pressure that no one else grasps to the same degree of thinking as your mindset. You are now thrust into a process of medical consultations, invasive procedures and tests, sometimes stark news and total disruption to the life you experienced prior to this life-changing news.

It is important to take a long deep breath, draw on your inner character, past experiences where you have been strong and warrior-like or positive and adopt a focus of playing to your strength of character. Start building an armoury of weapons you will need over the next chapter of your life, starting with a strong network around you, be it family, friends, support groups. You really have to see this as a challenge and a challenge you are still in and have an opportunity to win despite what you are told. You must give this your best shot.

Everybody’s cancer is different.

Each at varying stages of progression, with a whole variety of treatments and drugs but ultimately you need to be in control of it not the other way around.

Don’t focus on the possible outcomes if there is still fighting to be done, no matter how slim you think your chances are, if you live at least one more day than you thought you would then you are winning, especially for the people around you.

In my own experience at the age of 43, I was diagnosed with an aggressive stage IV Cancer, bowel cancer already spread extensively to the liver in the form of 7 tumours, the biggest 5 cm. How had this seemingly crept up on me without warning, threatening to upturn my life? It was inoperable, the news I had been dreading. It takes character but I stood back, adapted my mindset and positively sought to explore every angle to maximise my chances by bolstering my defences with every weapon I would need for the fight ahead.

I wasted no time in formulating a plan, drawing on inner character.

Now on chemotherapy and anti sickness drugs intravenously, I was carefully ensuring every other prescribed tablet of which there were many, were taken at exactly at the right intervals, I wasn’t going to miss one. When I was told about a drug by a friend, which I hadn’t been prescribed by my medical team, I pushed my oncologist to see if I was eligible and surprisingly I was (if you don’t ask….you don’t get!). It was an antibody-drug and I started having that intravenously too. There is often more out there than you think there is!

In addition to maximising my medical offering I was told about a cancer nutritionist by another friend, to be precise a Functional Medicine practitioner who I thought would be a good addition to the frontline armoury in my battle. We were now going to starve cancer cells of their food sources, addressing my diet imbalances and introducing another great weapon in the battle – Turmeric. Whether you believe in the anti-cancer properties of this brightly coloured powder, I was taking it into my system heated in curries with black pepper to help the absorption into the system. My new advisor had a Fellowship in Integrative Cancer and through her advice I boosted my immune system during chemo, becoming an expert in my blood statistics /data and prepared my body before and after invasive treatments.

With A Cancer Diagnosis It Is Important To Be Inspired And Set Goals

My scans were getting better and better.

I looked forward to my chemo sessions and carried on working, hoping my strategy would work and that my liver would one day become operable. That day came and I had a successful operation at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham and amazingly the cells removed from my body had already been destroyed. Then the news got better, so had the primary cancer in the bowel. I was overjoyed along with my medical team and then came the news that I had, against the odds, made a full recovery with no remaining signs of the disease.

I put my recovery down to a positive mental attitude, a diet that enhanced my health in order to cope with the medical invasions as well as deter the growth of the cancer cells, a strong support network, maximising the medical element, experts, distraction in finding things to look forward to and always a focus on beating the cancer and surviving.

I recall when I was first diagnosed, wishing there was a book that would have inspired me, I didn’t find one so decided to write one. Its is called 'The Complete Response: From Stage 4 Cancer to Full Recovery'

I think it is important to be inspired, set goals and drive the process.

Whilst changing things like diet can be difficult, in our current day and age there are plenty of alternatives. I took out cow dairy products for example replacing them with goat and ewe products, replacing things like processed coco with raw cacao and refined sugar with agave syrup and coconut sugar.

Some of the medical processes can be daunting but adapting your mind to look forward to them or challenging yourself to rise above the pain is important.

Ultimately you have to drive the pace of the process, ignore the stigma of Cancer and stay hugely positive keeping strong for those around you and for your own emotions and sanity. I am a strong believer that changes in eating habits have a massively positive impact on cancer too.

Thoughtful gifts for bowel cancer patients

Further reading

Cancer Patient Nutrition – Navigating The Nonsense after a Diagnosis

What To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer (And What Not To Say)

Cancer Caregivers Need To Take Care Of Themselves Too!

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