In the four years since diagnosis I’ve changed in body, mind and spirit. It didn’t happen overnight and some changes were conscious and some not. Bodily ones are the most obvious and what people see when they hear you have bladder cancer. Here are some examples:
- My hair – which surprises those who expect chemo to involve hair loss. Luckily intravesical chemo – that’s administered and contained within the bladder – affects the bladder not the entire system.
- Weight loss – shedding a little surplus weight means I feel more at home in my body.
- Muscle tone – has built up through yoga and I am stronger than I’ve ever been.
- Skin– has cleared through cutting out sugar and increasing vegetable and fruit intake.
Small changes make a difference and add up. We don’t see the flower growing from a seed day to day but one day it’s unfurling a leaf and another the stem is taller and finally the flower is there as if it’s always been there. Consciously making healthy changes can be daunting but there are ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed:
- Be gentle with yourself focus on one or two things at once.
- Make changes that have an impact- get a bit more sleep, move more reduce sugar and processed foods or eat more fruit and veggies.
- Strive to feel better. Nothing motivates like success and feeling better.
- Tweak your daily routine in small ways and you’ll see that doing it every or most days adds up quickly.
Ultimately, we don’t exactly know what makes a difference to cancer coming or going. But we can get a better feeling about what makes a difference to our personal health and happiness. I’m convinced that the happier and healthier I am the less hospitable my body is to cancer. And if it does return my body, mind and spirit are as fit and strong as possible to deal with it.