In Step 2 in this series we went deeper into our unconscious beliefs, assumptions and feelings about our bodies and how we relate to life and death. We now have a better understanding of how to spend much more time living and much less dying. This dials up the joy and gratitude levels in our lives, and actually is crucial to living as healthy and vibrant beings for as long as possible.
If you need to go back and review that step or you missed it, here is the link: Cancer – From Fear And Chaos To Calmness And Clarity, Step 2
And in case you missed or need to review Step 1, here is the link: Cancer – From Fear And Chaos To Calmness And Clarity, Step 1
Now on to today’s breakthrough:
A major problem with being diagnosed with cancer is that for most of us it feels like an absolute death sentence. It is easy for us to feel like we have been transferred to death row by some cruel fate. This feeling is natural and normal even if the doctor does not say, “Your cancer is terminal. There is no cure.” There is so much of that language around cancer in the background of the culture that it is nearly inevitable that our unconscious minds hear statements like that.
On top of that, we are usually confronted with a bewildering and chaotic pile of choices and options. We encounter this messy and frightening pile, laced with uncertainty long before we have time to prepare for it.
It is easy to see why this almost always puts us into a state of fear and chaos. There really isn’t any way to know for sure which choices will lead to the specific outcomes we want.
Depression and resentment often are layered on top of the fear and chaos.
This is hardly a place from which to manage the complex process of overcoming cancer or a place from which we can make our most empowered decisions.
Before we talk about how to transition to calm and clarity, I want to add one more challenging factor. (Might as well get them all into the light of day, right?)
To understand this additional factor, let’s look at a typical scenario:
We are waiting in the doctor’s office to hear the results of a diagnostic procedure. Of course, at this point, we are anxious, vulnerable and usually fearful. The doctor comes in and tell us, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer.”
At this point, our bodies contract, tighten up, we may feel faint, or even experience numbness or a cold sweat. Even if we felt relatively well before the doctor told us that, we no longer do.
What really happened?
If you stop to think about it, nothing of real significance changed biologically between the time before the doctor came in to give us the news and the time immediately after we heard the diagnosis. Yet we feel completely different, and not for the better.
When there is a diagnosis of cancer, in most cases the cancer has been growing for many years. For example, breast cancer often takes more than 8 years from the time the first few cancer cells coalesce into a tumor and start growing and the time they are discovered.
Nothing much has really changed, physiologically or biologically. So why the HUGE change in how we feel?
Diagnosis Shock! That is Dr. Mei’s term for the phenomena, and I have never found a better one. Dr. Mei is a world-class healer and expert in Chinese Traditional Medicine, who in a very short time taught me a great deal. Dr. Mei taught me that when we hear the words, “You have cancer…” our bodies literally go into a form of shock. From that moment forward if we don’t take steps to discharge the diagnosis shock and heal that emotional and spiritual trauma, it will be all too easy to begin dying instead of living.
At this point most of us go numb, and we often don’t even hear anything else the doctor may say.
It is essential to recognize Diagnosis Shock and to reverse it. We need to do this as soon as possible after any serious or frightening diagnosis. This is because, not only does it suck the joy right out of life, but it suppresses the immune system.
As if that weren’t bad enough it also increases overall fear, contaminates our minds and hearts with dread. Diagnosis Shock destroys the very clarity we need to begin sorting through the options and making empowered choices.
Not only do I recommend being on the look-out for diagnosis shock, I suggest we need to anticipate and even expect it. That way, we are prepared to deal with it right away. The sooner the better!
The first step that I recommend is to simply acknowledge the shock and the fear. Efforts to resist it through force of will do not work.
As soon as possible after you have gotten the diagnosis and whatever information goes with it that you need, leave the office. Go outside. That office is now contaminated with energetic toxins and it will be very difficult to discharge the energy that causes Diagnosis Shock while you are still in the office.
Instead, take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose as deeply as you can. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Then slowly release the breath through your mouth. As you release your breath shape your lips into a small “O” as if you were going to whistle.
Repeat the breathing technique a couple more times.
Now, notice where in your body you feel the physical sensation of the Diagnosis Shock. If you check in with your body you will notice a location where the sensation is strongest. Most likely it will be a feeling of tightness, or maybe even aching.
Most of us have typical places where we experience the sensations when these very strong emotions come up. In my case, I usually either feel tightness in my lower abdominal area, or a soreness in the front of my throat. But we are all different, and the physical sensations can even migrate to different locations in the body.
There is no need at this point to try to release the feeling or to “fix” anything. That is not likely to work, anyway.
Instead we need to be a bit more subtle in our approach. Notice the area. Feel how it feels. Now take another deep breath in through your nose and hold it for a few seconds. When you are ready, release your breath slowly through your mouth. This time as you exhale, imagine that your breath is traveling through your body to the place where you felt the sensation of tightness or pain. Imagine that your breath is exiting your body from that place and taking any stress, tightness or pain with it.
This works similarly to many physical detox methods, except in this case we are detoxing harmful emotions instead of harmful substances.
Repeat this breathing technique until you notice a significant decrease in the physical discomfort. If you start to get light-headed, pause and just breathe normally for a few minutes. Resume when ready and repeat as needed.
If you want to make this even more powerful, try imagining that your out-going breath as you exhale is a beam of bright green laser light. (German medical and scientific research confirms that bright green laser light is among the most healing forms of light known. And our minds do not really differentiate much between imagined laser light and actual laser light.)
As a final step, remind yourself that 5 minutes before the doctor walked in to give you the “bad news”, in all likelihood the cancer had been growing for years. And after the diagnosis, the cancer did not suddenly grow a whole lot more. So the risk did not increase, your real health did not suddenly decline – not much really changed. So there really is not an insurmountable reason to feel worse.
It may seem like the breathing exercise described above is too simple to be effective. But I have found that when I use it, it works. In fact, it works for lots of challenging areas of life. And the more I use it the more powerful and effective it becomes.
Of course, there are many other resources to help undo diagnosis shock, discharge harmful emotions and more. EFT or emotional freedom technique is one of my favorites. I will be sharing more about these resources in future blogs.
I have several more simple, practical recommendations to help you in your journey from Fear and Chaos to Calmness and Clarity:
1. Always take a trusted friend or family member with you to any medical appointments having to do with cancer. They are there for support as well as to help you manage the appointment, (see below.)
2. Spend time with your support person before the appointment, creating a list of questions you want to cover. They should have that in a binder or on a clipboard so they can check them off as they are addressed, record the answers, and bring them into focus in case they are being missed.
3. Put issues and concerns on that list, as well.
4. Plan on a debrief session with your support person when you return home from the appointment.
5. Keep ALL your reports, documents, etc. in one place where they are easy to find. I recommend using a 3-ring binder and keeping them in chronological order, with the newest at the front of the binder.
Remind yourself frequently that you have options. You have choices. Do not try to aim for certainty. When it comes to most of the important aspects of our lives there is no real certainty. To the extent that we can learn to not only accept that but to also embrace it, our power and strength is increased and our fear and anxiety is minimized.
If your case is complex and you are finding it difficult to sort through and choose the options that seem best to you, consider working with an experienced cancer coach. That can make a world of difference. Not only that, but an experienced cancer coach, who has successfully helped lots of people before you, is likely to have resources and options to share with you that you otherwise might not find.
I hope you have found real value in this series of 3 blogs, “Cancer – From Fear And Chaos To Calmness And Clarity”, Steps 1, 2, and 3.
I have been coaching, guiding and supporting people in their journey from cancer back to health for more than 2 decades. I have a great many proven methods and resources to bring to this work. I am also a pretty serious “research junky” so I am usually on the leading edge when it comes to anything new in the world of cancer options. If I can help you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
To your great health!