The ABC's of Coping
Always get checkups. Accept the fact that there is a medical timetable that is part of your existence.
Buy something special. Work on a specific goal each month, accomplish it, then get something you want. You are worth the investment.
Count your blessings. Focus on the positive aspects of your life. Be thankful you are still alive to experience each day.
Dream. The cancer experience can be a catalyst for change, the opportunity to be transformed. Dreams can become a reality if we follow our hearts.
Emotions fuel your existence. Actively dealing with the emotional fallout surrounding the diagnosis improves our outlook. Embrace your emotions as a vital part of who you are.
Find your place. Contentment and satisfaction with who we are and what we have become is something to strive for daily.
Generate friendships. Locate and associate with people who have your best interests at heart. True friends are with you through the good times as well as the bad.
Hit home runs. Find your zone and don't turn back. Move forward. As you do, you will grow and move in different directions, always ahead.
Insights are rewards for hard work. Moving toward a deeper understanding about yourself builds a foundation upon which you can become firmly grounded.
Justify actions. Making good choices when in doubt can only be accomplished by sticking to priorities and doing what feels right. Confidence will follow.
Keep a journal. Reviewing your emotional and medical history will help you understand where you've been. This information can be very useful in planning your future.
Learn from past experiences. A willingness to take an honest look at the cancer experience from intellectual and emotional angles enables you to accept your mortality and reach new levels of understanding.
Master each moment. Each minute that we live is a privilege. Make the most of the living part of your life, day by day and moment by moment.
Never say never. Any task can be accomplished with determination and commitment. Anything is possible and attainable in a life span.
Open doors. Widen your horizons. Examine your interests and priorities. Life is full of opportunities if you are willing to participate.
Pause. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you need a break from the stress of everyday life.
Quietly contemplate. Time to reflect on life's journey without interruption is important. Work it into your daily schedule.
Reshuffle your priorities. Quality of life improves as you recognize what is important for your well being and incorporate it into your routine.
Share what you have learned with others. Communicating personal experiences and insights with another creates growth and lasting relationships, which are the very essence of life.
Trust your instincts. What feels right for you probably is. No other human being can make your decisions or choose your path. Utilize resources. Read and learn about cancer. Knowledge is power. Many resources and organizations are available for your benefit.
Volunteer free time. Get involved in something personally meaningful. Helping someone else is one of the best ways to help yourself.
Weather the storms. Stress and negative experiences are part o f life. Dealing with them constructively is a vital part of recovery. You've survived cancer; everything else is manageable.
X-rays are part of recovery. They are available to save and extend life. Try seeing these tests in a positive light.
Your day is wasted if you haven't learned something. Learning equals growth and maturity, and that's exciting.
Zoos are fun. Activities with family and friends are great sources of positive energy. Enjoy!
(Ms. Clarkin is a survivor of invasive cervical cancer. This article is reprinted with permission of Coping Magazine).