The speakers were wonderful and inspirational, the topics were educational, and it was a great day!
Since I have done much research on my cancer treatments, I was surprised to learn of the many long term side effects to cancer treatment (sometimes showing up 10, 15, 20 years.) We, as survivors, need to become aware of any potential for long term health consequences. This new awareness has caused me to be even more vigilant about implementing good health practices to protect my heart, lungs and bones. My treatment saved my life, but with it comes an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, pulmonary issues, osteoporosis, etc. We have a long way to go in educating survivors and their primary care physicians in follow up of cancer treatment.
An interesting session this afternoon was on "Building Resilience--the Skills of Survivors."
Here were a few things that I walked away from this session:
- Resilience is....
--(Sean, a 15 year old inner city student)
- Research has found that in many ways resilient patients will be more self assured, focused and happier because of their journey with cancer.
- "Physicians shouldn't talk about patients going back to normal after treatment. We want to help people find the best 'new normal'."--Dr. Catherine Alfano
An interesting exercise the speaker, Deb Carlson, challenged us to participate in was the Resiliency t-test.
Draw a "T" on a piece of paper. Across the top write your name (or someone else's name). On the left of the line write down all the problems you see in your environment (or the person's who's name you wrote down.) On the right side of the line, write down all the strengths in yourself (other person) and in your (his/her) environment....talents, potential talents, personality qualities. Typically it is much easier to write down things on the left side. It seems as if our brains are programmed for the negative. We tend to focus on what is wrong and sometimes have a difficult time seeing what is right. Research shows that we focus 90% of our energy on the left side, with only 10% focusing on the right. (We also tend to do that with people in our lives). We all need to focus our shift to the right, allowing our strengths to grow in power and influence. If we want something to grow we must nurture it and reinforce it!"
If we think we are fragile and broken, we will live a fragile, broken life. I f we believe we are strong and wise, we will live with enthusiasm and courage. The way we name ourselves colors the way we live. Who we are is in our eyes. We must be careful how we name ourselves."--Wayne Muller, 1996
Create YOUR best life!