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The most important emotion during cancer recovery?
Pride is life-affirming. It’s such a positive emotion and so important when going through the process of rediscovering the ‘new me’ after cancer and how you fit into the world again.
Pride touches me throughout the day. Those first chinks of light that permeate the dark cloak of the night sky usually get me stirring and ready to meet life head on once more.
I have always been susceptible to a rush of adrenaline as I contemplate what the day might bring. That adrenaline is now mixed with pride. Each day has become an opportunity to do something I haven’t done before.
Looking for sources of pride
My pride is also directed towards others – I’ve felt proud of the two medical teams that through their dedication and professionalism gave me a second chance at life. I felt very proud of how my family dealt with the whole situation, particularly my wife who has been with me to every appointment and lived through some dark times during the leukaemia journey.
Exercise has become another daily reason to be proud. The personal goals that I log in my training diary are based around cycling mileages or particular hills I want to climb. I never get phased when a far better rider comes bombing past me and disappears over the horizon out of view a few moments later. I feel no sense of competition with others, my personal achievements are exactly that, individual and personal to me, not for sharing with peers.
Life is not a competition
This is true in the world of cancer too – we can feel proud of our own achievements, even if others are working at a different pace. The act of finishing treatment was a sign of victory and I needed to feel very proud of that.
Small steps can be achieved in many forms. You could be proud of finding the concentration to read a book, write a story, or paint a picture. Reflecting on what we can feel proud of is a massive part of the journey back to life. Dwelling on what you can’t do or find difficult won’t help you achieve anything. Focusing on what is possible and achievable will open a world of new and exciting possibilities.
March 2016 Diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia..
Relapse February 2018.
Accepted onto a trial for CAR T-Cell therapy at UCLH.
In remission for two years.
My journey back to life continues..
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