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staying positive...
klay
76 Posts
I read this article which stated

"It is vital to have positive people around you who will help you to stay positive in negative situations. Circle yourself with people who will support you and lift you instead of dragging you down. You can also spend time reading positive books, watching motivating movies, or listening to good music"

How do you all stay positive?

I have surrounded myself with good people (lucky to also have an amazing family)
I love to listen to fun and uplifting music. (Listening to One Love-Bob Marley right now which encouraged me to post this)
I keep a journal and I got rid of all social media ( I found for me it was bringing me down).
I'm also very thankful for my sisters and brothers here at cancer connections who share their journeys to help others.
I hope you're all having a beautiful day 🌞

Much love ❀ Karen
8 Replies
klay‍ I'm glad that you posted. The topic of remaining positive comes up frequently is because it is so important and can be controversial.

Some women hate hearing about being positive. They dislike feeling pressure to remain positive all the time. They feel like they have let people down if they can't always smile. And there is the key to everything.

Balance.

Every has to have the opportunity to acknowledge and experience their emotions has they come up. This applies to both the patients and the people around them. There may be anger, frustration, sadness and emotional pain. There are no wrong emotions.

The challenge can sometimes be recognizing when you can't find the right footing to get you into a positive place. This is where having all those positive people around you can help boost you up.

Sometimes, as you do, journalling is the perfect way to recognize and process emotions. This is something I do.

Music. Exercise. Funny movies. Recognizing the little things in life that make you smile. Sometimes being positive comes from focussing on someone else and making them laugh is an amazing experience and just the action to help you find your positivity again. Trying to focus on accomplishments instead of setbacks can help. Unfortunately, me included, we remember the bad before (and longer) than the good. It takes effort to turn that around.

Being positive takes some effort, which is why you need to be kind to yourself when you lose your footing. No one needs to be positive all the time, but having that ability to find that mindset certainly helps.

Don't worry. Be happy. But only after you have acknowledged the feelings you're having. 😁

cancertakesflight
klay
76 Posts
cancertakesflight‍

ILOVE the line you wrote Recognizing the little things in life that make you smile.
I forgot how to do that for a long time.
I journal my frustrations and challenges and it feels good to let it all out.
I do get sad alot and it's just one of the many emotions I feel.
For me being hopeful keeps me strong.
Thank you for your lovely uplifting post.
It made me smile
Much love ❀ Karen
Sadie12
31 Posts
Hello klay‍

What a timely post for me!

I have been super positive since diagnosed with Stage 3 serous Ovarian at the end of Sept 2020...I focused on me (as much as I could with 2 little kiddos).
I was\am determined to be an 'exceptional' patient (If you've read Bernie Siegel's books, you'll know what I mean by that).
I was\am determined to see my 2 little boys grow into young adults.
Exercise (walking, spending time in nature, yoga, light weights, dancing in my kitchen, snowshoeing, tobogganing with my kiddo), meditation, art, keeping a gratitude journal, connecting with people. playing with my kids, watching light\funny shows.
I excelled at telling my family and close friends how wonderful I felt and that I was going to beat this. My answer was staying positive and not letting negative in...(I lost a couple people in my world because they couldn't be positive for me)
I realized that I had to be careful with my words, because...well...I came to realize, that other people living with cancer and perhaps trying to absorb their own diagnosis...didn't need a Pollyanna attitude in their face.
I know I've been 'lucky'...fully debunked, took my chemo like it was a teenage period (not pleasant, but still able to get things done with a nap and ignoring my numb toes), rocked my bald head.
I purposely did not read the statistics on survival...
After my surgery, I understood my 6 rounds of chemo were 'just in case' we missed the microscopic cells.
I had my eye on spring as getting through this, as well as COVID restrictions lightening up.
My 3 month CT Scan didn't show anything suspicious and my CA-125 had gone from 3600 pre-surgery to 18!
Yahoo. We celebrated.

Then...boom...as I approach spring...and my last 2 chemos...I find out that my pathology had the BRCA mutation (can't remember 1 or 2), which allows me to be eligible for a great newly available PARP-inhibitor.
Good news on being eligible!
Reading the drug side effects, I wonder how this will be different from the IV chemo.
Finding out how expensive the drug is...makes me think...Wow, I must REALLY be sick.
Realizing that my eyelashes are mostly gone!
In my lovely oncologist's words from Monday 'Ovarian cancer is a hard one to keep from coming back' and 'You and I will be together until we are both gray haired ladies' (on the good side, she is young, so hopefully her brown hair will keep me alive!)...'You will never be alone in this'...(she is so kind)

So...I have been having a hard time realizing that there is probably no 'done deal' and I can't help but frame things as 'Chronic'.
So...I allowed myself to do a bit of wallowing, while trying to keep from not going down the rabbit hole of depression/sadness.

I tried meditating yesterday to soft violin music, as I often do to relax and I couldn't take it...suddenly sounded so sad. So, I put some upbeat music on and busted out some moves.
I wrote in my gratitude journal which I had let slide.
I got my weights out again.
I did a bit of 'no-expectation' art (doodling, slow stitch project...)
I watched a light family drama (Once calls the Heart, I think it's called) with my family, then a adult mindless comedy sitcom.

Most of all, I allowed myself to be sad for a bit, realize that this cancer has forever changed me and some relationships that didn't support me. But, I will keep on top of this and turn it around because I know that finding the positive will get me through whatever awaits me.
I will meditate and dream of the days that I will watch my boys graduate, get their first car, have their first date, etc.
Sadie12
klay
76 Posts
Sadie12‍

I wish I could hug you.

I've been told twice now to get my affairs in order because time wasn't on my side. I told the oncologists I've got this and I'm going to fight
The effects of cancer, surgery and treatment have taken it's toll on me but I carry on.
I have moments of anger, sadness, happiness, confusion, delusion, denial and joy.
I'm so glad for your positive attitude and I will pray for you and I know you will see your little ones grow up :)
My kids keep me on my toes..even though they are adults..cough cough...they are still my babies.
I find music always brings me out of my sadness and I walk to get fresh air :) I can't wait to do yoga again. I'm terrible at it lol.
I love my gratitude journal because it allows me to be honest with myself. I'm certainly not happy everyday.
I've lost a few people from my life who I felt brought me down and I rid myself of social media. My husband banned me from Google doctor!
You've brought such enlightenment to this conversation and with all you're going through you're so graceful.
You truly are an inspiration.

Keeping you in my thoughts
You've got this
Much love ❀ Karen
Sadie12
31 Posts
Re: Yoga

I tried doing a Zoom yoga class with the studio I went to 'before'...the only time I could do it was a 90 minute class...Way too hard for my weakened muscles.

I found some on Youtube which were between 25 and 40 minutes.

One was from a big cancer centre in the States...specifically 'Yoga for Chemo Patients'...not to long in one pose and a good general stretch.
Then I found 'Yoga with Adrienne' channel...she's very slow-burn, doesn't spend ages hanging in one pose, no complex poses and yet, I feel like I've had a good stretch and muscle work afterward.

Sadie12
klay
76 Posts
Sadie12‍

Thank you so much! I'm going to look up that yoga on youtube
The yoga studio my daughter goes to has virtual classes but it's too much for me..I'm still in a binder so I can't really do much right now but soon
I'm glad someone thought about yoga for us 😁 thank you for sharing!
JustJan
449 Posts
Sadie12‍ what a time you have had and I wish I could give you a hug. I was diagnosed with both breast and ovarian cancer within 4 months of each other in 2019 at the age of 59. They were both stage 1. I also found out I was BRCA 1 positive. I had a hysterectomy and omentectomy followed by chemo for my ovarian cancer. My oncologist refers to PARP inhibitors as the first bright light in ovarian cancer to come along in a very long time. When I started chemo, PARP inhibitors were not approved for my stage of cancer. At my 2nd to last chemo treatment my oncologist came bouncing into my room and said the drug had been approved for me! I am on Lynparza (Olaparib) and have been for 15 months now. It is not chemo but a targeted therapy. It does not have nearly the side effects of chemo although on paper it can look that way. I have had virtually no side effects from taking the drug. I do blood work monthly as they have to monitor your counts but I have had no issues at all. If you tolerated chemo well, I’m quite certain you will tolerate this drug as well. The drug costs for me were covered through a patient support program so I’m hoping something like that can be set up for you too. If you do end up starting the drug, I will be happy to give you my tips and tricks.

Hang in there!
Sadie12
31 Posts
@JustJan...
Thank you! That is the drug I am being recommended. I'm so happy to hear from you about your experience with it. I am enrolled in that Patient Support Program as well. I just spoke to them 2 days ago, so they are 'on the case' to get it funded for me.
I had an omentectomy, along with the full hysterectomy including lymph nodes. I joke because I didn't even know what an omentum was and then boom, it was gone!

All in all, things have been well for me. I am lucky and I know it.
I got an official diagnosis on Sept 28 2020 from a uterine sample from a local ob\gyn...met with the surgeon 3.5 hours away on Oct 13th and had surgery Oct 21 2020. During a pandemic. So lucky,

Thanks again for you kind words.
Stay well.
Sadie12
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