Family and friends
For me it has been important to have family and friends to talk to and be with. Of course to share my experience and get support, but also to talk about everyday normal stuff. Life goes on and for me it was necessary to occasionally get out of the cancer bubble and feel somewhat normal.
There is no right or wrong thing to say, when interacting with people with cancer, as long as you show that you care. Do not be afraid, your friend needs you!
Asking for and accepting help
I have struggled with this a bit. I am used to being a strong, independent woman, knowing what I want and being proud of my independence. I am used to helping others in different ways, but not needing much support myself. My illness completely changed that, and there have been several occasions when I have been fatigued, frail and needed help. I have learnt to not only accept help, but also to ask for it. I am truly grateful for all the kind people who have helped me in different ways, by driving me to the doctor, accompanying me to medical appointments, picking up my kids, bringing food etc.
Exercise- physical and mental
I have always been a physically active person, no super athlete, but I have always done some sports. During my illness, I have tried to do as much exercise as possible. Mostly walks in the nearby forest, but good weeks when I felt okay and strong enough, I hiked in the mountains, did yoga or weight training at the gym. I feel my mental state benefited tremendously from me managing to be physically active.
I have also come to realize the importance of mental exercise and have started practicing meditation and mindfulness regularly. This has helped me immensely with being here and now, and not thinking about what might come or what might happen in the future.
Good meditation and mindfulness webpages and Apps that I can recommend:
Stop breathe think
Inspiration and support
I have looked for inspiration and hope. Below websites are great when you need an upbeat:
Greig Trout's webpage
You, Me and the big C
My Survival Story
The cancer community is big and very supportive. For me it was important to find others with a similar diagnosis as I felt pretty lost.
Most countries have patient organizations, and I recommend the Swedish one:
Women with gynecological cancers
Mentor support by somebody with the same type of cancer:
Accepting all emotions
Living with cancer is an emotional roller-coaster ride and needless to say, not all days are good. For me it has been vital to accept and not trying to push away any emotions. However, I have taken a conscious decision not to dwell and focus on the negatives. I have decided to live my life as best as I can, with as much positivity and enjoyment as I possibly can. I try to smile, have fun and drink champagne!