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Adjusting To The New Normal

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Guest post by Mimi Fong.

Doctor's hands on table facing cancer patient

I will never forget the moment when I was told I had cancer. My world changed forever.

As a life coach, I know that change is inevitable. It’s a part of life. A part of growth. A part of being human. I’ve been through massively stressful changes in my life … a harrowing divorce followed by the loss of my employment, a toxic workplace, financial distress, setting up a small business as a new mum. But life coach or not, nothing can prepare you for something like this.


Because a cancer diagnosis is with you for life.


Let me be clear. I am not saying this in the ‘recurrence’ sense or that once you have cancer, you will always have it. Because I don’t personally believe that. What I mean is that whether or not you are ‘NED’, the spectre of cancer will always be with you mentally and emotionally.

Not what you’d expect to hear from a life coach, right?!


Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to live my life defined by this beast. But what I’ve found is that sticking my head in the sand is not an option either. Pretending I didn’t have it won’t make it go away. In fact, it can make it worse. What you resist persists. Carl Jung was spot on. Because the more you resist something in life and fight against it, the more you bring it to you.


It’s like a ball floating on top of the water. What happens when you push it down? You might be successful … at first. But eventually you’ll get tired and it will pop straight back up again.

You can’t change the past.

The cancer diagnosis happened. What you can change is how you choose to live after it.


Yes life has irrevocably changed now. This is your new normal. The ‘old’, pre-cancer you is gone. I still mourn that version of me. I could expend my energy in trying to reclaim that and those moments in time where I was more care-free and the thought of cancer happening to me never entered my mind.


But where would that get me? Stuck. Living in the past. Frozen in time. My life on hold.

Because there is one thing that this cancer diagnosis has taught me (like having a big, smelly wet fish slapped in my face!) … that life is precious. It’s a gift.


No one knows what lies ahead. Cancer diagnosis or not. I could walk out my front door tomorrow and get hit by a bus. So what counts is how I choose to live today.


Easier said than done, I know!

But the only other choice is to curl up in a ball and accept defeat. Which I refuse to do.


Because I have so much to live for. And still so much to do. As I know you do.


Make the decision to stop putting your life on hold. Right now. And focus on what lies ahead. What is right in front of you. Yes life is different now. This is your new normal.

What can you do to adjust to it?

  1. Acknowledge and Accept. Stop wasting your energy on fighting it or resisting. It may not be fair but it is what it is.

  2. Focus on what you can control. Which are your thoughts, your emotions and your actions.

  3. Spend time discovering the new ‘you’. Yes this experience has changed you. And it’s up to you to decide if it’s for the better or worse … Use this as an opportunity to reconnect with what’s important to you in life. Start by asking yourself ‘Who am I?’, ‘What Do I Want?’, and ‘How Do I Get There?’

  4. Express gratitude. Look at what you have in front of you, rather than what you don’t have or have lost. And appreciate it. Write down or say out loud ‘I am grateful for …’. Make this a daily habit.


Whilst life has thrown you a flaming curved ball, this doesn’t mean you need to stand there and just take it.

Cancer is a part of your story now. And the good news is that you are still the author of it.

Own it. Be stronger for it.

Will you still have moments of fear, trepidation and frustration?

Yes. It’s par for the course. Flip it around and use those moments to fuel you.


Because I say ‘FU Cancer’. You do not own me. I do.


It’s my life and I take it back.



Mimi Fong is a certified Master NLP Practitioner, Life Coach and Time Line Therapist. If you need help adjusting to your new normal, you can reach out to Mimi directly at www.mimifong.com.au.

If you are a Teal Sister who is NED, make sure you check out The Teal Circle, her private membership support group


If you find yourself needing to talk to someone after reading this article you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or The Cancer Council on 13 11 20


 

Mental Health Support for Life After Cancer

These are the products that helped me exercise during treatment.



What the F*ck Just Happened?

A Survivor's Guide to Life After Breast Cancer


Click to purchase



The Cancer Survivor Handbook

Your Guide to Building a Life After Cancer


Click to purchase

Support Resources

Cancer Council Australia

CCA an organisation to support all Australians affected by cancer through support, research and prevention programs.


Ovarian Cancer Australia

OCA is an independent national not-for-profit organisation, supporting women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our focus is to provide care and support for those affected by ovarian cancer; and represent them by leading change. Our vision is to save lives and ensure no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone.


Breast Cancer Network Australia

BCNA Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is Australia’s leading breast cancer consumer organisation. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that all Australians who are affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support.


Bowel Cancer Australia

BCA Peer-to-Peer Support Network connects patient’s and loved ones on a one-to-one buddy basis that enables members to give and receive advice about their bowel cancer experience in an informal and mutually beneficial way.


Leukaemia Foundation

LF is a support service for patients and supporters dealing with blood cancers.


*FU Cancer is supported by its audience. If you choose to purchase through the links on our site we may receive an affiliate commission. This goes towards paying our expenses plus a percentage of our monthly profit goes towards directly helping people with cancer. If you know someone who could do with a boost during their cancer treatment please let us know here.



*FU Cancer is supported by its audience. If you choose to purchase through the links on our site we may receive an affiliate commission. This goes towards paying our expenses plus a percentage of our monthly profit goes towards directly helping people with cancer. If you know someone who could do with a boost during their cancer treatment please let us know here.





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