Thursday 4th February is World Cancer Day, which aims to unite the world in the fight against cancer and save millions of preventable deaths by raising awareness and educating people about the disease.
Every year 8.2 million people die from cancer, and just under half of those die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). World Cancer Day is using the tagline ‘We can. I can’ to show that we all have the power to take actions that reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals. Across social media people are being encouraged to write a supportive message on their hands using the ‘We can. I can’ theme and share it across their personal platforms to help raise awareness.
I’m incredibly grateful for the support I received throughout my personal cancer journey 2 years ago. Alongside family and friends, I was supported at work by colleagues who’d also been through cancer and was touched by the number of people who visited me throughout my treatment, or who offered to take me to my daily radiotherapy appointments. I caught up with people I hadn’t spoken to for years and made lifelong new friends who helped me through my journey, through sharing their own.
I thought that once my treatment was over people would stop reaching out, but friends andcolleagues kept in touch to check how I was doing and offer their ongoing support. I would encourage anyone going through cancer to accept offers of support and help, even after treatment finishes. I still felt very tired months after my radiation therapy and had to be patient whilst regaining my independence fully.
Other tips for anyone recovering from cancer are:
- Set yourself goals or give yourself things to focus on. In my case, progressing my coaching qualification and starting my own business took my attention away from just recovering. Set small manageable goals and avoid trying to do too much too quickly.
- Treat yourself – anything from a manicure, afternoon tea, lunch with friends or simply a bunch of your favourite flowers.
- Enjoy fresh air – go for a walk or sit in the garden, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. Appreciating the beauty around us always helps put things into perspective.
- Spend a few minutes meditating – great for dealing with fears and anxieties that may surface when you least expect them.
- Consider getting some professional help through a coach or a mentor.
Coaching can help you reflect on your cancer experience and develop practical and mental skills to help you regain your confidence and move forwards. I offer bespoke coaching and mentoring for people recovering from cancer, in particular when they are ready to go back to work.
Find out more about World Cancer Day and how you can get involved.
Find out more about post cancer coaching and mentoring.