When cancer explodes into your family You’ll want to pay attention to the things that keep you strong and help you keep fighting…
Update: If you have no idea how to deal with all this cancer business, we can help you formulate a plan to tackle the immediate issues… finding the best care, talking with your insurance company, finding resources that will actually help, and dealing with the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of this whole situation.
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When my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer we embarked on a 21-month battle that was driven by time with people he loved and the power of a bucket list to help us keep fighting.
Cancer changes EVERYTHING. No matter what your role in the journey caregiver, family member, loved one or someone fighting the disease) … your perspective on life changes drastically.
Suddenly you realize, how much time you have spent on things that don’t matter and that there is still so much that want to do before your time on earth is done.
You get one shot at this life. One chance to make it amazing.
When cancer explodes into your world, you start to ask yourself…
Am I living my best life right now?
That’s why a bucket list is so important, especially when cancer drops into the equation.
Here’s the deal: You can spend your time stressed out and agonizing over things you can’t change, or you can focus every single second you have left on this earth doing the things that make you happy.
A bucket list is an amazing tool that should be used to help you keep fighting as long and as hard as you can…
Bucket lists create inspiration and purpose that gives your loved one…
Motivation to Keep Fighting
Cancer journeys are long, and they are hard. And every single one of them is completely different.
But there are some “standards” that are universal. Your loved one is going to need things to focus on so they can get through this.
At first, it’s easy to stay motivated and get fired up about the future. I mean, when cancer drops into the equation, you’re fighting for your life. It’s easy to find reasons to not give up and to keep fighting hard.
But after months or sometimes years of staying motivated through the sickness and the side effects and the constant appointments and treatments that consume your time, it becomes much harder to keep fight through the exhaustion. Not because you don’t want to fight, but because you are physically and emotionally wiped.
Cancer journeys are exhausting. And no amount of sleep can cure you. It’s much bigger than that.
Having experiences that are doable and amazing is an incredible way to keep your loved one’s head in the game and their energy strong.
And honestly, it helps you keep fighting too.
Meaningful Time with The People You Love
The key to a great bucket list is you focus on the things that matter. The things that make you happy. And it’s a great way to spend meaningful time with the people you love.
It also doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.
- You can do family barbeques or gatherings and have everyone bring a potluck.
- You can spend a day at a museum or a zoo for a small admission fee or donation.
- Take a drive to see family you haven’t seen in a while.
- Grab dinner at a place you’ve always wanted to go but have never actually been too.
Making sure that you get time with the people that matter… meaningful time becomes the top priority when cancer explodes into your world.
You don’t want to take anything or anyone for granted.
And the people you love (children, siblings, grandchildren) are incredible motivators for keeping your loved one’s head in the game so you can help them keep fighting.
Things to Look Forward Too
We need things to be excited about.
There is NO point in being alive if you don’t have things to look forward to.
For example, let’s talk about work. Few people show up for work because they love it… Most people work because it “funds” our lives and our dreams.
We go to work because we earn a paycheck to buy all the things that we need (and hopefully something’s we want) and if we are lucky we earn vacation time so we can visit someplace new or stay home and spend time with family and friends.
We work, so we can enjoy our lives and do the things we want to do.
When cancer explodes into your world. You start to see and appreciate things differently. Each day is different than the day before and you’re never sure what tomorrow is going to look like. So, you don’t worry about tomorrow and you spend your time living today.
Making a list of things your loved one has to look forward too and focusing on the people and experiences they really want to do is ESSENTIAL for keeping your loved one’s spirits up, so they can keep fighting for the long haul.
Take Advantage of Every Single Good Day
Your loved one is probably going to have some rough days ahead.
There are going to be days where they literally can’t get out of bed (and days where you feel like you can’t either!). It is imperative to take advantage of every single good day you have.
When they feel up to doing something, get everything together and head out.
Finding ways to save their energy for the things they really want to experience is also a great way to help them stay motivated.
You’re going to need much more preparation and planning than you probably ever had before. And you’re going to have some new symptoms, schedules and obstacles to work around.
Things are different now… walking 3 blocks for treatment may not have been a big deal before, but 6 months into this journey things might be different.
Small changes can allow for more energy to do the things that matter.
- Use a wheelchair or this scooter to get around a nearby city.
- Take frequent breaks and rests throughout the day.
- Make sure you have a place to rest and relax if they need it.
Caregivers Need a Bucket List Too!
If you have learned anything from cancer, learn that life is short, and time is precious. Even if you have 80 years left, you wouldn’t have enough time.
You are also experiencing some depression and stress. And you are certainly exhausted…
Cancer is hard on the caregiver too. And you need ideas and things and people to look forward too.
Here’s the deal: You’ve got a lot on your plate if this is the ONLY thing you are doing. But since you are probably trying to juggle caregiving and work, kids, spouses, laundry piles and dinner every night… overwhelmed is an understatement.
Sometimes my bucket list item for the day was watching Disney movies curled up with my daughter. I can nap and she can sing all the songs.
Because some day’s that’s about all I could handle.
Bucket Lists are incredible motivators. If you do them right, they can keep your loved one (and you!) motivated and inspired to help you keep fighting during a long and intense journey.
P.S. If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start… The Cancer Combat Plan is a step by step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress and the overwhelm.
Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan. So if you’re looking for action steps, resources, and strategies that will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free…
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