Saturday 5 January 2019

Weekly Discussion Summary ~ Were there moments in 2018 when you surprised yourself?

Were there moments in 2018 when you surprised yourself?

This was the focus for one of two linked group discussions over the Christmas period. While some of us found touching on such moments a challenge, Naz told us that this was a worthwhile exercise with significant rewards because even if we cannot come up with a concrete example, the exercise itself turns on reward hubs in our brain which can reinforce neural connectivity boosting positivity and confidence.

Taking on challenges after a diagnosis of primary or secondary breast cancer diagnosis can weigh heavy on us - both body and mind. We are often exhausted as we end up trying even harder to manage, either to try to maintain our pre-diagnosis abilities, or, by surviving as best we can to the best of our current abilities. As we know from previous discussions, we often develop a different perspective of ourselves that can undermine our efforts to rise up to the occasion. But, just sometimes, we surprise ourselves and we manage something we didn’t think was possible. This can have significant implications for boosting our self-confidence, let alone boosting brain power.

As a group, our achievements made for inspiring reading - for some, the achievement was doing a Race for Life or  another physically demanding challenge; others had taken up a new interest or skill, say art, or writing, some shared completing MA’s or other other academic achievements. Some of us had challenged unfairness, for example discrimination in the work place or advocated for ourselves and our needs to an unsupportive manager. No less significant were what may seem, on the face of it at least, more ‘modest’ achievements - returning to work, doing an extra shift, resuming a much loved skill which we no longer found easy, a road trip, or even driving a car for the first time - all are worthy of celebration.

We learned that it does not matter if we do not always end up achieving the end point of our goal. Success is, as they say, the journey not the outcome. But, Naz told us that the challenge itself is the key ingredient of our goal. And once we make that challenge our own, taking ownership of it, no one can take it away from us, because it represents our mind-set: that we are about thriving in the face of adversity.

If you are a woman living in the UK and you have a diagnosis of breast cancer, you would be welcome to join our private group. Please message us on the public Facebook page.

Image ~ Sunset at Connel with permission from amazing Claire

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