|"Restoring myself to health was
less than 10 percent physical. The big part of it is the
-- Lance Armstrong
Tips for Fighting Cancer
Most of us learned at a young age the key principle of sportsmanship:
competition is not about who wins; it's how you play the game.
This saying can be applied toward much of life, including
cancer survivorship. Certainly with an illness, much more
is at stake and winning does matter, much more so than in
a sport. But equally important is the competition itself:
the quality of life you have while you have cancer.
Surviving cancer is not strictly about healing your body
and getting rid of the disease. It's also about managing your
fears; coping with loss of control, independence and, in some
cases, self-esteem; and learning to live with stress. It is
about finding ways to empower yourself so that you are a survivor,
not a victim.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you do have treatment
options. For example, instead of the standard treatment, my
physicians and I decided the best treatment for me would be
a combination of drugs that would not harm my lungs -- or
put my cycling career at risk.
You too can take control by learning about your disease,
challenging things you don't understand, and taking an active
role in your care. You can live a healthy lifestyle by eating
well and exercising. And, you can try to understand and deal
with the wide range of emotions that you are probably experiencing.
A positive attitude is a crucial element of the healing process.
It gives you a reason to rise in the morning and live your
life as fully as your illness allows. A positive attitude
quiets fear and brings hope.
Your emotional well-being may not make or break your healing,
but don't underestimate its role in the quality of your life.
Take a minute to read about how managing stress and maintaining
a healthy lifestyle impact your healing.