Cancer and Trauma
The connection between cancer diagnosis with trauma isn’t clear from the get-go. And since medical personnel are unlikely to talk about emotional injury, many will never seek support.
Before hearing these three powerful words, “You Have Cancer,” you were someone’s father, mother, son, or daughter; you had hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The moment those words reach your ears, everything changes. You are now a cancer patient.
Change = Trauma
I’ve written about the shock of cancer diagnosis, the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that creeps in when facing a life-threatening illness. I’ve written about fear, anxiety, and despair. The one thing that is less talked about is the impact or injury we struggle with, the trauma of cancer, which is both deep and wide.
Change, especially a change to our state of health, can be debilitating. Change is no laughing matter, yet it is said that the only people who like change are busy cashiers or babies with dirty diapers. Laughing aside, change can be overwhelming and disorienting.
When you think about it, a cancer diagnosis forces us to become very comfortable with change. The most obvious change is to our identity, from a healthy person to someone who is sick. Then there’s a change to our daily routine due to appointments and procedures. We experience a change in our mobility, productivity, and what we can and can no longer do.
You may not call this level of change injury or trauma, but that’s exactly what we’re facing.
What is Trauma?
According to Psychology Today, Trauma is a person’s emotional response to a distressing experience.
And the reason this is important for us to know is because trauma, if unresolved, can further diminish our resiliency. It can undermine our ability to benefit from treatment and heal.
If you’ve seen any of my recent videos, you heard me state that illness is a call to action. It is a call for us to begin to live more authentically and more aligned with our true core values. In other words, we have to work to heal ourselves while our medical team is working hard to heal our bodies. We must be a part of the solution if we expect the best possible outcome from treatment.
So how do we do that? How can we become allies with our medical team?
The Subconscious Mind – Your Emotional Mind
My answer is that we engage the mind, specifically our subconscious mind. It means taking ownership and responsibility for how we think and feel. We acknowledge that there are certain patterns that we’ve abided by that became our identity. Then, we can decide which of these patterns we want to keep and which we want to change.
To do this work properly, we need support. The first port of support for many patients is therapy, as in talk therapy. But the reality is that conventional therapy i.e. psychotherapy, engages the conscious part of our mind, that is, the thinking, rational, and logical mind. That’s unfortunate because it’s not the part of your mind where emotions come from. No, that’s the subconscious mind, which is outside their scope of practice.
If you’re looking to address cancer and trauma, you need something else; something more goal-oriented and result-driven that engages the subconscious mind, and a good place to start is right here… CLICK HERE.