What does your “cancer voice” sound like? I remember the first time I heard mine. I was in the oncologist's office and I was told I had cancer, but that's not how I heard it. I heard it like this, “You have CANCER!”
And then everything shut down. My chest got tight. I couldn't hear. It was as if I were in a Charlie Brown cartoon, and I was hearing adults like “wah, wah, wah, wah.” I'm not even sure I inhaled what she was telling me.
But that was the first time I became aware of my “cancer voice”. And of course, it terrified me and terrorized me for so long until I realized, I don't have to have “this voice’ in my head. It took a lot of practice but I changed that voice in my own head. According to research, self-talk can help athletes with performance. It can help with endurance.
It can help an athlete power through with heavy weights. Well, I can't think of a heavier weight than cancer. Why not use this research to help us through our cancer journey? So what did I do? I started to “talk” to my cancer. I “became friends” with my cancer. Slowly but surely, by having conversations in my own head with the thing that I was most scared about, “the sound of my cancer” changed.
But I wanna share with you how I did it: Every time that voice with those scary thoughts came into my head. I said, “Not this, not this.” every time. I would be doing something very simple and the scary thoughts would enter my head about my cancer and I would just stop and say, “Not this, not this.”
Eventually, I won. And that voice started to dissipate. And then I decided, “You know what? I'm gonna ‘become friends’ with my cancer. And I'm gonna invite it to do things with me on a daily basis.”
And slowly but surely, that voice disappeared. It went from that terrifying voice into, “Okay, let's just get along, you're here. Come along with me for the ride.” To now, it's vanished. I don't hear it. I am a stage IV cancer survivor with no visible disease.
I don't think this is the only thing that I did to make cancer go away. I had a lot of treatment and I've done many, many strategies. But once you can quiet that negative voice, you have room for other things, like joy and gratitude. So practice it, “Not this, not this.”
And remember, you could do this so many times the first week. You're probably gonna hate me for this. But try it and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear your progress. Send me a note at ComedyCures.org.