The Mind Of A Conqueror
When I was diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer, I knew right from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be easy. I felt a variety of emotions at once: numb, disbelief, fear, and confusion. But the one thing I never felt was defeated. Not one time did I feel like this was something that I can NOT beat. It would take work, dedication and prayer but I knew that I was strong. I’d fought through tough things before and even though I’d never had a diagnosis of “Cancer,” this was just one other thing that I would be able to look back on one day and say “I went through this and I came out victorious.”
From the beginning I was on a search for answers: why did this happen, how can I fight it, and even searched for support groups to help me answer questions that I had. Naturally, I headed to Facebook and found a few that were helpful. While it was extremely comforting to know that there are others fighting with me on this rare disease, I found that the comments, post and some of the information were mostly negative:
“I feel bad today,”
“I’m in so much pain,”
“Going to the hospital,”
“Another procedure, more medicine, another round of chemo or more injections”
and sadly sometimes even “We lost another Zebra today. RIP _____.”
After about two months it got to be maddening. There was so much negativity and it wasn’t often that I came across a positive post. This was not the support I needed so honestly, I stopped going into the groups. I needed positivity and encouragement.
See, I was raised in a Christian home, where you don’t “claim” your sickness. From day one, my family’s attitude has been “This is what they are saying, but WE believe you are healed.” That way of thinking got me through those four months of painful stomach aches, not being able to eat, the depression I went through, the major surgery I had. It has absolutely been essential in getting me to be able to be as healthy as I am today. No, I may not have reached N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease) yet, but that is my goal. My positive way of thinking is going to get me there.
People tell me all the time that I’m so positive, and I don’t look like what I’m going through. I call that a blessing. Positive thinking means Positive results which brings Positive outcome. There are, of course, some days when I don’t feel well but I have learned to keep going. Don’t focus on how you feel, focus on getting out of bed, on going to work, doing your job, running errands, go grocery shopping, see a movie, whatever you have to do that day, KEEP MOVING. The more you lay in bed, thinking about how you bad feel, the more you allow yourself to feel that way. Psalms 18:21 tells us that death and life is in the power of the tongue. That has never proved more real to me than it has throughout this experience. I learned to say “I’m feeling better and better every day” when people ask me how I feel. I could be crying, or having stomach pains, and nauseous but I will refuse to speak life to that.
During this journey I am on, I have come in contact with a lot of people, many of which are in their own journeys and fights through Cancer. I choose very carefully who I talk to though. There are some that constantly talk about how bad they feel, how they heard bad news at the doctor’s office today, they are in so much pain, they have this procedure or that exam, they need more medicine, more chemo or more injections, this hurts, that hurts etc. I try to stay away from this kind of talk because it brings me down. There’s no hope in those words. I have also been very blessed to come across folks in this journey who say “I feel great today,” “You have to keep moving, keep fighting, keep pushing,” “I won’t give up,” “Every day is a new day, a new opportunity to be an inspiration,” or as my very good friend says “Strong Mind, Strong Body.” It is all about what you choose to feed your spirit and your mind during this fight.
Negativity will always bring negative results. If you constantly talk about how bad you feel or how bad your situation is, that is EXACTLY how you will feel…BAD. However, if you feed your spirit with positive thoughts, surround yourself with positive people, focus on a goal to make yourself stronger, your body stronger I promise you, my dear friends, that positivity will bring you better results. I learned the lesson first hand when I was in the hospital, right after my surgery that your mind is the strongest influence over your body. You can read more about it here. It took the doctor who performed my surgery to come in a talk to me to encourage me to eat. He said something powerful to me: “Why do you THINK you can’t eat…the only thing that is holding you back from eating is you.” Once I got it through my head that I was holding myself back, and I needed to push past that, I was able to eat again, get stronger, healthier and gain my weight back. The mind is very powerful. What you feed it will determine your outcome that is guaranteed.
I have been given the nickname of The Conqueror, A Worthy Opponent by my family, so that is the mindset that I choose to take on. I choose to fight in every aspect: mind, body, and spirit. I make sure that when I am asked about how I feel I say “Better and Better every day” because that will begin to come true the more I speak it. When I am having a challenging day I listen to my Elevation Worship music, or music from my favorite Christian artist like Israel Houghton or Jonathan McReynolds. If I have a day when I don’t feel as confident because of the weight loss I went through, I listen to what I call Girl Power music from artist like Pink, Ne-yo or Beyoncé that talk about feeling good about yourself. Those times when I have a chance to tell my testimony about what I have been through, I tell people that it’s all about what you choose to say and who you choose to listen to that determines the direction your journey will go in, whether that is good or bad. The direction is your choice.
Throughout this time in my life I want to be an inspiration. I want those who have cancer to read my story or hear my testimony and say “If she can do it, I can do it.” I want those who do not have cancer, who may not know what it like to go through something like this to understand why I choose to stay positive, and not focus constantly on how I feel. I don’t tell people right away about my having Carcinoid Cancer. I don’t want people to associate me with Cancer and think “She’s helpless,” or “She can’t do it by herself.” I want them to see me as strong, courageous and powerful. More than anything I want the young people in my life to know no matter what life hands you, you can make it through, and as long as you believe you can.
In closing, my friends, I will leave you with this. Your attitude and your words will be your biggest weapon in this fight that you have ahead of you. Surround yourself with positivity and encouragement as often as possible and you will start to see the outcome. You will feel better, your days will be brighter, and your reports and doctor’s visits will be more positive. This fight will become a testimony and your life will become a blessing to those around you. Think Positive! Never Stop Smiling!