Values & The Cancer Experience

Often times the values that we grew up with affect how we deal with cancer. Or we can have an awakening and create new values, values that we always longed for at our core and we can start living our own truth.

Some of the underlying values that you grew up with might be:

  • The feeling that you have to be strong all the time;
  • Seeking support of others or isolating yourself due to beliefs around perfection;
  • Asking or not asking professionals or counselors for assistance; or
  • Turning to faith for coping. 

These are just some examples and none is good or bad or right or wrong; the bottom line is what is good for you as opposed to others? Many people find that cancer changes their values. I know it changed mine and by that I do not mean that I threw out the values that were given to me as a child, but that I fine-tuned them and turned the dial with them to set more focus on how I wanted to live my life during treatment and post cancer.

Own your values, modify things such as:

  • Daily duties and what is truly important and what isn’t;
  • Spending more time with loved ones;
  •  Exercising self-care within you first before others;
  • What do you enjoy? Helping others, spending time out doors, taking time out for yourself?
  • Learn something new; do something you have always wanted to but never did.

Take this time to reassess your values, pull them apart and put them back together.

Do what feels right for you!  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I really want and why do I want it?
  • Are my current values serving me or others?
  • What would it feel like if I rewrote my values and lived the life I have always wanted to?
  • What would living that life look like?

The cancer experience can be a difficult one, but it doesn’t always have to be and look difficult. Think of it as a challenge to change. You can use it as a time to look within and create an entirely new perspective on cancer and life. Cancer doesn’t define you. Your past doesn’t define you. Life is all about letting go of old and adding new.

How can you modify your values to live a fuller, more meaningful life? When you put the pieces together the picture can be quite beautiful! Life is to be lived on your terms, not the terms of others.


Gina Costa, CPC, ELI-MP is the founder of New Beginnings Coaching Services, LLC, which helps women diagnosed with breast cancer cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience, so they gain confidence and feel in control of their life again. To learn more about Gina and her coaching practice, visit http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com/

Source: http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com/