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/

Affirmation Of The Day: “Treatment is happening on all levels, and my future is benefiting now!”

I found this affirmation and thought it was appropriate to share what came up for me around it. For most of my young adult life I thought I wasn’t good enough. Then I started to dig deep to find the answers why because I didn’t want to live in that space anymore. With the help of others and life experiences, I relearned that I was in fact good enough and my confidence started to build, even though I had always excelled at everything I did. However, now things were different, I felt I had a purpose in my life. I continued to work to bring my inner child to the surface and then another life event happened. My mother, my best friend, was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. I did all I could to support her, going to doctors’ appointments with her, doing research on clinical trials at medical libraries in Manhattan in an effort to save her life when the statistics read differently for her disease. I was the buffer between her doctors receiving news that I didn’t want to fall on her ears. It just wasn’t necessary. I wanted her to live the time she had left in the moment and with dignity. At the end my sister and I decided to take her home to hospice to live her last days in the comfort of her home and after 2 days the way she passed will be forever etched in our minds. It was painful, yet beautiful at the same time.

So this is where I started to fully step into my passion. I started fundraising for women’s cancers and became quite successful at it. For me the greatest gift was touching others’ lives and creating connections that might not have been made if I hadn’t had the life experience that put me in this arena. I did this for years and then one day I thought I would stop since I figured I had done all I could in raising dollars for research and support of women’s cancers.

Shortly after, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and I knew I couldn’t stop. A year later my own breast cancer diagnosis came all of the experiences that I had gone through with my mom, sister and myself lead me to becoming a life coach with a niche in working with women facing a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment.

Throughout my training and even in building my business I felt the old voices of “I’m not good enough” coming back and at times I wanted to give all of it up and throw the baby out with the bathwater. I internalized things and thought to myself: “I’m not good enough because if I managed my cancer journey so well, how could I think of serving others when I had not experienced some of the parts of their journey they had?” I was comparing myself to others and this was a huge mistake. I knew in my heart because of all I had been through I could inspire others. That had been my passion since I was a child.

It was at that time, and because of the benefit of my life experiences, coach training and the supportive individuals in my circle that I looked back at all of the events of my life and how I had inspired others with my strength. And that is where I came to the place where I fully realized that my life purpose was inspiring others as a survivorship coach and empowering women to get through fearful and overwhelming events of their lives and to educate and give them the tools to get rid of all of the “I’m not good enough” that resides in them so that they could rebuild their lives and create new beginnings during treatment and after cancer.

Clearly this has been a process for me over many years and I think I was finally able get to the place where I realized my purpose of inspiring others via the help of a friend and fellow coach. Knowing her and seeing all of the challenges she has gone through, far more than mine, and seeing her take one each punch, each step at a time with the will and determination and unstoppable attitude and knowing I could be by her side to love, inspire her and make her smile even brighter helped me seal the deal.

The win, win of this later experience has been that even in the face of her own adversity, she has managed to love, inspire and make me smile. We have been mirrors for each other and inspiring each other in ways we never imagined. We are 2 amazing coaches with the ability to inspire others in their journey like no 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/affir...

New Beginnings After Breast Cancer - A Survivor's Story

So much comes up when we receive our initial cancer diagnosis. I remember receiving mine and I immediately reframed it to taking cancer out of the equation. I told my husband right there in the moment: “this isn’t cancer, this is the boob job I always wanted.” And yes, the tears definitely fell from my eyes throughout the experience, but I kept an Rx of humor in my back pocket along with many other coping skills I had collected over the years.

For me personally, I was able to embrace a positive mindset immediately because of the lengthy and rocky relationship I had with cancer. I was caregiver to my mother who died of complications of being treated with chemo for her stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2001. She passed away and 3 days later I gave birth to my first born. To say the least, this was a very dark period for me but when I came out of it I vowed to turn all of my negative life events into positive ones. This was a conscious choice that I made on how I wanted to live my life moving forward. It helped me shed so much of the negativity that surrounded me as a child. It further lead me to being very proactive in my own health, pursuing genetic testing and becoming a top individual fundraiser for women’s cancers for an organization based in NYC and LA. Then I had the experience of my sister being diagnosed with breast cancer and a year later I received the same diagnosis.

I had a lot of tools to get me through my diagnosis and treatment. However, I still went through the entire process. Initially, I had feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious, followed by doubt and a little depression which ultimately lead me to acceptance. I had doubts on what my life would look like “after cancer” and how people would receive me. Getting through and to all of these emotions is key to getting to a place of peace and acceptance. When you get to that point you are fully able to accept what has been placed on your doorstep so that you can put your efforts into working on what you can control in your life and letting go of what you can’t. What you can do is take control of your health and your life from this point on.

Giving up control of “doing it all” for the sake of others and getting support is also critical, followed by self-care. There is no other way to fully heal unless you learn to go down this path. So many of my clients have trouble giving up the old mindset of: “If I don’t do it myself, it won’t get done” or finally coming to the place where they realize everything they have done up until this point in their lives has been to please others and they rarely do anything for themselves first. They get to a place where they realize that it is “OK” to allow them to receive!

You see, with a cancer diagnosis, not only do thoughts and emotions come up around a diagnosis and treatment, they also come up about who you are at your core. I am not one to minimize the impact of a cancer diagnosis (I saw my mother through her last days in hospice, they are forever etched in my mind and I have had my own physical and emotional journey with breast cancer) but I try to help my clients come to a place where they can see the opportunity to create awareness of who they are,  how they are living and how they can use this life altering experiencing to reassess their lives to reduce stress which feeds not only physical healing but in the mind as well and making choices to pursue the life you have always wanted to live. This can include looking at yourself and why you act as you do on a deeper level, looking at your relationships to see which serve you and those that do not, looking at the patterns in your lifestyle that have kept you on the same page and left you wondering why you are still there and so much more. When you go to your core to find out who you really are vs. who you think you should be, magical things can happen.

The next step is taking action and making choices to change your life. The choice is yours!


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/

Have You Been Affected By Breast Cancer?

  • Have you been recently diagnosed with breast cancer? Are you overwhelmed by all of the draining thoughts and emotions that you are experiencing?
  • Are you in the middle of treatment and struggling with fatigue and experiencing stress?
  • Have you just finished treatment and feel like all of a sudden you are lost, your life has come to a complete halt or you feel like you have fallen off of a cliff?

If you fall into any of the above categories you are reading the right post!

I have the experience of being a caregiver to my mom, seeing my sister through a diagnosis of breast cancer and I have walked in your shoes as a breast cancer survivor myself and now as a survivorship coach. Through the incredible world of coaching, I help women cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience so that they can feel confident and in control of their lives again.

Unlike others that you are trying to connect to, I totally get where you are, what you are going through and trust me…EVERYTHING that you are experiencing is perfectly valid and normal as you walk through these life altering events! On top of all of, other “stuff” comes up as you walk each step along the way.  You change, relationships change, and your career may change. Life is all about change. The good news is that once we know and accept that change is a constant in our lives, we can manage it and that is all about the commitment that you have to loving yourself as an individual.  The next step is making a choice and commitment to yourself.

I help women going through each of the above stages transform their lives by owning and experiencing their emotions, getting to the bottom of where they are coming from and letting them pass so that you can shift to being present of a place of healing energy. I will educate you and ask you questions around how you can manage stress and reduce fatigue by changing your thoughts, patterns, and as a result your lifestyle.  We will look at how you show up in life, how that suits you and what you want to keep and what you want to let go of or change.  We will also work on adjusting on going from treatment back to daily living. In the relationship as coach and client you will be able to finally move from being “stuck” to a place to where you are feeling peaceful, at ease, accepting of and I control of your life once again.

Please reach out to me if you are interested in working together and entering into a coaching relationship where we will create a safe and healing environment and the space to create sustainable change in living your New Beginning.


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/

Fear Around Cancer Recurrence

I was at a conference this weekend, among a group of women who had metastatic breast cancer. The courage and the fear that these women had was amazing! They all came to the discussion wanting answers to individual questions and the group provided a safe place for them to share all of their fears and accomplishments. It was amazing how at the beginning of the discussion the energy was kind of wary in the room, but by the end of the discussion there was a sense of unity among the group!

One woman expressed how she had beat the disease for many years without recurrence, but now because of that length of time that had gone by, she had a feeling that “the other shoe might drop” and that maybe it was time for her disease to recur. She also expressed that if and when she passed from her disease she was concerned about all of the grief and pain her children would have to endure.

Fear of recurrence is a very real, valid and normal feeling for survivors of any cancer and it is always there lurking in the back of one’s mind. As a survivorship coach it was amazing what the group, myself included, tried to share with this woman and that was to shift her perspective to not seeing the length of her “well-being” as a fear, but more of an accomplishment of all of the achievements since her diagnosis and perhaps the longer “out” since diagnosis and treatment she was, how much better life could be. We also shared a change of perception of why not enjoying her children and have her children enjoy her in the here and now in lieu of thinking about the future, which often causes fear and anxiety.

For myself, I will admit, fear of recurrence is always there for me, but I don’t live my life daily in that state or rather I reframe my thoughts so see and live a better picture. I have learned that there are triggers for me that prompt my fear of recurrence. Since I have had so many losses in my life, e.g., divorce, loss of my mom and days later giving birth to my daughter, and via the diagnosis of breast cancer and losing the “old me” that when things start going well for me and in a very energetic direction, that is when my fear of recurrence comes in. Somewhat like this woman, when things are going my way, thoughts like: “Omg, things are going so well, this is too good to be true, my cancer must be coming back!!!” come up for me. This can be a very real and frightening experience and it can bring you back to the day of diagnosis. When these draining thoughts come up for me I catch myself and tell myself that the messages that I am hearing are my “trigger points” and that they are coming from an old voice inside of my head that is no longer serving me. Once I get to this place I am able to shift and refocus my thoughts to the here and now.

If you think about it, the here and now is all any of us really have so why not inhale and embrace every moment of it. Just remember a few things: you are not alone and all of the thoughts, feelings that are coming up for you are perfectly valid and normal for where you are. The thing is, you have a choice to change your thoughts and that can change your life!

If you are need some support in your journey in this regard, reach out to me or another professional. You can live a life of peace and happiness with cancer.  Cancer does not define you, you define you and changing your thoughts can create sustainable change for you! 

Coaching provides a safe, confidential environment for you to share your experiences, while collecting tools to shift your perspective from draining thoughts to healing thoughts.  You can email me at gina@newbeginningswithgina.com, visit my fb page: facebook.com/ginacostacoach, visit my website: gina@ewbeginningswithgina.com or just give me a call 917-882-2402. 


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/

Leaning Into Gratitude To Cope With A Loved One’s Cancer

Russ Terry

Russ Terry

The C word.  Cancer.  No one wants to hear it, especially from an immediate family member.  A few weeks ago, my Mom phoned with startling news:  her annual mammogram had turned up something “highly suspicious for malignancy.” I was stunned, shaken, sad, upset, scared.  You name it and I felt it – such a range of emotions.  I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it.  It’s been a rough few weeks.

On the positive side, however, there’s so much I have been grateful for in this situation.  Oh, let me count the ways:

1.       I’m grateful that she’s gotten her mammogram every year for 30 years and does a self-exam on the first of every month.  (Great advice for all women!)  Even if it did turn out to be cancer, I was optimistic that it was caught early and hopeful that this time next year we could not only go on the vacation to Italy that we’ve been planning, but could use the occasion to celebrate life, health, how much we love each other, and our Italian heritage, of which we’re very proud!

2.       I’m grateful for an incredibly wise and supportive group of colleagues.  Right before this all happened, I came to know not one or two but THREE people who would prove immensely helpful.  Two are breast cancer survivors and one is an expert on grief.  It’s like God planted them in my life to make sure I was OK.  Wow.

3.       My friends have been excellent.  I’m so grateful for their support, prayers, positive thinking and encouragement.  Thinking about them makes me smile.  So many have passed on good wishes to me, which I have forwarded to my Mom.  She is grateful, too, which makes me even happier to have all of them – and her – in my life.

4.       I’m so glad I have a job that’s flexible and enabled me to be by her side for her pre-lumpectomy consultation with her surgeon.  I’m grateful for the doctor and his calmness, and that my Mom, my sister and my Mom’s significant other could all be there with her.  We even went out to eat afterward, which we otherwise would never have done on a random Wednesday in early August.  It was lovely!

5.       Finally, I’m grateful that we got some very good news within the last few days.  Although Mom does have breast cancer, it has not spread. The surgeon said that he’ll likely be able to get everything out when he does the lumpectomy (on September 11th, please keep us in your prayers), and that she won’t need chemotherapy.  Phew!  What a relief.

When I shared the good news with people who are grappling with more difficult cancer experiences, I felt so guilty.  But they were incredibly happy for me.  I’m grateful
for their generous spirits.

You may get good news.  You may not.  Either way, you can always find something to be grateful for, even in tough situations — and now I know ESPECIALLY in tough situations.

Interesting postscript: I sent this to my Mom for her review before submitting it.  I wanted to make sure she was OK with it.  Here’s what she said: “Even if the diagnosis had been the type that needed chemo and radiation I would still be positive because more and more people are surviving cancer.” So inspiring, right??


For information on Russ, visit his website www.russterrylifecoach.com.

Russ Terry and Grief Coach, Jill Smolowe, are co-hosting an in-person workshop, “The Grief-Gratitude Connection,” to be held in New York City on September 15.  For more info and to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-grief-gratitude-connection-strategies-for-easing-the-stress-of-caregiving-and-the-pain-of-loss-tickets-9972777847

Prevent Cancer With Food

Did you know that half of all Americans will eventually be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives? HALF.

That means, it's a flip of the coin whether or not you'll be one of them. That is, if you're not one of the Americans who first goes down with a heart attack - which happens around twice every minute of every day.

Too many of us are complacent about those odds, believing not much can be done to change what we collectively believe is an inevitable fact of American life. Cancer, we're told, is random, it's genetic, and sooner or later, it's going to get us.

But the truth is, a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to be a 50/50 proposition. In fact, what if you could up the odds to nearly 100% - a 100% chance you WON'T end up with cancer?

Modern medicine has been claiming for years that a cure is around the corner. But the best cure I’ve found is prevention. And prevention requires looking at the toxins in our environment, and mitigating their effects.

Instead of embracing pink ribbons and joining the 'race for the cure', perhaps we'd all be better served by a race to stop cancer in its tracks before it has a chance to grab hold of us.

Certainly, much of the cancer we see is due to environmental toxins and hazards that are difficult to combat, depending on where we've lived and worked. But the majority of cancers we see developing are heavily influenced by lifestyle choices, such as smoking and, yes, especially diet.

It might seem at first glance that it's not possible. But consider the standard American diet: lots of meat, dairy and animal products, high in starches and oils and sugar, massive amounts of processed foods and artificial ingredients, and very few fresh vegetables, fruits, and legumes. With a diet like this, it's very hard for the body to get the optimal nutrition it needs to stay well.  Of course, this includes making conditions ripe for cancer to develop.

Preventing cancer requires increasing the beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals and cutting down or completely eliminating the toxins. To really protect yourself, the steps below are simple and easy.

  • Drink lots of clean, pure water to flush toxins from the body.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, especially raw and organic berries(to ensure they've not been treated with pesticides and chemicals)
  • Eat cruciferous veggies, cabbage, kale, garlic, onions, and mushrooms- evidence is growing to suggest that these vegetables have powerful anti-cancer properties. Eat green veggies 3 times a day!
  • Incorporate into your busy schedule a good nights sleep, to assist the body in releasing toxins.
  • Drastically cut down your consumption of rBGH meats and dairy, and refined flours and sugar.  Completely eliminate processed meats, fast foods, gluten products, and all other foods void of nutrition.
  • Avoid toxic cleaning chemicals, dryer sheets, detergents, soaps, candles, floor cleaners, air fresheners, toxic candles and more in your home.
  • Avoid all Hand Sanitizers!

So, sure... we can race for the cure all we want. But if we put more effort into a push for prevention, there wouldn't be so much of a need for a cure.

Some of the most serious health problems of our time,  are endocrine and metabolic related.  As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I specialize in toxins that can disrupt our metabolic and endocrine health.

Besides advocating health, Health Coaches support their clients in learning those necessary “bite size pieces” for growth & change.  If I were to teach one thing about food -I would choose “food is a masterpiece full of necessary information for our cells. “ It’s Art-because it unites all cells to work together on one canvas.  You!   It’s time to add color to your plate while adding prevention to your vocabulary. www.Bitesizepieces.net

footnotes:

http://www.cancerschmancer.org/trashcancer


Connie Rogers is an Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health. Lifestyle Educator, Reiki Master, 37 years Certified Cosmetologist/Esthetician, Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach, Accredited through American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Published Author, Wellness Writer, Owner Reverseage Wellness Essential Oils

Connect Linkedin: Connie Rogers

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www.bitesizepieces.net