Emma’s Story

04 Apr 2020 by Krystal Barter
Emma’s Story

“Cancer is a journey of both the MIND and BODY”

After being diagnosed with cancer, I quickly realised the importance of ‘control’ and managing my mindset towards this.

When it comes to cancer, there’s so much you can’t control, like why you have the disease and what the future looks like. I made the decision early on that I wouldn’t waste energy worrying or stressing about the things outside of my control.

Instead, I chose to focus on being in the present, spending precious time with my family and friends and taking charge about the decisions I needed to make – like the best treatment for me.

It’s important to take the time to know and consider all your options – everyone is different, and you need to do what’s right for you and your body. Whilst it can sometimes feel rushed to decide about your treatment, taking an extra day to think it through can make a big difference to your mindset in the future.

For me, this meant reading up on new information and connecting with other women my age to gain further perspective on my situation.

I was also able to do a mindfulness course at the hospital, which was really beneficial. It prompted me to reframe my perspective and look after my mind as well as my body. A great quote I heard was: “You wash your body every day, but why not the mind? Meditation is like a shower for your mind”.

In these uncertain times with COVID-19, it’s important to manage our anxieties and fears, the same as we would with a cancer diagnosis – by staying more focused on what’s within our control.

 If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to connect with your oncologist to discuss ways that you can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and also speak with your immediate family or those you live with about how they can take measures to mitigate risks too. 

I’ve chosen not to focus on the uncertainty attached to this pandemic. As a result, I’ve made a conscious decision to focus on the positives, by reading more books, taking up new hobbies and connecting with my friends more than usual. 

I hope others can view this situation as an opportunity to slow down, reflect, reset and focus on what’s important – and hopefully the world will be less fast-paced and materialistic place afterwards!


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