I was feeling sad and depressed and I wasn’t myself at all. Yes it’s a normal part of life and part of dealing with cancer, but that feeling crippled me. Every day I was feeling hopelessness and emptiness. I knew I needed to take a stance and that I couldn’t let cancer beat me; I needed to beat cancer. My kids, my parents, friends, and family were all watching, and I knew that. I realized my mood affects everyone. I wasn’t going to let it. I started to do different things in my daily activities; both work and life.
This is what went through my mind, and this is how I was able to beat cancer every day: First, in my head, I say and convince myself “I CAN, I WILL, I MUST”. I am a fighter, and I will not let my kids, family or friends see me feeling down. I pushed and turned that pain into greatness. It motivated me to push through and fight back. I would take a shower and wash it off; I did something about it. I didn’t sleep my life away and do nothing about it when I knew cancer could take my life. I didn’t let it! I knew it will only get worse. I was always thinking “they are watching”. They’re wondering, “how will he take stress? Will he sleep, cry, drink?” So I told myself “I CAN’T DO IT ANY MORE!!!!! SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!!!!! SOMETHING HAS TO GET BETTER!!!! I changed my lifestyle. I am a leader so I had to overcome and be the Leader I am!
I learned how my diet affected me as a result of side effect of having cancer. I had to learn the best way to change my diet and eat differently; to have a lesser impact on my body. Then I started doing what I love to do - EXERCISING !!! And I started to have better thoughts.
Every morning now, I am awake by at least 3 or 4 am. I find positive thoughts and things to read. A positive thought every day to start it off right. One positive thought is the first thing in the morning can change our whole day. I tell myself everyday “what is going to determine my quality of life?” No one is in my way but excuses!!!
I wanted to go to the gym to motivate myself, to get better in life, and to get stronger and help others. It was my way to get out and motivate others. I didn’t want to sleep and stay inside and let depression get in my way. You don’t have to lift weights, you can even walk; but get out and do something!! I used to think to myself “it’s too early in the morning”, but I have tricked my body into being an early bird. I used to wake up at 6:15, then after weeks I set my alarm clock back to 5:45 AM, and now I get up at 4:00 AM and in the gym by 4:30 AM or 4:45 AM. I didn’t say - It’s too early, It’s too late, or I am tired, I didn’t allow myself to think that. I made a sacrifice for the greater good. I AIM small and miss small. Change your mindset “I can Conquer Mountains”. No more missing work outs, but think only positive thoughts. When I miss a work out, my friends will say “he missed a work out, I am going to miss one as well”. Then it gets hard to start up again. When you’re working out, don’t skip the last set.... keep going!
Think positive thoughts during your meditation. And most of all, get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep will cause fatigue and add to symptoms of depression. So be sure to get proper sleep. Take a shower or a relaxing bath; develop a calming bedtime routine. Improve the amount and quality of sleep you get each night. Spend time with positive and supportive, loving people. Remember that it is only a storm, and it will pass.
I told myself, my kids, and family that I will see who I inspire. I will not go in the gym and leave the same person. Empower yourself and think in a way you have never thought before. Behave in a way you have never behaved. Have passion; I listened like I have never listened before. I started to work out like I have never worked out before, and I wanted to be a better person; better than I was yesterday. I changed that person.
Spend time with your family, and give it your all. You only live once, so you have one shot; make it your best. Win the war between you and yourself. Remember like I do, you have the choice on how you spend every second of your day. Have faith in your dreams and it will become real. Put forth your best effort to live the rest of your life to the best of your ability. It is not the success that makes you, it is the character that defines you. For me, it started with the extra 5:00 AM workouts, helping others so they don’t feel what I felt. Work hard when no one is looking. Put forth the best of your ability every single time.
I don’t give up and I will not give up. Don’t let obstacles get in the way, always think positive...I WILL NOT QUIT. If you don’t stay hungry for greatness, your fire will burn out. Make sure your next move is your best move. I always remember there are so many people that are talented and never accomplish anything. The body has limitations but it all starts with your mind. I get mentally ready so I can get physically prepared. Always keep trying and aim to stay motivated. Everyone has a gift; it’s your job to figure out what your gift is. And you decide if you will act on it every time - DON’T QUIT. Take ownership and responsibilities, and set high expectations . Always look for ways to improve. Reach out when you need help; someone is always there.
The most powerful tool in your body and in your life is your mind. That’s where the enemy fights you- in your mind. The devil doesn’t need to tie you up for you to be bound. He will just tie you up in your head with stress, with worry, and with low self-esteem. Decide what to focus on. Decide what you were going to do each day. Get strong and focus! Then just wait and see what happens!!! I was determined on what I do. I didn’t focus on “why me”? Is my life over? I focused on coming back and on the fight!! I was determined in my decision. Fight it and OVERCOME!!! To overcome you have to kill the noise. When others say you can’t do it, silence them and use that as motivation to push through. Believe!!! If you believe and have faith like I did, everyone else will believe with you. They will start saying “he inspired me...I will fight like he did.”
You are where you are because of who you are!!! Fight!!! If you want to get somewhere, change something, change your routine, make a better you! Take your life to another level. Free yourself from BITTER!!! Free yourself from the past. Free yourself and stop being a victim of the past and REMEMBER what is IMPORTANT!! You, Your family, your friends and loved ones.
LSVA Community Leader