What Cancer Leaves Behind

One of my former yoga students was featured in a video produced by the University of Texas Mental Health Channel.  She eloquently shares her cancer story, shining light on what’s left behind after cancer, how her healing journey progressed and how it has impacted her mental health. 

Among the symptoms, side effects and emotions that get left behind there is also hope and gratitude. Hope for better tomorrows. Hope for healthier tomorrows. Hope for happier tomorrows. Hope of lasting memories with loved ones. Hope for more birthdays. Hope for a fulfilling life. Hope for reaching dreams, even if differently than we imagined.

However you’ve been affected by cancer and wherever you are in your healing journey, I hope you’ll take time to watch this short video, What Cancer Leaves Behind

And if you’re on your healing journey and curious to know how to use yoga as a tool, please join me in the free, online weekly yoga classes I teach every Wednesday at 12:00pm CT. Email me at kellyinselmanntherapy@gmail.com to get the link to join. I hope to see you there!

Joyboots Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share how COVID-19 continues to affect you and interfere with your life. According to the survey results, these are areas of your lives that remain most impacted:

  • Mood (feeling depressed or anxious)
  • Life Goals are changed or interrupted
  • Worried about Impact on others
  • Feeling anxiety about the impact of coronavirus on my life

Half of our community continues to feel the effects of these four areas in daily life. You’re not alone and we’re all in this together. 

For a mood boost, try this breathing exercise to combat your feelings of depression and anxiety. Or take 12 minutes to try this meditation I recorded with Therapist Uncensored

Remember to reach out for support and never minimize your needs.

How Are YOU Being Affected?

The COVID-19 pandemic takes us into new territory as individuals, families, cancer patients, survivors, mental health professionals, oncology professionals and human beings. We share vulnerabilities and strengths and by coming together we can help and uplift on another.

Please reach out and let people know what you need to stay afloat during this challenging time. If you have emotional or energetic reserves, share with others – I know you already are! For example, please feel free to pass this email along to someone you know so they can join the JoyBoots Community, receive my future newsletters and we can all stay in touch and connected.

If you have a moment, share about how YOU are being affected by COVID-19 so that we can share the impact on cancer survivors/caregivers/loved ones and oncology professionals.

Time is Precious

As we progress through the unknown duration and reach of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s obvious that things may not go back to a “normal” state anytime soon. And yet, time is so precious. Time with family, time with friends, time for doing things we love to do and time for travel and experiences—  it’s all meaningful and enriching to our lives. This article highlights how the virus continues to affect people in different walks of life, but all with a common thread of cancer. 

In summary, one of the interviewees says “If you look at the limited life expectancy that we are looking at already and you layer on top of that the COVID pandemic and the amount of things that have been canceled or eliminated — you’re taking away the opportunity to complete a bucket list. Life was already too short and now it must remain on hold.” 

I think many people are affected by this loss of time, thinking of those with elderly loved ones they can’t see whose days also feel numbered. Or those who can’t see babies being born into families who are missing out on memories they can’t re-do. 

For those of us who have had to more consciously face our mortality because of a cancer diagnosis, this loss of time is both very familiar and potentially gut-wrenching. 

As the economy has opened back up in many places, people are returning to physical workplaces, children are going back to school, businesses are operating as usual and masks can be purchased in any color or pattern you desire for easy integration into your wardrobe. The world is ever changing, yet never changing all at the same time as we sit in wait. 

I asked you to share your experience at the beginning of the pandemic and I’d like to hear from you again now about how you’re most impacted by the state of the world. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with me here.

Limitless Possibility

As humans, we all face physical limitations related to being mortal and facing our own mortality is a realization that brings all kinds of feelings – fear, grief, anger, denial, acceptance. But just as we must face certain limitations related to our human existence, there is also the potential for limitless possibility.

Dr. Atul Gawande, physician and author of Being Mortal, addresses the question:

How do we move through the world and keep taking action once we are so aware of our limitations, vulnerabilities and imperfections?

We’re all so incredibly limited and yet there are ways that we string together and are almost unlimited as groups of people. It’s magic when that happens- when you all start pulling together and then you eradicate polio from the world, which we’re almost on the verge of doing.

I love this wisdom from Dr. Atul Gawande where he describes how connection and community create a synergistic effect that gives us the feeling of growth and possibility, where creativity and new ideas emerge, and where we keep each other motivated and accountable to our missions in life. This is when the seemingly impossible can happen. As humans, we are all indeed imperfect, limited and uncertain of the future. When we lack connection we feel alone and more limited, but among a healthy community, we can help each other grow, expand, and heal.

If you’re not already a member of the Joy Boots for Cancer Survivors Facebook group, I hope you’ll join us right now. And if you know someone who could benefit from the healing powers of community, I hope you’ll share this post and ask them to subscribe.