You're Still You


When you’re diagnosed with cancer, it can start to affect your identity. Your calendar fills up with appointments for tests, scans and treatment. Your appearance may change, especially if you’re sporting a head scarf or wig. Everything may be different – from your eating and sleeping habits to your activity level.

But here’s what’s the same. You’re still you. Whoever you were before your diagnosis is still true. Are you a mother, wife, sister, a bff? How about a husband, father, son, running buddy? And let’s not forget the true you – artist, drummer, practical joker, dog lover.

Remember Who You Are

Take some time to think about what defines you. What words describe you? What have been your milestone moments? What are you proudest of? Break open the journal we talked about in our last post and jot some things down.

If you need help getting started, turn to a trusted family member or friend. What do they see as your strengths and abilities? Think back to feedback you may have heard from a former teacher or boss. What did they say that sticks with you? Write it all down.

Go through your photos. Print a few that show you doing the things you enjoy. Karaoke with the kids? Biking the byways? Showing off your grill skills? It’s so you.

Reclaim Yourself

Now let’s focus forward. Here are some tips to help you reconnect to yourself and the things you love.

  • Grab the list of things that define you. Go through it and make notes next to those that are most important to you at the moment.

  • Sort through the photos. Pull out the ones you’d like to see yourself doing more of in the coming year.

  • Add anything new that you'd like to accomplish to the list.

  • Make a concrete plan to do the first three things on your list. Call the people you need, gather any supplies, clear time on your schedule.

Give yourself and those who love you the gift of yourself. You’re still you – separate from and so much more than your diagnosis.

To our readers: How have you reconnected with yourself during and after treatment? Leave a reply and share your ideas with us!