Your Road Map to Recovery


Manage Your Mindset

In the face of a cancer diagnosis, it’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions, including moments of sadness and even darkness. However, it’s important to remember that you have the power to manage your mindset and reclaim control over your journey. In this step, we will look at different strategies designed to help you navigate the emotional challenges you may experience and maintain a positive mindset.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that cancer is not a death sentence.

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Despite the difficulties you may face, there is always hope and the potential for healing. Your body possesses an incredible capacity to create; and destroy cells, even those that have become mutated. Instead of viewing cancer as an obstacle, consider it as a wake-up call—a transformative opportunity to make positive changes in your life.

Shifting your focus towards improving your overall health, rather than solely battling cancer, can empower you in your healing journey. For years, your immune system has been diligently working away in the background, eliminating potentially cancerous cells before they have a chance to progress. By providing your body with the essential nutrients and support it needs, you can activate and boost your immune system, enabling it to more effectively combat cancerous cells.

If you can win the battle in your mind, you can win it in your body. How you choose to think about this challenge will have a huge negative or positive impact on the outcome. So, let’s embark on a journey of exploration as we uncover strategies to help manage your mindset. Although some of these exercises can be confronting, by implementing these techniques, you can cultivate resilience, embrace hope, and nurture a positive outlook that will support you throughout your healing process.

Below we cover a lot of useful tools to help you manage your mindset. In the “Controlling The Odds Book” we expand on each topic and provide more practical ways to implement them into your everyday life. If you choose to purchase the book, the revenue will help us continue to reinvest in this website, provide free education and add resources to help support people struggling with the effects of cancer.

When faced with a cancer diagnosis, it’s entirely understandable to resist and reject the reality of the situation. The desire for cancer to vanish and for life to return to normal is a natural response. However, true empowerment comes from accepting the presence of cancer in your life.

Acceptance does not mean giving up or surrendering to the disease. Instead, it signifies a shift in mindset—a conscious choice to redirect your energy towards what you can control rather than dwelling on what you cannot change. It allows you to embrace the present moment and approach your healing journey with a sense of clarity and determination.

By practicing acceptance, you acknowledge the reality of your condition while refusing to let it define you. It frees you from the grip of fear and helps you let go of the resistance that may hinder your progress. Acceptance opens the door to exploring various treatment options, making informed decisions, and taking proactive steps towards your wellbeing.

Reflect on the factors that may have contributed to the development cancer. While this introspection may be challenging, understanding the habits or reasons behind your cancer can help you make necessary modifications and improve your long-term chances of overcoming the disease. Although genetics can play a role in 5-10% of cases, the majority of cancers are influenced by lifestyle choices, environmental factors and diet. And in the 5-10% of cases which are genetic, lifestyle habits and environmental factors can still play a significant positive or negative affect on the outcome.

While treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can lead to remission, it is crucial to address the root causes of cancer to prevent its recurrence. Unfortunately, many cancer survivors continue unhealthy habits during treatment and even in remission, only to be surprised when the cancer returns, often in different areas of the body.

Identifying the potential reasons behind your cancer diagnosis provides clarity and enables you to develop a comprehensive healing plan. By addressing these underlying issues, you can reduce stress and have confidence that you are walking the right path to recovery.

Take a moment to jot down in your diary five habits that you believe may have played a role in the development of your condition, such as smoking, work or home-related stress, poor diet, excessive drug or alcohol consumption, etc. Alongside each habit, delve into detailed descriptions of your commitment to transforming these behaviours both presently and when you achieve remission. Clearly outline the steps you are determined to take in order to address and modify these habits, ensuring that they no longer pose a risk to your wellbeing.

View cancer as a profound wake-up call, a heartfelt message from your body urging you to make meaningful changes in your life. You are currently standing at a crossroad, faced with a serious choice. Continue the habits that likely caused the cancer, or embrace this opportunity for growth and improvement, knowing that as long as there is breath in your lungs and a will to live, cancer does not need to define your fate. Set aside the weight of the diagnosis for a moment and shift your focus to the new habits you are about to cultivate—not solely because of cancer, but because you genuinely yearn for a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Let improving your wellbeing be your primary focus for this journey, and trust that your body will respond accordingly to address the cancer.

When it comes to cancer, the language we use is crucial. I can’t express enough the importance of being mindful of how you refer to it and avoid labelling it as “My Cancer.” While it’s important to find peace with your diagnosis, accepting it and offering love and healing thoughts, try not to claim ownership of the disease or invite it to become a part of your permanent identity.

It’s common for life to shift suddenly, with cancer becoming the focal point—your thoughts waking up to cancer, appointments revolving around cancer, and nights filled with cancer-related worries. With this intense physical and emotional focus on the disease, it’s easy to become consumed by and start seeing yourself as nothing more than your cancer. However, it’s vital to recognise that you are not defined by the illness. Within you resides the essence of who you are; a person with cherished roles such as a wife, husband, mother, father, friend, and more. Although your body’s immune system may have momentarily faltered, it doesn’t change the fact that you are still you. Avoid attaching meaning to the story of what has happened; instead, focus on the journey towards healing.

Cancer can leave both physical and emotional scars, and while physical wounds may heal over time, emotional scars can persist if left unaddressed. Cultivating a positive mindset, choosing empowering language, and forming habits that foster a resilient mindset throughout your journey are not only crucial for your recovery but also for emerging from this experience stronger, both physically and emotionally.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill.

If we constantly refer to it as “My Cancer,” we unintentionally take ownership of it, allowing it to become intertwined with our identity. Instead, consider using terms like “My Challenge” or “My Project,” or simply refer to it as “The Disease or The Cancer” when necessary. By doing so, we acknowledge that cancer is only a temporary guest within our bodies, one that we will soon show the door to.

We want you to know that you are not alone in this journey. Countless others have faced similar challenges and come out stronger on the other side. Remember, you are not your cancer. You are a resilient individual with the capacity to overcome this obstacle. As you navigate through this chapter of your life, hold on to the certainty that you have the strength, support, and determination to emerge healthier, emotionally enriched, and more empowered than ever before.

No matter if you’re fighting fit or fighting off a disease, finding ways to let go of negative thoughts can do wonders for your overall wellbeing. It’s completely understandable to feel angry about your situation, however by learning how to spot those negative thoughts as they arise, identifying what triggered them, and training your mind to replace them with empowering ones, you’ll pave the way for a positive mental outlook. That positive outlook will help lighten the load of stress and anxiety in your life, bringing you a renewed sense of hope and peace allowing you to focus on what is most important; improving your health.

It’s not easy and it’s certainly not going to happen overnight, but if you build awareness around your thoughts, you can significantly change your experience for the better.

We cover a lot more on how to do this in the “Controlling The Odds Book”.

When confronted with a cancer diagnosis, it’s normal for limiting beliefs we have developed from learned behaviours to surface. These beliefs, though distinct from the negative thoughts we explored earlier, still hold a significant impact on our lives. Limiting beliefs are self-imposed barriers stemming from past experiences that permeate various aspects of our existence, eroding our confidence, resilience, and capacity to conquer challenges. Often acquired through learned behaviours, these beliefs have the potential to shape our future decisions, influencing the course of our journey.

The way we were raised by our parents has a strong impact on our beliefs and learned behaviours as adults. For example, if we grew up with parents who always praised us, telling us how smart we were and that we were capable of achieving anything we put our mind to, we would likely develop a belief that anything is possible and develop a “Can Do” attitude consistent with that belief. Whether our parents thought we were smart or just average, their regular positive reinforcement when did things that were favourable, helped hard wire our brains to know that when we made an effort, we were likely to experience a feeling of happiness or reward. The positive beliefs we form at an early age make us more open to trying new opportunities that come our way and pave the way for a positive future.

On the other hand, if we had parents who constantly yelled at us, calling us stupid and useless, even if we were the smartest kid in our class, over time we might start to believe those negative things about ourselves. This belief would make us think that we are not deserving of the opportunities that may come our way. What our parents and friends repeatedly tell us, is only their opinion and may not even be the truth. However, if we hear it often enough, we start to believe it and soon it forms a part of who we believe we are.

Are these beliefs rooted in truth, or are they simply remnants of past experiences or other people’s opinions? Questioning their foundation allows you to regain control of your thoughts and perceptions with a renewed sense of confidence and openness to seize the opportunities that come our way.

Creating stories and attaching meaning to them is an innate aspect of human nature. Our conscious minds are constantly seeking patterns, connections, and narratives to make sense of the world around us and justify our actions. While storytelling can be a powerful tool for communication, understanding, and personal growth, there are instances where we should be cautious about creating stories that drift from the facts and then attaching excessive, invalidated meaning to them.

Let’s be frank. Shit happens all the time. Some good, and some bad. What happened is what happened, plain and simple; yet as humans we can’t help but create a story in our head about what happened and then attach meaning to the story we created. Everyone will have their own interpretation based on their past beliefs and experiences and, that interpretation or meaning they attach to the story, whether it be accurate or not, then becomes their reality. Have you ever told a small lie and then weeks or months later tried to accurately recall the story but couldn’t remember what the actual truth was?

By acknowledging the limitations of our understanding and resisting the urge to create elaborate narratives without sufficient evidence, we can cultivate a more objective and balanced outlook, enabling us to respond to events with clarity and wisdom.

I know it seems harsh, but what happened is, you got cancer; plain and simple. There could be many reasons why you got cancer, but spending countless nights lying in bed replaying speculative negative stories about how or why you got cancer is pointless. Instead, acknowledge you got cancer and start focusing on helping your body beat it and creating a positive narrative in your mind.

As human beings, we tend to squander a tremendous amount of time fretting and agonising over things that are entirely beyond our control. Many of the things we spend countless hours worrying about, never even come to pass. However, we still replay these negative scenarios in our minds, often anticipating the worst possible outcomes.

With each iteration, we experience the associated emotions as if they were real, as if they have already happened. Regardless of whether the actual outcome proves negative or positive in reality, our subconscious has already laid the groundwork, and what we dwell on the most, is likely to shape the final outcome we experience.

When you received your cancer diagnosis, I’m sure it felt like your world had been turned upside down. Fear and uncertainty probably began to creep in, overwhelming your thoughts and emotions. We have all heard of people having a rough time with cancer and it’s easy to assume the worst for ourselves. While easier said than done, it’s important to pause and focus only on the facts and the things you can control.

While the extent of the cancers progression may be beyond your control at the time of diagnosis, you do still have the power to influence various aspects of your journey going forward. By directing your energy towards what you can control—such as nourishing your body with a healthy diet, eliminating toxins, and adopting a positive mindset—you can transform your mindset from a place of helplessness to empowerment and allow yourself to start controlling the odds. This shift allows you to actively manage the situation and take proactive steps to maximize your chances of overcoming the disease and thriving in remission.

When you hold onto resentment and find it challenging to let go and forgive someone, it’s important to recognise that the person you harbour negative feelings towards may be unaware of the pain they have caused you. To be honest, in most cases they possibly don’t even care if they did. While they may have wronged you and you feel anger towards them, it’s crucial to understand that holding onto this resentment primarily only affects your own wellbeing. There is a saying that perfectly captures this situation: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

In essence, holding onto resentment keeps you trapped in a cycle of stress and anxiety, while the other person may remain unaware of the impact of their actions on your emotional state and continue their lives unaffected. By harbouring negative emotions, you inadvertently subject yourself to the detrimental effects of that emotional burden. Your wellbeing should be a priority, and by choosing to let go and forgive, you create a clearing to allow yourself the opportunity to heal and move forward.

Forgiveness is a powerful act of compassion and self-care that can profoundly impact your wellbeing, especially when facing the challenges of cancer. While forgiving others may not always be easy, it holds the potential to reduce stress, anxiety, and emotional burden. By embracing forgiveness in a caring and compassionate manner, you can open the door to healing and find peace within yourself.

Just like any project or journey of development, there are going to be days where nothing seems to be going right and you feel like throwing in the towel. For this reason (and many others), it is important that you have a clear, positive vision of what your life will look like when you reach remission and stay motivated to maintain your new habits until remission and beyond.

In this exercise, we would like you to clearly define some strong, powerful reasons to live and write them in your journal or diary so that you can revisit them when you are feeling lost.

A lot of people make the mistake of solely focusing on trying to stay alive to continue to support family rather than considering their own ambitions. While being around to help and support family can be a strong driver, you must also consider what YOU would like to do for yourself. You might be tempted to write things such as “I want to live so I can look after my partner”, or “I want to live because my children need their parent”.

Instead, write things such as “I will live so I can be around to walk my daughter down the aisle”, or “I am going to live because I want to travel the world and see the Colosseum in Rome”. These should be things which when you think about them, excites you, sparks positive emotions and provides you with focus and motivation, even on challenging days.

Each day, review your reasons to live and imagine yourself already there, well and healthy and living your dreams. You might want to do this during meditation or maybe just visualise each night before you sleep.

For now, find a quiet space, and in your journal, diary or on a piece of paper, answer the questions below. This will enable you to get clear on why, when things get tough, you will push through and remain positive.

Next to each answer, mark 1-10 to rate how committed you are to doing what is necessary to keep that in your life or achieve that goal.

Three reasons I want to live: _____________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________1-10 _______

Who would I miss if I were not around? ________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________1-10 _______

What would I miss if I were not around? ________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________1-10 _______

When you are feeling down, revisit these reasons and bring yourself back to why you are making an effort to improve your habits and stay on a path to better health.

During challenging times, it’s crucial to have a trigger statement that can shift your mood and redirect your focus from negative to positive. By using positive affirmations or mantras, we can reprogram our mental chemistry. Take a moment to create an empowering mantra that resonates with you. Your mantra can evolve over time as you progress through your journey.

For instance: “I am growing stronger and better every day, in every way.”

So go ahead and start workshopping your empowering mantra. Once you have settled on something that sits well with you and makes you feel powerful when you recite it, write it in your diary, print it and have it by your bedside table, on your mirror, anywhere that it can serve of a constant reminder that you are strong and powerful and will overcome this temporary obstacle.

If you find your mind drifting down the path of negativity, try reciting your mantra and then anchoring it to your subconscious.

During your recovery from cancer, it is natural to face difficult and challenging days. However, even in the midst of those tough times, there is always the opportunity to remember things to be grateful for. Establishing a practice of gratitude journaling during your journey can serve as an invaluable tool to retrain the mind, redirecting the focus towards the positives and nurturing a sense of appreciation, even when surrounded by the challenges that may arise.

Gratitude journaling holds the power to shift your perspective and bring about a profound transformation in your daily outlook. By consciously acknowledging and documenting moments of gratitude, you create a space for positivity to thrive, even when faced with adversity. It enables you to recognise the blessings, both big and small, that exist within your life and aids in cultivating a mindset of resilience and hope.

To begin your gratitude journaling practice, set aside a dedicated time each day to reflect and write. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can fully immerse yourself in the process. Start by grounding yourself in the present moment, allowing you to become aware of the thoughts and emotions that arise within you. From there, intentionally seek out moments, experiences, or even the presence of people that elicit a sense of gratitude within you.

As you jot down your reflections, let your words flow freely and authentically. Express your gratitude in a way that resonates with you, whether through short phrases, detailed descriptions, or heartfelt paragraphs. Embrace the power of specificity, diving deeper into the emotions and sensations associated with each moment of gratitude. This practice not only reinforces positive experiences but also trains your mind to be more attuned to the abundance of blessings in your life.

Incorporating gratitude journaling into your life as you recover from cancer has the potential to bring about profound changes in your wellbeing. It becomes a safe space to reflect on the goodness that surrounds you, and a reminder of your inner strength. Through the practice of gratitude, you cultivate resilience, nurture self-care, and discover a renewed sense of hope. As you embark on this journey of healing, remember that even amidst the challenges, gratitude has the power to uplift your spirit and guide you towards a brighter tomorrow.

When it comes to making decisions about your cancer journey, no one can tell you the exact path to take. It’s impossible to know for certain what outcomes the other paths could have led to and constantly dwelling on the paths not taken can undermine the power and effectiveness of the path you have chosen to walk.

Take a deep breath and ensure that you’re not rushed or swayed into taking a course of action that does not resonate with you. This is your journey, and it is essential to listen to your intuition and make choices that feel right to you.

Imagine your path to recovery as an adventurous road trip to better health. You have a clear destination in mind: a place where you are cancer-free and thriving. But just like any journey, there are three critical elements you need to consider.

Firstly, you need to know where you currently stand, your exact location on this journey.

Secondly, you must manifest a clear vision of where you want to go—a place where you have not only restored your health but are enjoying a far greater level of health than before.

And finally, you need a road map, a set of precise directions to guide you along the way.

It’s always good practice to start with the end in mind. So, begin by deciding where you want to be in the future. Take a moment and envision yourself in six months, one year, and even five years from now. Think about what your newfound health will allow you to do. Will you take up a new sport? Where are you living? Who will you surround yourself with? Maybe you have a new career to pursue? What new habits will you keep to ensure you stay healthy?

While maintaining a positive outlook, jot down your answers in your journal or diary. These visions will serve as your guideposts, helping you stay focused and motivated on your path to healing.

Controlling the odds is about taking charge of your journey, making informed decisions, and walking your chosen path with confidence. Stay focused, have faith, and believe in your ability to navigate this challenging terrain.