two woman and a cancer ribbon running a race

Setting a Goal

My mother died from lung cancer, my daughter got Hodgkin lymphoma at 25, and I too am a cancer patient. I have and am living with stage four thyroid cancer. What I have found to be important is to have a goal. Of course, the first goal for many of us is to be cancer-free. But I think we also have to set short-term goals. We spend so much time at the doctor and going through treatments, it’s important to have something to look forward to. For my daughter Crystal, she found running.

Crystal's love of running

Crystal luckily has been told she is cured. Of course, she has to hit the two-year mark to really feel safe. Her goal through most of her treatments was to get back to being physically fit once she was done with cancer. She has always been interested in keeping up with her health and physical fitness, and she wanted to feel strong again. When she went back to her life, she got into running and set her sights on marathons and distance running challenges and fundraisers. Crystal is part of two running clubs and is thinking about starting her own a little closer to where she lives. She has completed two 5k runs, as well as other smaller ones. She is doing very well, is feeling great, and loving her life right now. Crystal is starting to think about a new career venture and is keeping her eye on the future. She plans to be successful in her goals and is not going to let having had cancer keep her down.

My future as a health coach

I’m a bit closer to retirement and am thinking about my life after retirement. I’m thinking of it as a second chance. I am very big into eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. I feel the changes I’ve made to my life have kept the growth of my cancer to a minimum. Right now I’m still in watch and wait mode. When I was first diagnosed, my doctor was sure I’d be going through chemo treatments by now. Although this seemed to be my fate, the doctor could not do anything for me now, saying I had to wait for the nodules to get larger. This forced me to do some research on my own and I discovered a whole new lifestyle that I feel has helped me. Because of this, I have made my goal to become a health and lifestyle coach. I have already started my classes and love them. I feel it will help me to be even healthier and will help me to meet new people. My friends sometimes think I’m crazy for some of the changes I’ve made to my life, but my philosophy is, "If it doesn’t hurt, and may help, why not give it a try."

The importance of setting goals

My advice is, if you have recently found out you have cancer, are in the process of treatments, or are now finished, have a goal. There is life after cancer, or as in my case, life with cancer. As a matter of fact, for some of us, having cancer changed us in a positive way. I try hard to be grateful for what I have and appreciate life so much more. I now know I am not invincible and so try to enjoy what I have along with finding happiness in each and every day. I wish the same for all of you!

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