Meet Randy Chalfant- husband of nearly four decades, father of two, and cancer survivor. Randy is a metastatic colorectal cancer survivor and is passionate about sharing his insight into what it means spiritually, emotionally and practically to be diagnosed with cancer.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Buddhist Proverb
Any bout with cancer is tough, getting through 4 rounds is an accomplishment. For me, I think the mental challenge is larger than the physical challenge, and the physical challenge isn’t easy, which is the point. With the constant issue of what is physically lost in health, stamina, and ability to do ordinary things, there is a real mental shift I believe must happen to be able to happily deal with the new reality. I can’t overstate this, it is without a doubt the key most important attribute to maintaining a strong positive mental position. One has to let go of the past, and find ways to obtain joy for the new reality. The faster a person can accept their current reality, the better.
Of course everyone and their personal experiences will vary. My situation is one reality, I have seen and met people who are far worse, as well as much better. No matter where one is with their personal challenges, finding a positive path is essential to maximizing the best potential outcome. Negative energy and sour attitudes that lead to stress, have no healing properties, and in fact studies have shown healing is impaired.
That is the point of the Buddhist Proverb, but I would add that the faster you can find the right path and then follow it the better. So how do you do that?
From a personal point of view I recommend you have a strong faith in God to be leading you, and taking care of you, so you can be relieved of the worry of life in general. The next important step is to find a medical team you click with and that you can trust. If either are not working, fire them and find one you can trust.
If you are freshly diagnosed with cancer you are likely frightened and don’t know what to do.
That’s where the LIVESTRONG Foundation can really help. They know the ropes, and they are connected to every organization that counts. Minimally, they have people that can give you advice and direction, which will greatly improve the speed of you getting onto the right track. When it comes to cancer, you don’t have time to fool around. Your life, and the quality of it, is dependent on fast and effective action. Maybe you are the type that wants to control everything, and that translates to you doing it on your own. So be it. Few amateurs go to Vegas and come back rich. Personally I would recommend you find the resources that have the most efficient and rapid path to resolution, and that means getting some experienced guidance.
Realize also that all cancer treatment regimes are shared via the web among all related medical professions. While well intending people will tell you have to go to a prestigious institution to get effective treatment, I will politely disagree. So long as your doctors are paying attention to all of the latest and greatest treatments, learning, and following best practices, the treatment you can receive locally can be equal to any of the best.
Case in point, I have beaten the statistical odds, and am doing relatively well. I have beaten four rounds of metastatic colorectal cancer. Even though I am technically in remission, my medical team knows if we just wait, I will be in my fifth round of cancer this summer. So instead of waiting for that, I am now taking chemo (5FU) and radiation. They think there is a real chance of me being in remission for much longer than just a few months now. We shall see. The point is – they are thinking and are out of the box. The bigger point is that I am still alive because of them and they are a local team in a small town in Colorado. No matter, they are a really great team, and I am grateful beyond words.
Please, if you, or someone you know is new to cancer, get on it fast. Use LIVESTRONG Foundation to accelerate your path, once you have figured it out, then stay on it. Don’t jump around looking for something better. If you get plugged into the right resources in the beginning, there isn’t anything better, so find a team you trust.
Your time should be spent following the plan, making everyday count, and appreciating the things that matter.