Newly Diagnosed with Cancer? 5 Things I Wish I Had Known...


If I have 10 minutes with someone newly diagnosed with cancer and they’re interested in more than just what their M.D. can offer them, then these are the 5 things I would talk about in the midst of the frantic chaos that they are most likely experiencing:

#1 - A cancer diagnosis does not equal death. 

I know that doesn’t sound accurate from everything our culture and media (and doctors) tells us about cancer, but it’s not certain death, never. There’s a chance of death, just like driving a car has a chance of death, but it’s not absolutely certain. You’re probably panicking. I was panicking in a BIG way… deer-in-the-headlights, frantic-researching, loud-loud-wailing panicking. We’re not really taught or shown by example how not to panic. If someone had gently held my face and said with a calm certainty, “Friend, can you hear this? This diagnosis in no way means that you are for sure going to die from cancer,” I’m fairly confident that would have helped me.

#2 - You know the right path for you, and you will find it and follow it. 

You can’t make a mistake, I promise. Your intuition, your inner guidance, your God will lead you. You may have to get quiet… really, really, really quiet…  but you will find your path. It’s not going to hide from you or be tricky; it wants to be found. Visualizations, meditation, yoga, guided imagery, journaling, painting, praying, singing, dancing, anything that gets your thinking-thoughts out of the way will help you discover it.

#3 - Get a copy of the book Radical Remission by Kelly A. Turner.

She's studied spontaneous healing... with data-collection and spreadsheets and charts. What she's found is based on actual evidence. Read the introduction and then the Story and Action Points at the end of each of the 9 chapters:

Radically Changing Your Diet
Taking Control of Your Health
Following Your Intuition
Using Herbs and Supplements
Releasing Suppressed Emotions
Increasing Positive Emotions
Embracing Social Support
Deepening Your Spiritual Connection
Having Strong Reasons for Living

It's easy and encouraging reading. If you want insight into spontaneous healing, this is your evidence-based guidebook. Stories of people with Stage 4 cancer sent home to hospice with weeks left to live and then 20 years later are happy and healthy? Yes, please!

#4 - Watch this 6-minute YouTube video: Cancer: The Unimaginable—The Work of Byron Katie.

The Work that she does might help you greatly see a different perspective. Also, choose your words carefully. For me, the statement, “I was given a diagnosis of cancer” works best for me. It’s not “my” cancer. It’s not “I have” cancer. It's not "I received a diagnosis of cancer." Maybe that works for you and maybe there’s a better phrase. And based on the following evidence, I’d really recommend staying away from all of the “war” imagery (battling, fighting, invading, surviving, winning, losing, etc.) and instead view this as a journey and/or an incredible learning experience. PS - This isn't just hippie love talking; it's evidence-based.

  • “Studies that have interviewed cancer patients around the time of diagnosis and followed them for years after have found that patients who view their disease as an ‘enemy’ [and ascribe a negative meaning of illness with choices such as ‘loss’ or ‘punishment’] tend to have higher levels of depression and anxiety, and poorer quality of life than those who ascribe a more positive meaning. They also tend to report higher pain scores and lower coping scores.” (NCBI study and The Atlantic article)

#5 – Believe and truly understand that NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING!!! 

All of the doctors and healers and scientists and authors… everyone is just “practicing” medicine. It’s either cancer will kill at a rate of 0% or 100%, not at 55% or another percentage. So take all of the statistics that are blasted at you with a grain of salt. In the end, cancer will kill you or it won’t, you’ll live 2 more weeks/months/years or 50 more years… so between now and then, I’d encourage you to not panic (panic NEVER helps any situation ever, right?) and instead try to find the one small thing you are actually happy for in this very moment, right now.

PS - And finally, may I be so bold as to suggest and whisper very slowly and very gently…  
Be watchful for the cracks of light that will appear in this darkness.
They are there.
You will see them if you look for them.

May I Suggest (4 minutes long)
written by Susan Werner (
sung by Red Molly

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of your life

May I suggest
this time is blessed for you
this time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright
Just turn your head
and you’ll begin to see
the thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight

The reasons why
why I suggest to you
why I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a world
that’s been addressed to you
addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
a treasure chest to you
of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerize

a tender lover’s smile
a tiny baby’s hands
the million stars that fill the turning sky at night

Oh I suggest
Yes I suggest to you
Yes I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a hope
that’s been expressed in you
the hope of seven generations, maybe more
this is the fate
that they invest in you
it’s that you’ll do one better that was done before

inside you know
inside you understand
inside you know what’s yours to finally set right

And I suggest
And I suggest to you
And I suggest this is the best part of your life

This is a song
comes from the west to you
comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
this is a song
with a request of you
to see how very short the endless days will run
and when they’re gone
and when the dark descends
we’d give anything for one more hour of life

May I suggest
this is best part of your life

Colleen Flowers holistic cancer living

Colleen Flowers was given the diagnosis of aggressive Stage 2 breast cancer on June 1, 2015 at the age of 35. She's trained as a Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner and does her best to walk the talk. Please explore this site for resources, information, and ideas you may not have been presented with before now. If you like what you see, then subscribe to her newsletter and consider talking with herWant to stop making decisions based on running away from fear and death, and base them on walking toward love and life? Book a Consult and Buy a Package for individualized coaching support.

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