Another takeaway from my conversation with Dr. Michael Karlfeldt was the concept of treating
any cancer fight like your “personal Super Bowl”.
What do we mean by treating your cancer fight like your personal Super Bowl? It means that
you have to be in the game and be at your best – just like every athlete who has the privilege of
playing in the Super Bowl. Give 100% effort, complete and total focus, no lack of will, only your
best effort at being a patient. Yes, it takes some work.
This ties perfectly with the concept I have of “Building Better Cancer Patients”. You don’t just
survive cancer treatment, you MUST be 100% active in your role as a patient. It’s very, very
important on a number of levels.
Some thoughts on how to be at your best in your “personal Super Bowl”:
- 100% effort – in what you ask? Advocating, studying your treatment, thinking ahead,
developing responses to possible side effects, building your personal team, being
fearless, simply pushing through the rough times, etc. WHATEVER you do with respect
to your treatment, give full effort. Ready to give up – don’t – there is always more in the
gas tank. Just. Keep. Going.
- Focus – This is hard at first but almost every patient can quickly come to the point of
being able to focus on important tasks and the planning needed to be the best patient
possible. Use this focus to plan, in great detail, how you will work to be the best patient
possible through every phase of treatment.
- Do your homework and participate, even when you don’t feel like it. One of the best
ways to reduce stress during treatment is to study your treatment plan in great detail
and know how each part of your treatment plan is “supposed to work” and what can go
wrong. There may be times that you feel tired or stressed and don’t want to engage
with your care team about a current treatment. Gather yourself and do it anyway. The
interactions with your care team to get clarifications or questions answered is the
energy that is used to reduce your stress.
You may not have planned on being in the big game but, for whatever reason, here you are.
Take a minute, then decide, on purpose, to step up to be the best cancer patient you can
We are all cheering loudly from the stands!! Step into the moment and be your absolute best.