One set of hands holding up, supporting another

You Can Do Hard Things 

You can do hard things – you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.

This is the advice I’d give to myself on the day I found out I had ovarian cancer, it’s the advice I’ve given newly diagnosed cancer thrivers since then as well. The truth of the matter is I had no clue I was as strong as I was until that was the only choice I had.

An ovarian cancer diagnosis is hard, probably one of the most difficult things you could ever be handed to deal with – from hearing those initial words to the surgeries, chemotherapy, and countless blood draws and scans. If I could have given myself a step-by-step process, it’d have looked like this.

You can do this, let’s go!

If you’re newly diagnosed, you may be telling me to put a cork in it, I may have done the same, but I also needed my cheerleaders. The ones who continually told me ‘you can do this’. Will it be difficult – absolutely. Will there be days when it seems impossible – heck yes! But you can do this.

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How do I know? Because I was able to do so and I’m no different than you. We’re both human, we’ve both been dealt a really crappy card in life, but like me, you’ll figure out what works for you and you can do this.

One foot in front of the other

One day at a time, that’s how you have to take this. One day maybe really great, and the other you’ve landed on your butt again, but as long as you can keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’re making progress. Make a list of things you have to do, per your treatment plan, and check them off one by one.

Rest when you need to

You are sick, and you need rest. I get it. I was 36, young, and once full of energy...but you are literally fighting for your life here. Please allow yourself the time your body needs to recover from surgery, your most recent treatment, or just a long and trying day.

What once was seen as ‘lazy’ is now what your body needs most...so rest when you need to, everyone will understand, you have nothing to prove.

You are going to need help

This was the most difficult part for me to accept – help. I was so accustomed to doing things on my own, my way, in my time...just the way I liked it. Your energy is precious during treatment (and after for that matter!) – let those who want to help, help. Find things that you aren’t as picky about and hand those off to someone else. Those around you don’t know how to make things better...helping you is one way they are able to do so, even if it’s in the smallest of ways.

We were all made to do hard things

Before you know it, what once seemed impossible to get through becomes possible and you look back and wonder how in the world you got through it, or continue to get through it for those who encounter recurrences or end up needing to change treatment plans along the way.

We were all made to do hard things, you just have to determine how handling all of these things and making it to each checkpoint will work for you.

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