Surviving Prostate Cancer and Thriving

By Jeff Steedman My view through the prism of prostate cancer.

Achieving the Outcome you Want

To Survive or thrive, it’s my choice!


It is interesting to note the different outcomes which occur when using and believing these words and the corresponding belief systems underlying them. I responded to another post recently with a similar theme and my own experience with prostate cancer has me thinking about this again.

Some background. In past years I experienced skin cancer and recovered from it, leading a healthy, happy, and enjoyable life ever since. Six years ago I had a total thyroidectomy because of thyroid cancer and have led a healthy, happy, and enjoyable life ever since. I am a thriver and I believe that this road is open to all of us if we allow ourselves to take it.

Survivors

Cancer Survivors

In my counselling work, I come across people who have taken another path, they see themselves as victims who have managed to survive and lead their lives accordingly. It seems that many of those who take this path do so with fear, anger, anxiety, grim determination, and watchfulness which gets in the way of them leading a full and joyous life.

These are the survivors, hanging on grimly to their lives and not experiencing all that life has to offer. I don’t judge this, but I do recognise that it comes from a relief that they somehow survived, which can then become a self-limiting picture of themselves. Survivors often become watchful and even hyper-vigilant to potential threats.

This isn’t an issue if you can still live a joyful, need-satisfying life. But when your picture of yourself as a survivor who is potentially still under threat becomes too strong, it can become a limiting belief. You can spiral into depressing, anxiousing, or simply unhappiness as you restrict your connection with those around you and all that life has to offer.

Thrivers

Happiness is the awesome outcome of successfully meeting your needs

The alternative is to be a thriver. When you’re a thriver you accept whatever has happened to you in the past. Your focus is on what you can control now, your own behaviour, and connecting with the people and things that can help you meet your needs into the future.

As a thriver, you look to what you can do, rather than what you can’t. You focus on meeting your needs in connecting ways rather than worrying about what might happen and not engaging in needs satisfying behaviour. Of course, you would not have had the illness, accident, or adverse event happen to you, but given it did, become determined to live the best life that you can from now on.

Thrivers do Better

As a thriver you’ll do much better for many reasons. You’ll be less anxious and have fewer downtimes. When you experience downtimes, they don’t last long, because you can move quickly to shift your thinking and action, to choose and engage in behaviours that better meet your needs.

When you engage in needs satisfying behaviour you impact your immune system in a positive way and experience better healing and health outcomes. Emotionally your outlook is brighter and more open to possibility and connection.

“Fantastic! How About You?”

When people ask me how I am, I answer “fantastic…. how about you?” That is still my answer now.

No, I am not putting on a brave face. I know that there are risks, dangers, and challenges ahead. I also know I will have short periods of time when I feel less than great, but I choose not to get lost in those miserable thoughts and feelings.

It is my choice to see life as a fun and enjoyable journey with lots of possibilities and to focus on what I have and what I can do rather than what I can’t. Fear and misery have no place and no space here. So yes I am feeling fantastic and all of my thoughts are going into how I can take charge of my recovery after my total prostatectomy surgery on Monday.

In the coming days, weeks, months and years, how fantastic I feel will be totally up to me!

Cheers Jeff

Learn how to be a Thriver

How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively
Learn how to be a Thriver

 

Jeff Steedman
http://rivieracounselling.com.au/session.php
Jeff Steedman – Riviera Counselling

 

3 Comments

  1. Congratulations on having such a great attitude Jeff. I totally agree with you that any illness gives us an opportunity to look at our system of beliefs and decide to thrive. Before, during, and after. I watch my mum deal with cancer twice and thrive with her life after. She didn’t seem too worried, just did the treatment and dealt with the emotions, and then moved on.

    So nice that you can give counselling to others going through this and know from your won experience how it feels. 

    1. Thanks Lily I always love your comments they are so genuine and thoughtful. So glad that your mother has dealt with cancer so successfully 🙂

  2. Hello,

    I congratulate you about having the courage to write about this topic. And thank you for sharing your personal experience. I’m happy for you that you recovered from the skin and thyroid cancer. Being a thriver is important to deal with anything in life. 

    It seems that many of people who survive cancer do so with a lot of bad feelings. This leads to not experiencing all that life offers. Survivers often become hyper vigilent to potential risk. And sometimes people who lost someone from cancer too.

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