Remember that you are the boss in your breast cancer treatment

You are the boss breast cancer treatment | My Fabulous Boobies - Nicole McLean [woman holding mug that reads like a boss]

*Update 11/2017*  I wrote this 1 year into my breast cancer treatment. I was exhausted but needed to make a decision about surgery. I struggled with my anxiety about making the wrong decision throughout my treatment period. I finally figured out what steps I needed to take to reduce my anxiety and focus on the decisions I needed to make. 

It's perfectly normal to be overwhelmed when fighting breast cancer

I am TERRIFIED. Absolutely, positively…crazy-girl-on-the-horror-flick SCARED. I’m scared of making the wrong decision. I have been weighing, contemplating, analyzing, crying, praying and meditating about what I should do next in my treatment plan for breast cancer.

I am holding on to the mantra that my general surgeon gave me last week:

“You are the boss.”

It doesn’t always feel like I’m the boss or like I’m in charge – but ultimately I am. And if you’re struggling with cancer – or any other huge life-changing issue – you are as well.

It is tough being in charge of something so scary. You have to trust your instincts and get as much knowledge as you can, as quickly as possible. You have to be resilient and persistent and you have to just have FAITH.

I am resilient and persistent and I do have faith but I also have a lot of fear. Here are the steps I’m taking to move beyond the fear and into the solace of making the right decisions for me.

Steps that move me forward:

Pray and meditate – this one is obvious and cannot go without saying. I pray every day. Feels like all day long – I am constantly “shouting out” to Jesus to help me, to strengthen me… to hold me. When I start to feel like the anxiety is choking me that the fear is taking over – I ask others to pray for me. That usually helps a lot.

Review the situation – this is also basic and easy but I’ve found that when I stop for a moment and really ask myself “what are you making a decision about?”…I usually find that the decision that needs to be made is not the same thing that I’m worried about.

Remind myself that I can only do what I can do and no more – this one is harder because I feel compelled to do all that I can do, all that I need to, and all that I feel that others expect me to do. That’s a lot of stuff to do – and many days I fail miserably because I’m more focused on what I think other people expect me to do than what I can do.

Research the options – sometimes I procrastinate on making a decision by doing extra research. Google is my friend and sometimes my enemy. But often, the more that I research a situation and the options, the better I feel about my instincts about the situation. The more I learn, the more I know and the better I can make decisions.

Set a deadline to make a decision – sometimes the deadline is inherent in the decision itself. Other times, I have to set an arbitrary deadline just so that I’m not spinning and spinning and spinning. (this is where I am right now)

Pray and release my decision to the universe – at the end of the day, the person affected by my decision is Nicole. There will always be another way that something could have been done but when I accept that I make the best decisions I know how to make with the information that I have at my disposal…it is okay.

Walk away – after the decision is made walk away from the thoughts of it. Walk into the steps you need to take to get it done. In the end, all things will work out in your favor. That’s just the way that it goes.

Just writing all of this down has helped me tremendously. I have been struggling and struggling and I’m absolutely worn out. My world around me is chaotic which only tells me that I’ve really been struggling for some time now. The truth is no one can promise me anything on this journey. None of my doctors can tell me with 100% certainty that any procedure I opt to have – or not have – will be the thing that saves my life, extends my life or makes my life better. In every step I take, there is a possibility of failure, of death or something in-between. Getting to a point where that possibility still feels like the very best thing I can do for myself is a very long journey.

But I am surely getting there. Starting today…I am making decisions that are best for me.

Because I am the boss.

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