#131 Breast Cancer Recovery 101

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In the wake of the transformative Better Than Before Breast Cancer Workshop, it struck me how crucial yet underestimated the role of thought work is in recovery.

While survivors are often advised to "Stay positive," a truly healthy mindset goes beyond that veneer. Over-relying on positivity can lead us to suppress our genuine emotions.

Furthermore, our fixation on the physical aspects – like dietary choices, vitamins, and medication side effects – can overshadow the broader spectrum of recovery.

In this episode, I delve deep into the multifaceted journey of breast cancer recovery and illuminate the path to a more fulfilling life post-diagnosis.


The Revived Membership Experience has grown into the Better Than Before Breast Cancer Life Coaching Membership.
Get all the details here



Read the full transcript below:


This is Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm a healthy lifestyle coach, a clinical Ayurveda specialist, a personal trainer, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. In this podcast, we talk about healthy thinking and mindfulness practices, eating well, moving your body for health and longevity. And we'll also hear from other breast cancer survivors who have reengaged with life, and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer. Either friends, welcome to another episode of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I am your host, Laura Lummer. And I am so grateful you're here with me today as I am every day. And thank you for coming back over and over and listening and supporting the breast cancer recovery coach podcast means the world to me, I really, really appreciate it. I want to start off the show by sharing some really cool stuff with you some exciting news. So last weekend, we did the better than before breast cancer workshop. And it was so cool. You know, every time I try something new, it's always a little nerve racking. And you know, there's that little voice in the back of my head that says, What if nobody shows up? What if it doesn't go off? Well, what are you gonna do, and sometimes we just have to push past that little voice, a lot of times, we have to push past that little voice. And I'm so glad I did, because we had a few dozen women there and such great conversation. And I really wanted to do this workshop. For one, you know, a couple of reasons. But one primary reason is, I think that if you haven't had a coaching experience, it's hard to really understand how extremely valuable coaching is, you know, we create a lot of drama, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering for ourselves with our own brain. And it's really hard to get out of places that we're stuck in, and to move forward when we're using the same brain to solve the problem that the brain caused in the first place. So it was really cool. We focused in the workshop on three specific topics, which were overcoming fear, and learning to practice self compassion, and your relationship with food. And we just had such great conversation, some really powerful breakthroughs I got to talk with and coach with some incredible ladies, and I'm so glad I did it, it was really, really cool, I will definitely do it again, because it was such a great experience. So look out for that. I don't know when I'll do it again. But it'll definitely happen again, because it was so cool. And I just love having the chance to allow women to see how safe it can be to move to that vulnerable space and be coached by someone which is just giving you guidance into looking at the truth that's already inside of you and helping you grow and move past some of the conditioning, a lot of the conditioning that has happened to us throughout our lives, and still impacts our lives. Something that happened when we were eight years old, that still is part of the foundation of the adult that we function as and that we can move past those thought patterns. And that's really one of the things that motivated me to talk about today's topic, today's show. But before I jump into that, I have one more very exciting thing to share with you. So my revived membership experience is officially open for founding members. The first lessons actually begin in the coaching and all that starts in April. But it's open right now, it's already got some great stuff in there like a video series on the four pillars of breast cancer recovery, a video series on the model, which is a tool that I use and help women work through their thoughts and emotions with and also a mini course that I made on creating time for yourself. So there's already some great stuff in there. And for anyone who enrolls in the revived membership before the first day, which would be April 4, they are going to be one of my founding members and he gets special bonuses for being a founding member like one on one coaching session with me. And also a really cool action guide with tools to help you that will be mailed right to you with a journal section and some of the tools that we'll be using inside the membership. So I am really excited to be able to offer this because ever since I started coaching breast cancer survivors, I've been trying to come up with the right format that could reach more women it would be something like revivify as an awesome 10 week coaching program, but a 10 week sometimes as a as a big commitment to make for some people. So the revived membership is a monthly membership. You can cancel it anytime but I don't think you're going to want to once you get into it and I really hope you check it out. Because I know from my other members of my Empower membership, how incredibly transformational coaching and community can be. And that is exactly what the revived membership is delivering. So check it out at the breast cancer recovery coach.com, forward slash revived, R E vivd. revived, and you're gonna love it. All right, so let's jump into today's show. As I said a minute ago, I was inspired by the better than before breast cancer workshop to do the show. After I got off of this workshop, I started to think, you know, what is breast cancer recovery? So am I in breast cancer recovery as a metastatic thriver, I had put an ad out for a webinar that I did at some point last year, and I don't remember the title of it. But it was something like beyond breast cancer or life after breast cancer or something of that nature. And a woman commented on it and said, there is no life after breast cancer for those of us with Mets. And when I read it, I hadn't yet been diagnosed. And when I read it, I thought, Well, every day we're alive is a day of life after breast cancer. And I feel that way for myself. So is recovery, just the first year? Is it three years? It's seven years, is it eight years? And also is recovery? How much vitamin D Do you need? How do I make a decision on taking aromatase inhibitor? What should I ask my doctor when I go back for checkups? How do you manage skin? xiety? And is that recovery? And yeah, it is.

It's all encompassing. But here's the thing, in most of our lives, we are conditioned to think a certain way. We're taught to think in a way that helps us best conform to and function in society, right? Our parents teach us to behave ourselves because they want people to like us, and they don't want to be embarrassed. And they want to make sure we know how to conduct ourselves in public and get a good job and get along with people we work with get along with people we go to school with. And because our parents have their own expectations of what people should do, what a woman should do, what a girl should do, what a man should do, what a leader should do what an employee should do, right, we have all of these thoughts that we are conditioned to believe. And oftentimes, I see a lot of posts from survivors that are very focused on medicine, after breast cancer recovery, which is understandable, there are a lot of very valid questions and medications that we have to take as we move forward, as well as medications and drugs we've been exposed to in treatment have a powerful effect on our physical bodies. And I think oftentimes we stop there, we stop at that, look at my how my body has changed. And because we're taught that a body should be a certain way at certain points in her life. And now your body is different. We can be very stuck in keep us in a place of a lot of frustration, a lot of anxiety, a lot of anger, and a lot of resentment. And then we hear from other people, well, you're totally justified being angry and resentful. Because this thing happened to you. It was traumatic. It was scary. It was life threatening. You didn't deserve it. It isn't fair. All of the things that surround a diagnosis in those are also correct, right. And isn't fair. It is traumatic, it is painful, and it does cause permanent changes in our physical body. But getting stuck in that place. And I know this so well, because I was stuck there for a long time, after my first diagnosis of breast cancer getting stuck in that place. Does it serve you to move on to live a more fulfilling life? And that answer is no, of course, being stuck in anger and resentment, being hateful towards medication that you take. And I've seen on many, many occasions, posts that say, posts from women who say everyday their take their medication, they think to themselves or they say out loud, I hate this. So how does that fit into serving you and to supporting you living a happy and fulfilling life? So what is breast cancer recovery? Well, in the case of a diagnosis where the treatment ends, and you're deemed cancer free, and then you move on to deal with the trauma of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, then yes, recovery is processing all of those things. It's learning how to manage all the things that have the physical impact. out. But it's also learning how to manage all the thoughts and emotions that come up, that need to be faced, that need to be released that need to be understood. After breast cancer treatment, and it goes far beyond, I think this is a bit of an injustice, because we're so programmed while in treatment to be a warrior. And then we convince ourselves and this goes along with being conditioned throughout our lives. You know, suck it up, don't cry, be strong, be grateful, you're alive. And all of this programming really stops us from being able to process what happened because we get bound with all this guilt and shame, that if I'm struggling, if I'm feeling emotional, if I'm feeling beat up or not understood, then I'm not grateful for being alive. And that's just so untrue. There's just no truth to that whatsoever. You can be grateful to be alive, and you can still experience physical and emotional pain. And with respect to women living with metastatic disease, like myself, what is breast cancer recovery? Well, I guess that's more of a breast cancer diagnosis, recovery, that's the way that I see it, it is looking at a diagnosis of breast cancer being an ongoing lifelong treatment, but still finding a way to recover from the trauma of that diagnosis, the ongoing physical impact from treatment, and being able to process those emotions and those thoughts, so that you can live a fulfilling life. That's the bottom line. And I think, again, we get confused here, I think we think the bottom line is never getting a recurrence, or not dying from breast cancer. But those are things we have no control over. I mean, we have control over doing the things that reduce the risk. But at the end of the day, there could be a long line of people and I would be standing in it, who could stand there and say I did all the right things, and I ended up getting cancer, I did all the right things after that. And I ended up getting a recurrence. Who knows why that happens. So I say that breast cancer recovery is being able to move past the trauma in the thoughts and the anger and the emotions as well as managing the physical impact. So that you can live a happy life doing everything you can do not doing everything you used to do, because that may not be realistic any longer. So the recovery a lot of times, is processing what we have to let go of learning how to become present in our current life, learning to love ourselves and treat ourselves with compassion with where we are now. And here's the kicker, processing all the shit that was already there before cancer, that cancer magnified. And what I mean by that is I will often work with someone who will say, Okay, now I have a body image issue. You know, I lost my breasts, or I have swelling in my arm, my belly is bigger, I went through menopause, all of these physical changes happened. And I'm very self conscious. And I don't want to be around anybody. And I don't want to go to social things. And as we start to work through why she feels that way, what's going on what she has control over and doesn't and all of these things in the truth or not the truth that's behind it, almost 10 times out of 10, I will discover more even better, she will discover that she had body images long before breast cancer treatment. But breast cancer treatment magnified those issues. Many, many times we'll find that someone felt insecure and worthless and hopeless, and was super critical of themselves throughout their life. But then we go through this traumatic experience and our perspective, our lens on life changes. And oftentimes we just see these emotions so much more clearly. And it wasn't that they were always there. But something shifts when you have an experience that allows you to truly see and feel your mortality. And when you connect to that holy shit, life actually is a temporary state of being holy shit. I could actually lose this life at any time. That is a big wake up call. And so again, I asked Is it recovery if it's a year out or seven years out or eight years out in I say it is recovery, when you are still feeling thoughts and emotions that lead you to take actions that stop you from living your fullest life. They lead you to take actions that pull back from socializing with the people you love. And I'm not talking about COVID 's or pandemics, I'm talking about the way we think of ourselves after a diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, the thoughts and the feelings that leave you focused on the physical pain or the sadness or the unfairness of life. So if you're in that position where you're struggling, or you think I'm so angry, and I'm so hateful, or I don't like the way that I feel, or I can't look at my body, or I'm not confident in myself, then I say, you're still in recovery. And that recovery can go on for a very long time, a very long time. I personally struggled with that being in that stuck state for a solid three years after my first diagnosis. And then for the years that followed, that, it was really a matter of working on those thoughts that were really keeping me stuck working on the way that I saw myself and my role in this life. And so you continue that recovery, which is really just rebuilding your life in the way you want your life to be. And letting go the things you think about yourself and tell yourself that stop you from allowing that to happen. And this was so clear to me. Well, it's been clear to me before, but I loved it over this last weekend, because so often the focus is on what do you eat? How do you exercise? Are you the healthiest? Wait,

are you getting alcohol out of your diet? You know, all of the external things are you reducing toxicity is your skincare all organic, we're very externally focused. And I think there's a good reason for that. Because it's much easier to change external things than it is to look inside and deal with pain as it comes up, to deal with emotional pain, and to deal with thoughts that create emotional pain. So we distract ourselves with all the external stuff, and we tell ourselves, I'm doing all the right things. I'm meeting all the right things. But inside, you know, because you can't lie to yourself, you can feel where you're stuck. You can feel where your hurts. And although those things may be very true. There are different ways of thinking about them and approaching them in managing them in your life. So that they are not causing you pain, so that they're not keeping you from enjoying your life. And they're not keeping you from doing the things that inspire you and excite you and just make you feel alive. You know, we say, we fight so hard during breast cancer treatment, my God, it's horrible, it's miserable, it's hard on you. And we fight so hard. And then we come out on the other end, and we're not truly living. And what the heck did you fight so hard for them? You know, we have to be able to see we're blocking ourselves and blaming it on breast cancer. This is what I call breast cancer recovery. This is the space where you have the chance to read to create a life that truly is better than before breast cancer because you brought all the baggage with you you had before breast cancer, breast cancer magnified it with everything that you've had to go through and everything that you still have to deal with as you move forward in life. And so in that recovery period, that's the time when you have to look at what is inside your mind. What are you telling yourself about all the things that are happening in your life that are stopping you from living the life you want to have. And that's what I love so much about coaching women. It's what I loved so much about this, the better than before breast cancer workshop, it was so cool, because I just got to see these women's let go of things that were causing them pain and I know that as you do that you move forward in life lighter, and you have a chance to embrace more love and closer relationships and to build more confidence in yourself for yourself to get in touch with the whole you let go of all the bullshit that you were conditioned to think about yourself throughout your life and get to dig down into that beautiful, authentic person that is truly yourself in that's the person that's going to build the life that you want. Recovery is a constant process. We're constantly seeing things come up. I mean, it's my four pillars of Breast cancer recovery, right? Rien lease, renew, regroup, revive and do it again and do it again and do it again. But as we do it, we continue to evolve and transform as human beings in this beautiful experience of life. And I know that a lot of women get very stuck in just this physical aspect. So I want to share that with you. So you really considering where are you at in your heart? Where are you stopping yourself from feeling all the feelings? Where are you stopping yourself from experiencing all the excitement and all the inspiration and all the love and closeness and all the things that you want to have in your life, because I for one want you to have all the things and in order to do that we've got to move past just the physical and just the medicinal part of how we manage our life after breast cancer. All right, friends, I am going to leave you with that. I hope you come to the website, the breast cancer recovery coach.com You can download there my free video series, the four pillars of breast cancer recovery, you can go right on the homepage and enroll now in the revived membership experience and I am so excited to start working with all of my new members in April it is really going to be an amazing, amazing time. So I will talk to you again next week and until then, be good to yourself and expect other people to be good to you as well.

Use courage to the test laid all your doubts your mind is clearer than before your heart is wanting more your futures Give it all you know has you been waiting on



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