When you find yourself in the place where:
- You don’t know what to do next
-You feel like you’re all alone
-You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel
What do you do?
You borrow hope.
You turn to someone who’s been where you are.
Someone who’s made to the other side…maybe not too far.
Just a smidge beyond where you’re at, but that’s really all you need.
Just a little hope to help you believe if someone else could get through this, so can you.
You are not alone.
Not in breast cancer and not in life.
Allow connecting to others to become a part of your healing.
Referred to in this episode:
Read 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 re engaged with life and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm so glad you found your way here today. My name is Laura Lummer. I am your host, and I have some great stuff for you here today on this show.
I want to start with just a very quick reminder that there is a new resources page on my website, you can find that at thebreastcancerrecoverycoach.com/resources. And on there you can find the free downloads that I've put together. And that includes my video series, the four pillars of breast cancer recovery. It includes the book on lymphedema that'll give you a basic understanding of lymphedema different ways to manage it different ways to address it, even if you've never had a flare up of lymphedema. Because if you've had lymph nodes removed, remember we are at a lifelong risk of having lymphedema it gets triggered by different things. Mine for instance, I had lymph nodes removed in my first surgery in 2011. And I never had to deal with lymphedema until the end of last year 2020 because I had was put on crutches and the pressure from the crutches kicked off the record the lymphedema, and I've been managing it ever since.
So whether you have it or you don't have it, this book is a great resource to get an understanding of lymphedema and different things you can do to manage it, and be aware of it so that you can prevent it hopefully, from being triggered. You'll also find some meditations and I've linked podcasts that I did these meditations for. So you can have both of those resources, and so on my favorite things like books that I found to be so supportive and so helpful in my recovery, and also products that I use that support me on a daily basis.
So I hope you check out the resources page, know that if you have questions, or if there's something that you'd like to know more about, you can email me at [email protected] let me know and I'll look into it for you and see if I can come up with some good resources that can support you as well.
Okay, so let's get right into this.
You know, this is interesting thing, because sometimes I feel so inspired to do a show because I've just been seeing something or experiencing something with my members and our coaching and hearing comments. And it's funny how an idea will come up, something will arise, and then suddenly, a lot of people have the same issue or same experience around it.
And that's something I've been seeing a lot lately.
I thought about this, actually, as I was putting together the resources page for the website, and I was putting the books that I love, love love. I think there's like six books, I have many more I can put, but those would be my top six right now. And I was thinking about how amazing it is that when you turn to a resource for that information for whatever information it is, because we're always at a different stage, in our treatment in our healing in our life. And it's so interesting how things will come into your life at that point, that offer you support just when you need it. And they'll make sense just at the right time.
So I was thinking about this, because over the last couple of months, the growth that I see in my empower membership, this group of women who've been working together for over a year now, some of them over a year, some of them coming up on a year is just phenomenal.
It's just absolutely phenomenal.
And I was thinking about this a lot as I watched their transformations. And I think about the members in my revived membership. And I see and I get emails from them and comments from them. And I do private coaching with them. And I see how some of them already are blossoming and how they have these moments of clarity.
And another interesting thing, especially in the empower group is just the amazing connection these women have, you know, I feel very comfortable saying these women are the best of friends even though well there's two of them that have met in person but most of them have never even met in person. And just the love and the connection and the bond and the camaraderie is amazing.
And that in itself is part of the growth. This growth from the people who are engaged in this group and engaged with each other and because of that engagement, doing the self coaching showing up to the calls getting coaching also.
But beyond that, because I use the term self coaching.
So beyond just when we're working together, because they're working on growth, because they're working on healing, they're looking for resources outside of just what we do in the program. Podcasts, books, other speakers, and sharing those resources within the group with each other.
I see this also in the breast cancer recovery group, I see women reach out because they have concerns, questions, fears, and just, you know, trying to navigate the unknown and so many other women that come in and offer support and caring to them.
So I was thinking about this, and noticing this a lot lately, a lot recently.
And I was having a conversation just today with a woman who used the perfect phrase, the perfect phrase. And when she said this, I thought that is exactly what I am witnessing here. And it's amazing.
And what she said to me is, people need to have borrowed hope.
And I went borrowed hope.
What a cool phrase that is, borrowed hope.
And I started thinking about it. And I realized, that is what we get when we come together in a like minded group. That is what we get when we turn to someone who's had a similar experience as ours. They've lived through that experience, they've learned from that experience, and they're just a little farther along the road than we are on that experience.
I know for myself, I see women with metastatic breast cancer, and they'll post, I'm two years out, I'm five years out, I'm eight years out, I'm 12 years out. And I see that and I borrow hope for myself from what they've accomplished.
And I look at my groups and think about what I just shared with you and the development that I see in everyone. And I think this is so amazing. This is what we're witnessing, borrowed hope.
Whatever stage we're at in our life, and whether that is in breast cancer treatment, recovering from it, or dealing with something else, or sorting out something else entirely in your life, when we can connect to another human being with a similar experience, who's gotten just a little further past the point where we're at, we can draw so much hopeful energy, we get to borrow hope from them.
And that is so incredibly valuable.
Now, of course, when I hear this term borrowed hope I did a little googling and a little research, I thought, let me look into this borrowed hope concept.
And I found something that was really cool. And I want to share it with you now.
It's a poem, get my glasses on, and it's called borrowed hope. And here's how the poem goes:
Lend me your hope for awhile. I seem to have mislaid mine. Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily. Pain and confusion are my companions. I know not where to turn. Looking ahead to the future times does not bring forth images of renewed hope. I see mirthless times, pain-filled days, and more tragedy. Lend me your hope for awhile, I seem to have mislaid mine. Hold my hand and hug me; listen to all my ramblings. I need to unleash the pain and let it tumble out. Recovery seems so far distant; the road to healing a long and lonely one. Stand by me; offer me your presence. Your ears and your love acknowledge my pain. It is so real and ever present. I am overwhelmed with sad and conflicting thoughts. Lend me your hope for awhile, A time will come when I will heal and I will lend my renewed hope to others.
Eloise Cole, Scottsdale, Arizona
Now, of course, I'll put a link to that in the podcast show notes. But I started off googling, looking for research, right?
Psychological research on the benefits of being in a group and whatever, whatever to support this podcast and offer to you. But when I found that poem, I thought that is really all I need. It's honest. It's raw. It's clearly written by someone who needed to borrow hope.
And a couple of things stand out to me, these resonated with me not only because of my own experience, but because of the experience I've seen in women I work with and coach. And one of those lines is I know not where to turn. And I remember feeling to so many times, I don't know where to turn. What should I do next? Is this supposed to be happening to me? Is this normal? Am I alone?
And that feeling of aloneness, I don't care where it is if it's making a decision on chemotherapy making a decision on a surgery, being years out of breast cancer treatment and making a decision on what's important in your life and regrouping your life and reviving your life and moving forward with your life.
Wherever it is so often, we don't know where to turn.
And I think it's so beautiful to think about reaching out to a community. And sometimes we hold ourselves back because we have this individualistic mentality. And we say I should figure it out on my own, just get through it, just get through it. And that's great. Because we do need to have our own strength, we do need to have our own grit, we do need to have our own resilience, even to look for help, even to figure out where to turn, even to be open to listening to the experiences of others, and then not making someone else's experience our own, but just listening, hearing it, and then taking from that, what we need in that moment. Borrowing that piece of hope that we need to get ourselves to the next step.
Another line that meant so much to me, where it said, I need to unleash the pain and let it tumble out. Recovery seems so far distant; the road to healing a long and lonely one.
Holy cow, who does not identify with that, right?
It is so important to have a safe space to unleash pain. It is so important to be able to just verbalize this, I feel alone, I feel like this road is long and empty.
And that can be a road to healing from anything. It can be a road to working towards accomplishing something else. But when you're feeling alone, when you're feeling frustrated, when you're feeling defeated, whatever that experience is to talk about it openly is so powerful. I was having a conversation the other day with a woman who was in tears for most of the conversation. And then when she finally dug down to that underlying fear of hers, that underlying emotion that was stopping her from doing all the things she wanted to do in her life, She said to me, Oh My God, I feel like I just released something.
And that is not the first time I've heard that comment.
Talk therapy, talking things out, whether you're talking to a group, a community, and even if it is online, just coming into community and talking with people and saying this is what I'm feeling and hearing you're not alone. And hearing I've been through that too. I understand I feel you is so very important. And I guess you know, I call this podcast episode borrowed hope because I wanted to talk about that connection and what we receive in the group.
But I think even before that the underlying, incredibly powerful principle is opening yourself and giving yourself permission to receive.
To receive support from someone else.
In his book, The body keeps the score Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, which is this is a great book too, I highly recommend reading it. But he talks in that book in one specific part of the book about the actual physical effect that trauma has on the brain. And he says this is a quote, we now know that trauma compromises the brain area that communicates the physical embodied feeling of being alive.
How amazing is that?
And he goes on to talk about why people who've survived trauma and breast cancer most definitely is a trauma, as are so many things in life.
My God, we go through traumas, grief loss, injury disease, there are so much trauma that happens in life.
But the awesome thing is that our brains can change. And that is something that Dr. Vander Kolk offers in his book, he says there are three fundamental ways that we can address your brain's neuroplasticity.
So your brain's ability to change, after having gone through a trauma and having been changed from that trauma.
And one of those is connecting or reconnecting with others.
Another is allowing yourself to know and understand what is actually going on with you.
And when I read that, I thought, man, that is so amazing. This is the magic I see when women reach out to groups. When I get emails and direct messages, and people saying to me, thank you for this group. Thank you for this safe space. I'm so happy that I connected here I needed a place to be heard. And this certainly resonates with my own experience both in health and healing and cancer. And even in creating my own business.
I've been part of groups and coaching groups on both ends, and connecting with people and overcoming our challenges together has been phenomenal for me.
I don't even think I would be here today offering you this podcast, if I had it connected to the groups and the mentors and the people I have along the way.
I borrowed hope and encouragement from others that I could make things happen, that I could feel differently than what I was feeling that there were options and opportunities. And sometimes I just borrowed hope from others that I would find a way to manage the things that I couldn't change.
And so I wanted to offer this podcast today, because here's something I hear on the flip side of that, I don't want to air my dirty laundry. I have had people who one coaching sessions with me who've said, oh, I'm not ready for that, basically, like I have to clean house and fix myself before I could go and be coached. And I encourage them to say, okay, that's what the whole coaching thing is about. That's what the group is about. You don't have to clean the house before the cleaning service comes right, you work together. And you get that encouragement and that hope from the people that you engage with.
So I just had the feeling that this was a really important message to get out on this podcast. I don't know why sometimes I get that feeling. I do a lot of meditation and thought when it comes to coming up with my podcast topic. And this one just resonated with me. And I suppose it's because of the people I've talked to recently who I just see that light come on, once they've been able to connect and move past that feeling of being alone, of being fearful, and of having so many thoughts stuck in their mind.
And it is just amazing.
I know I talk about this all the time, the power of getting thoughts out and getting them on paper. But talking them through with someone else asking people, if they've had similar experiences, getting the information I don't I don't ever suggest that you find the answers outside of yourself. But finding information, asking questions and connecting with others so you take what you need, and then you discover those answers within you, those answers that help you move forward.
But it does take that upfront effort.
It takes that work of going okay, I'm not going to get through this on my own.
Right, I'm part of a bigger scheme of life, I'm part of a bigger, more beautiful community of people. I want to open myself up, allow myself to receive and then take that scary step, and reach out.
I offer the breast cancer recovery group, which is a free Facebook group that you can reach out and connect. It's only breast cancer survivors in there. So it's a safe space to ask questions and get feedback.
And I have the revived membership, which will be opening in October. So look forward to more news on that.
And I'm also going to be doing a free challenge at the end of this month, the end of September. So I'm working out the details on that I was hoping to announce it on this podcast. But look for it on my Facebook page, Laura Lummer. And I will announce it as soon as it comes out, hopefully by Monday.
And I want to just bring everybody together in this healing, kind of a challenge challenge, meaning we're just going to put out something new every day to work on in ourselves. And so that we can connect in our own group, especially coming up to October because I feel like October is you know, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And it used to have a very different meaning to me before I had to breast cancer. And once I had breast cancer, my perspective of breast cancer awareness month changed because a lot of friggin scary and sad stories come out. And I think that's just you know, a part of trying to motivate people to go and get early treatment or you know, seek treatment and catch cancer early. But for those of us who have had it or going through it or recovering from it or living with it, it gives me a pretty scary month. So I wanted to put something together to bring a group of survivors together at the end of September for that last week to get us ready for that month and get us really connected to each other and to ourselves.
So I hope that information helps somebody and if you've been on the fence and thinking, I really need someone to connect to do it wherever you need, get a therapist, talk to a group, put a Wednesday wine night together with your friends, whatever it is that you need.
Don't feel like you have to do it on your own.
And know that you not only don't have to do it on your own. But there's so much more benefit in letting go of that individualistic mentality and allowing yourself to connect to someone else to help get you through the rough spots and borrow some hope.
All right, friends, I will talk to you again next week.
And until then, please be good to yourself.
Go to my website, get some free resources and support and look for the challenge coming up at the end of September.
All right, expect other people to be good to you as well. Take care.