Monday, 8 October 2012

The cancer personality

There is such a thing as a 'cancer personality'. Who knew! Being a people-pleaser, needing approval, and suppressing toxic emotions, notably anger, are all traits of of the cancer susceptible personality. I used to start nearly every sentence with the words "I'm sorry". Now I rarely do, and not because I'm never in the wrong, I just don't apologise for myself any more. Cancer personalities take too much on, and find it hard to say 'no'. Well, surprise, that was me! I just didn't recognise myself as that person. 

In addition to the emotional stereotype, most cancer patients (particularly those with hormone driven cancers) are deficient in vitamin D3 (the highest breast and prostate cancer rates are in countries with low annual sunlight) and have poor sleep patterns (people who work night shifts, such as nurses, have almost double the risk of breast cancer). Of course our bodies are intricately woven organisms, so if you're not getting enough sleep, not enough melatonin is produced, which in turn disrupts hormone production and regulation, which in turn creates imbalances in every other delicate system of your body. Melatonin and D3 are incredibly important for a healthy immune system - the body's innate cancer defence.

I take full responsibility for having had cancer. Every choice I have ever made brought me to that point. I was driven by fear... fear of failure, fear of not being liked, fear of being perceived as selfish. The fear of my children dying kept me up all night, and I attended to every whimper well into their 3rd year. I was chronically sleep deprived, which lead to a compromised immune system. I was constantly ill and became depressed. I then chose to take anti-depressants - could I have tried any harder to tune out what my body was telling me? What a mess. 

Guess what. As soon as I was diagnosed I mysteriously managed to make time for all of those doctor's appointments, hospital stays, and subsequent therapies of my own choosing. It proved that time WAS available to me, I just hadn't been prioritising myself. Now I make time for seminars, private doctors, raw food classes, yoga, juicing, enemas, meditation and for generally filling myself up. My children have no complaints about this new and improved Mummy - in fact my 9 year old son has commented that I am much calmer since diagnosis.  

It's OK to love yourself. When I was at school "You really love yourself" was bandied about as an insult! What a thing to un-learn. It took me a long time to truly understand what self-love means, and it has nothing to do with vanity. The more you love yourself, the more centred you are, and the less you care about pleasing others, but conversely the better person you become.

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