9. Lean into the pain

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Stephanie took us through some of the toughest parts of her cancer journey, including how she had to postpone her wedding, how she got lost in the dark space, and what helped her to get through and eventually reconnect with life again. 

A big shout out to Stephanie for doing such a deep dive during our recording. She was so transparent in sharing some of the most vulnerable moments on her journey, and because she is such a great storyteller – which I attribute to her journalist background – I felt like I could see in my head the specific moments and conversations she described as we were chatting. 

One thing that really blew me away was the great communication Stephanie and her husband had with each other. As Stephanie described, getting a cancer diagnosis can trigger so many insecurities and emotions because of the physical changes and limitations you experience. In absence of a strong foundation to lean on, it’s not surprising that new conflicts will often come up between family members. 

I also really appreciated Stephanie calling out the importance of caregivers taking care of themselves, which is something we talked about in episode 8, but the message almost has more merit when it’s coming from a non-caregiver. Stephanie recognized that while it’s the patient who has to endure all the trials and tribulations in a physical sense, there’s nevertheless an emotional impact on the caregiver. 

And her message about leaning into the pain is so powerful, and something that many of us have had to do in the last year when life had to slow down during the quarantine, so the issues we managed to bury with our busy schedules and endless distractions on our phones eventually surfaced. In retrospect, it is one of the big reasons why I finally pushed this podcast through – that I finally had time and mental space to organize my thoughts – even though I had been thinking about doing this since 2018. 

You can find Stephanie at: 

I can’t recommend it enough as a resource for people who are newly diagnosed. Please check it out and share it with others who can benefit from it. 

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Thank you for listening!