1 - Picture yourself extremely old, and very happy.
2 - Sleep. Sleep some more.
3 - Your body is the boss. Listen up.
4 - Sugar is cancer’s favorite food. Starve it.
5 - When friends ask how they can help, say ‘Surprise me.’
6 - Laugh and/or cry - every day.
7 - Tell the shark cartilage advocates to fuck off.
8 - If a therapist doesn’t get you, get a new one.
9 - Medical professionals love well-educated patients.
10 - Ask lots of questions. This says, “I’m actively engaged in my care.”
11 - Know your nurses’ first names. They are critical advocates.
12 - Learn so much that they’ll ask if you are a physician.
13 - Give your body every possible advantage in this fight.
14 - Be with people who love you as much as you love them.
15 - Reject pessimism as inapplicable to you.
16 - Feisty patients have better outcomes. Be one.
17 - Understand precisely why the treatment will work.
18 - Be where you are.
19 - Thinking about your mortality can inspire your most important work.
20 - Life is long.
21 - Strong feelings are information about your values.
22 - Let the love pour in.
23 - Vulnerability is the bomb.
24 - Ask what this new normal is giving you - time to breathe, forced rest, new priorities...
25 - Celebrate treatment milestones.
26 - Your body is more resilient than you can imagine.
27 - Visualize the treatment working with your immune system to obliterate the cancer.
28 - Imagine what you could do if you had no fear.
29 - To create is to defy death. Make something beautiful.
30 - Write a list of adventures you’re going to have on the other side of this.
31 - Be new to yourself.
About the Author
Elizabeth Castronovo has lived with cancer for 22 years. Through tears, laughter, and writing, she clings to the thread of sanity. She maintains a daily sense of awe while taking long walks around the lakes with her dog. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.