Starry Starry Kite

31 Tips for the Newly Diagnosed

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.

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