Change Your Cancer Story
Change Your Cancer Story
Change Your Cancer Story – A group coaching program
The next batch starts in
My Story work applied to the needs of cancer patients and their families…grabbing a story that is unhelpful and replacing it with another that is life-affirming.
Cancer is and will always be part of my story. I know exactly how cancer changed the narrative of my story and sent me into hiding. I stopped seeing and hearing myself. I stayed small. Scared.
I have done a lot of work with cancer patients and their families. I want to lend a helping hand to people touched by cancer so that they can rebuild their lives after cancer, especially in the current uncertain times.
Cancer does not have to be a sentence. I want to help you change that. So, let’s begin!
Cancer. Stress. Fear. Loss of control. The scars. Uncertainty. Physical, emotional and psychological pain. Hopelessness. Poor quality of life. Loss of a normal life.
The added stress, fear and uncertainty associated amidst a global pandemic.
A cancer diagnosis has the capability to cause upheaval and turn our world upside down. Every single decision in life is taken with cancer in consideration, even the tiniest of them. Our existence becomes synonymous with fear. Cancer threatens not to destroy only our bodies, but our entire ecosystem. It impacts us physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, financially and spiritually. It changes our relationships. Often it makes us take a hard look at our life and reevaluate our priorities. It gives us innumerable scars some of which are not even visible. When we say, “We are fine”, often we are not.
If this is how you feel, I get you. I get you because I have been where you are. I get you because I have felt broken by cancer. I get you because I know how desperately you want to learn how to gain some sense of normalcy in your life. I understand that living with or beyond cancer is not just dealing with a disease or a long term health condition; it is like learning to walk again.
Yes, I see and hear you.
And I want to help.
Got it. What do you suggest?
Change Your Cancer Story™ can help change all of the above. Its proven principles of stress and fear management are based on a lifetime of research done by Dr Alistair Cunningham, an award winning psycho-oncologist based in Canada…they have been rinsed, repeated and refined for over four decades.
It is heavily based on personal transformation coaching, including the story work.
It is a group coaching program that equips you with self-management tools that you can draw upon to change your cancer story.
It is important to recognise that self management is not equivalent to ‘doing it alone’. By enrolling in this program, you become an active participant in dealing with your life crisis; I will hold your hand as you go through it.
Change Your Cancer Story™ is a coaching-based program that transforms you into a person who is able to identify their stress triggers; who is able to choose their response to the stimuli and not be at the mercy of those stimuli. The person who regains control back on their lives emotionally. The person for whom joy and hope are not elusive but their new way of being. The person whose entire ecosystem (physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual) is in harmony. The person who learns to face their biggest fear and moves ahead despite those fears. The person who has a renewed sense of life and who is ready to sparkle and make the most of their time on this planet.
The person who has a control on their cancer story such that it works for them.
Just a bit more detail, will you?
Of course. This program has 4 modules:
The Stress Antidote
* A cancer diagnosis is synonymous with stress. People going through cancer feel awfully stressed no matter how much support they have from their healthcare team, family and loved ones. Throw in the COVID-19 and it gets worse manifold.
* Stress is caused due to the practical side of cancer (changes to the body and uncertainty at all fronts) and also due to emotional and psychological reasons. Often emotions like shame, guilt, worthiness issues, changed relationships and stigma attached to cancer in some cultures make a cancer experience harder than it needs to be. I help you navigate through all of these in a way that feels right for you.
* I help you with practical issues like ‘How do I manage my energy, time and overwhelm?’ as well as deeper conflicting emotions like ‘I am exhausted supporting my loved one but I feel guilty about wanting some me-time’ or ‘How do I stay strong for my family when I am not coping well?’
* You learn what stress pathway is and what we can do about it at mind and body level.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene
The Fear Antidote
* We will dive deep into your deepest fears to understand them so that we can consciously manage them or even uproot them – for good.
* These fears often rob you of your joy; we will understand and deal with them in a safe environment.
* The big boogie monster fear is real in the world of cancer – we explore fear in its entire length and breadth – right from things like ‘How will cancer impact the quality of my life?’ to ‘How much time do I have?’
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ~Marie Curie
The Broken-You Antidote
* Cancer does not only impact the body but a person’s entire ecosystem (physical body, conscious mind, subconscious mind, social relationships and spirituality); people often feel ‘broken’ after going through cancer.
* Here we learn how to heal all the five dimensions of our ecosystem which are actually interconnected to make you who you are.
“’The wound is the place where the light enters you”. ~Rumi
The Loss Antidote
* We not only acknowledge the loss cancer has caused but also take stock of ‘what next’.
* We set vision for the life we want to build, translate that vision into goals and work towards achieving them. It is time to stop feeling ‘lost’ and ‘directionless’ after cancer.
“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down”. ~Buddha
In a nutshell, through Change Your Cancer Story™, you:
– Unlock your cancer story and how it is keeping you unhappy, scared and small.
– Learn how to identify your stress triggers and how to choose powerful responses.
– develop a high level of self- awareness; you know what drives you and what spirals you into inaction due to fear and overwhelm and what to do to manage those fears and overwhelm.
– are in a natural state of ease and calm within. Work, career, health, social relationships and spirituality are not hard for you; they come to you with ease.
– have a great mix of acceptance of where you are and enthusiasm about where you’d like to be.
– With a bag full of tools, rewire your ‘scared’ cancer story into a life-affirming story of inspired living.
Consequently, you stop choosing between one or the other aspects of life. You stop buying into the lie that most of us have been taught about how good things come with hardship. Life does not have to be hard; it surely needs consistent action and showing up to work for what we desire but it does not have to be hard. Being in harmony and joyousness is our natural state of being; with better self-awareness and some tools in our tool-box, we can achieve it.
And, as I said before, ‘Why choose one over the other when you can have it all?’
I recognise that with cancer in picture, overwhelm is high and energy is poor. Therefore, you can do this program from the comfort of your home, without having to get anywhere. All that you need is an internet connection and a laptop/phone and the decision to rebuild your life after cancer.
You will also have direct access to me; the group will meet on Zoom twice a week for calls. So, you will not be left on your own to navigate the content. I will hold your hand as you take this journey.
I connected with Parul at a time when I was stuck – but didn’t realize it. I was dealing with the reality of a loved one living with terminal cancer and found myself struggling to cope with my emotions.
What I appreciated about Parul was that she took a whole picture approach. During my first session – she asked me if I wanted to talk about this moment or make a plan for the next 12 months. I was shocked – my mind was so stuck in the chaos of the day, I wasn’t even thinking about the month ahead of me let alone the next 12 months.
Still, I mark that moment as a turning point for me. I realized that I needed to reconsider my identity. Instead of seeing myself solely as a cancer caretaker to be – I had to focus on the part of myself that liked to exercise, do business and create. It was a fundamental shift and Parul helped me appreciate that failure to develop myself outside the cancer would be irresponsible and setting my self up for a failure.
Over the six sessions we had together, I found myself getting stronger and stronger. Stronger in my conviction, my identity, my life purpose and my faith. I now look at my loved one’s cancer prognosis as a part of our lives. It is something we have come to live with and not fear and dread. Every now and then I dip back into the feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It is a moment and I move through those moments with so much more ease and lightness these days.
I read Parul’s book in one go on my return flight, emptying my bag of tissues, partly because of the raw memories of my brother’s journey that it triggered and also realizing the extent of what she went through.
Having lost my sibling 12 years ago and my uncle a month ago to Cancer, I am thankful for this book. What I particularly found useful very pragmatic sections on how you can help and support a patient whether you are a family member, a friend, a coworker or a neighbor.
She leads an active life which she calls her new normal as an independent professional who coaches and trains corporate executives.
Her story reminds me of the quote “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out” – Vaclav Havel.
My whole world came crashing down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. From being fit to being so unwell, the change has been crazy.
A friend connected me with Parul and surely, she has held my hand and guided me. One of the most important takeaways from this course has been to keep physically active, eat healthy and look after myself while the treatment is going on. Fatigue management is another important aspect she helped me with.
I now understand that self care is not being selfish. Rather it is the best thing I can do to make sure that I can be there for myself and my family.