Finding Your Tribe After Cancer
Did you know that there is no official name for a group of mermaids? Some have said, a gaggle, or a gossip of mermaids, however, I would say a “splash” of mermaids is more appropriate, especially for my mermaid ladies.
An interesting phenomenon occurs when you get a “splash” of mermaids together. Instantly, bonded and naturally loving, kind and compassionate to one another- this is the magic that can come from finding your ‘tribe’. I would say that my SMOV mermaids have become my tribe.
It’s no secret that many relationship whether they may be marriages, childhood friends, co-workers, siblings or church friends shift for better or for worse after cancer. Nothing is ever the same. Since then, I have personally been on a mission of renewing the important aspects of a friendships and desperately seeking specific council for this crazy life after cancer.
I have been seeking women who I can learn from, grow with and help me be better version of myself. I have meet many incredibly empowered and strong women throughout my life. I can count on my one hand, the woman in my life that will drop everything for me and continue to shape my soul. I already consider myself extremely blessed that these women call me friend.
The tribe that I am referring to is your After Cancer Tribe- the group of men or women that rarely ever need much of an explanation as to how you feel. When you get together, all the small talk is thrown out the window and hearts are full and laughter abounds! Good days, bad days, chemo talk, broken marriages, children and life… all of it!
We all need people to see past our diagnosis, push us, support us, and check in on us as we move on with our days. It may not be possible to be there physically, but encouragement comes in all forms and your tribe needs no format to follow- it comes when you need it the most.
As a mom diagnosed at a younger age than most and with two kids in tow, I realized the benefit of this social group. I was drowning in mom life- I didn’t let cancer win, which for me, meant to plow through, pull up my boot straps and keep going. This served me well until it just didn’t anymore. When I wasn’t busy with the mom stuff, I was a mess, especially those couple years following diagnosis with the roller coaster of emotions that came in waves with very little to no warning. God bless my husband for his patience and understanding!
My ultimate encounter of my newly found tribe was during my first SMOV trip to Mexico- little did I know that I was growing from a tribe of 1 into a splash of mermaids. I understand that there is a need of belonging and for encouragement during this time. Truth be told, we need this throughout our whole life not just now! We are not supposed to be an island, surrounded by only water. We need to be on that island surrounded by people who make us happy and laugh. I get another chance to experience my After Cancer Tribe, this month in Cancun, Mexico. If you haven’t already heard about the new opportunities for SMOV mermaids to participate in the Mermaids and Angels Program, make sure you check out the website. I hope to see you in an upcoming trip!
I love the person that I am becoming after my diagnosis. I am someone who no longer wants to have small chit chat but rather I want to know everything about the person. I am a person that values time, memories and deep connections. I am very excited to glean from others that I met along the way and grow my tribe.
Many blessing on your journey,
Heidi is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed with Stage II at the age of 34. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington with her husband and two children who were the inspiration through her treatments. She is passionate about living her life after cancer by empowering those who have been effected by cancer. She provides one on one consultations and life coaching to break through the chains of cancer victimization and hopelessness. Heidi is positively picking up the pieces of life after cancer and is exploring alternative ways of preventing reoccurrence. She believes in healing the body with nutrition, movement and prayer.
An advocate for breast cancer survivors, Heidi writes about her journey in her blog, www.happilyeveraftercancer.com
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