Facing the fear of cancer
Josie Thomson knows what it is like to face her darkest fears. Twice, she’s been told the terrifying news that she has cancer.
It’s estimated that 138,321 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year.
Author and award-winning life coach Josie Thomson has survived cancer twice.
She was given just six months to live when she was first diagnosed at 24 years old in 1991.
She has felt first-hand the overwhelming fear and emotion that hearing the “c-word” can bring.
“Cancer is a pretty scary word for most people – it stirs up so many emotions,” says Josie.
I flatlined twice and have vivid recollection of the near-death experiences.
“When faced with cancer the fear is invisible, insidious, paralysing and frightening.”
It’s important to reframe fear
Josie is passionate about helping others stare fear down and reframe adversity.
“Fear can kill us faster, science backs this up now,” she says.
“It creates a chemical cocktail in our body that can rapidly fuel unhealthy cell growth and advancement.”
Instead, she says, we need to change the narrative.
“The adrenaline rush we experience when our bodies go in to ‘fight or flight’ mode is an asset against an outside physical threat, but not so great when the battle is within – when we’re fighting against ourselves.
“Fear is a thought, not a fact – it’s a consequence of a story you’re telling yourself, so change the narrative.
“Instead of seeing your experience as a threat, how can it be an opportunity? How can it be enabling?
“Be fearful or use fear as fuel – it’s your choice.”
Use the power within
Josie says we have more power within us than we have been lead to believe.
“It’s time to stare down this invisible terrorist to create conditions that maximise your healing and recovery potential and it starts from the inside out,” she urges.
She also advises cancer sufferers to be careful where their focus goes.
“Where focus goes, energy flows,” she says. “Focus on what you ‘want’ not what you ‘don’t want’ otherwise you are fuelling the fear. For example, I want to live versus I don’t want to die!
“There a big difference between thrive or battle to survive.”
Josie’s top three tips for dealing with cancer:
- Reframe fear. Fear is a thought, not a fact! Change your narrative.
- Where focus goes, energy flows. Focus on what you ‘want’.
- Become bitter or better? The choice is up to you.
Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more from Zoe, Ed, and the team.