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Healing Life

What I Learned from my Health Crisis

If you have read before in my other blog posts or in Power to Persevere: Inspiring Stories to Help You Get Through Challenging Moments, when I was 19 years of age, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A few days after I turned 20, I had to undergo chemotherapy for a few months. It was rough, and I questioned the meaning of my life. Deep down I knew that this was here to teach me a lesson and make me grow. Sure to say, this is very much true. I am three years out of treatment and feel like a completely different person. Here is what I have learned:

  1. You are stronger than you thought.
    1. No matter how many times I wanted to call quits on treatment and give up, I found the strength in me to keep going. “If I got through chemotherapy and faced and beat death, I can do anything.” I think this to myself anytime I am in a rut. If you are a survivor, you can do anything.
  2. Your diagnosis does not define you.
    1. Your health battle is not all of you. It is part of who makes you who you are, from the lessons learned to your character development.
  3. Vulnerability helps you understand your truth, feel comfortable with who you are, and inspire others.
    1. Opening up about my journey has only helped in the healing process, but has allowed for me to find a community. More and more people have connected with me on a deeper and more meaningful level. My new connections have fueled and sparked others to find purpose and strength in their painful seasons in life.
  4. Tomorrow is not promised. Every single day is a blessing.
    1. Stay present and count your blessings each day, even the subtle nuances.
  5. Remember that everything happens for a reason.
    1. It happens FOR you. Life is not perfect, but the lessons learnt from your battle will develop your character and make you a stronger person. Trust the process.
  6. Your physical appearance does not define you.
    1. Losing my hair and becoming disassociated with my body from treatment and scars was tough to overcome. With time, I was able to heal from these physical limitations. My hair grew back and my scars started to fade. I use them as a sign of strength now.
  7. The things you were once worried about before will no longer bother you.
    1. On the topic of scars, I do not care about them anymore. It took me a very long time to get over them, but I feel like as time passes, the trivial things we were once worries about do not matter anymore.
  8. Money does not buy happiness.
    1. During treatment, I would receive so many gifts and cards. It made me feel so special and blessed, but I realized that even during my toughest days there was nothing that would make me feel good. What got me through my troubling time was not these tangible monetary items, rather my mindset, relationships and genuine conversations, and my connection to God.
  9. Celebrate the small wins.
    1. Recovering from chemotherapy was ROUGH. I believe that healing is a forever journey as you adjust to your new normal. Instead of complaining about how I was unable to do certain activities or feel a certain way, I wish that I tried to stay more positive and celebrate my small wins like not feeling nauseous 24/7, being able to stand up and walk, reversing brain fog, and seeing my hair grow.
  10. Find the subtle beauty in life.
    1. What is beautiful to me is a representation of God’s blessings. Like never before, I am able to connect to and enjoy watching the trees sway in the wind, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, seeing ocean waves crash on the shore, and finding grace in watching birds fly across the sky. Yes, this sounds very cliché, but it is true. These small things bring me joy. They remind me of the notion of life. We are all connected and moving in symphony together.
  11. Don’t dwell on what you do not have, rather think about your blessings.
    1. Where your energy goes, attention flows. I cannot remember where I heard this saying, but I know it to be true. Whenever I place my energy on something that brings me stress, I fall down a rabbit hole of continuing to create more and more anxiety around it. When I catch myself doing this, I try to reframe my perspective and see what I do have in replacement to that of which brings me down.
  12. Surround yourself with people who lift your spirits high and make you want to soar.
    1. I cannot express this one enough. It is so important to find a community and support group that will uplift you. Let go of toxic relationships and create space to invite new souls into your life.
  13. Take it slow and easy.
    1. Be patient and take each day as it comes. Try not to put pressure on yourself to try to be the person who were before the crisis. Learn how to live in your new body. It is okay to have a new normal.
  14. Eat a balanced diet and avoid food that does not make you feel good.
    1. You are what you eat. Limit processed foods and eat fresh and clean. Be careful of what you nourish your body with, thoughts and actions included.
  15. Move every single day.
    1. Go on a walk, do yoga, and find what makes you energized. Do not over do it on your good days because you might not be used to the activity level and might not feel well the next day. Take it slow and do not put too much pressure on yourself.
  16. Connect with God.
    1. There is something out there that is larger than us. Something that we cannot explain. I have personally experienced it, and have also heard of many similar stories from friends, family members, and other sources. Once you realize and know that a higher power, you can invite that white healing light energy into your life and experience slow healing. You feel less alone and know that there is some special power guiding you every step of the way. You just have to tap in and ask for help; you will receive.
  17. Journal is key when you need help.
    1. Journaling allows me to get my thoughts and feelings out on paper. I release them from my brain and feel like I have more head space. If I do not get my thoughts onto paper, I feel as if they have no where to go and they continue to clutter my mind.
  18. There is no linear path.
    1. Every single experience is different. My experience will be different from yours. We cannot put a timeline on when we want to feel a certain way. The best thing is to make a goal list and take actionable steps. Do not put pressure on what you do not have. Release the thought and feeling associated with what you lack, and small blessings will start to perpetrate.

Healing Body Meditation CIAO AMICI, Let's Talk

This week's episode is a special body healing meditation. Ciao amici, welcome to my podcast. My name is Alexa Cucchiara (IG: @alexacuc + @healthwithalexa). I am the author of an Amazon #1 best-seller, Power to Persevere: Inspiring Stories to Help You Get Through Challenging Moments, and health guru. I have created this podcast to help motivate and inspire you to live your best and most authentic life. In this space, I share real and raw stories, bring on special guests, and share tips and tools to help you. Subscribe for weekly episodes and connect with me on Instagram. Arrivederci x — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/alexacuc/message

By ALEXA NICOLE CUCCHIARA

I am the author of Power to Persevere and wellness blogger from New York City. I use my passion for health and wellness to help inspire others to transform themselves to live their best lives.

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