Tools to Keep Going

By Jenna Lindman

There are so many subjects to focus on when it comes to living your post-cancer life. When you stop and analyze it, it’s amazing how every detail of your life can change after cancer. You are forever transformed and view things differently. So, how do you start to put your life back together, how do you live as this new person? I don’t have all the answers, but I can share what worked for me.


Yes, I know that sounds vague but it really is that simple. Creating momentum in your life, no matter that momentum may be, is what helps you get your life back “on-track.”

So, what does momentum look like? I suppose for everyone it’s different depending on where you find yourself. If you have read my other blog stories or have heard me speak at an event, you will be familiar with my story of struggling to find my new identity after beating cancer. I was lost and drowning in this world that dared to carry on spinning while my life felt like it was at a dead stop. After beating cancer, I had this vision of the person I wanted to be, but had no idea how to get there. I was too caught up in the big picture of what I thought my life was that I was paralyzed when it came to functioning in my everyday life. The big picture wasn’t working for me. So, I decided to focus on the small picture and I started to gain momentum with my life.

The small picture was dealing with what I could do right now. I focused on small tasks I knew I could complete.  If I felt myself getting stuck, I would take a deep breath to center myself in the present and commit to doing just one thing. That one thing could either be getting up and making my bed. Or throwing clothes in the wash. It could be making a phone call for something I needed to follow up on, or tweaking just one thing on my resume. It could be just sending out one job application. By committing and accomplishing one simple thing, it would propel me into doing one more thing, and one more thing and so on. Slowly, by focusing on the things right in front of me, my life started to take a new shape; and when I looked at the big picture it didn’t seem so scary anymore.

Of course, I had set backs. I had many days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, where everything seemed too overwhelming. Instead of dwelling on what I didn’t do and beating myself up for my failures of the day, I would encourage myself to be just a little bit better the next day. And commit to doing just one thing more.

This works for me even now. Five years post cancer, this valuable tool gets me through a tough Monday, or a challenging work problem. I promise that if you commit to and accomplish just one thing, it will work for you too. Momentum. That’s all you need!