When a loved one receives a cancer diagnosis your entire world comes to a screeching halt. The path you were once walking is now full of endless detours. If you’re like most of the world you have a career that you must focus on in addition to the fact that cancer wedged itself front and center in your life.
My father fought his battle for seven years. The last four years of his life were horrific. Unless you are very wealthy and have endless nurses you will find yourself juggling the responsibility of caregiving and balancing your career. From day one my father instructed me to focus on my career. Easier said than done when you’re witnessing your real life hero endure endless pain and suffering.
Staying on track was something my father imbedded in my brain my entire life. My father had a tremendous work ethic, he worked up until a few days before he passed. He insisted I focus with the same laser precision.
My father sat me down the day he began his treatments and helped me compose the list below in an effort to stay focused. Below is my survival guide for balancing life and a loved one’s cancer journey.
- Leave your worries at the door – When you touch the doorknob to your office leave your worries behind. Keep your cell phone nearby for an emergency, but during business hours it is imperative to leave your worries on the doorknob.
- Begin each day with a list of priorities – Start each day with an agenda. Take time to plan out your day, week, month. Never walk into work unprepared, stay focused.
- Apply the 80/20 rule – Figure out where you need to focus your energy and devote 80% of your activity to the most important 20% of your activities. You are only human, you cannot do everything at once.
- Always think in terms of “I Can” and “I will” – My father always told me, you can do anything you set your mind to because I believe in you.” Negative thinking is never allowed.
- Communicate – If you have understanding bosses and coworkers ask for help when needed. Let them know what’s going on. I guarantee you they want to help, put your ego aside and ask.
I hope my list resonates for you, your life and your career. I hope this list helps you and can provide some light during this dark, difficult time in your life.
Despite how you are feeling, you are not alone, you will never be alone. Countless others are encountering the same heartache, the same confusion. We are all in this together and by sharing our “secrets” we can shed some light on a very difficult situation.