Cancer in the Time of COVID: Welcome Spring, a time of renewal

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Cancer in the Time of COVID:  Welcome Spring, a time of renewal

“With the coming of Spring, I am calm again.” – Gustav Mahler

Blue sky, sunshine, and 54 degrees…spring is definitely in the Seattle air!  For many of us, the coming of spring signals new beginnings.  That may mean cleaning out and decluttering your home, joyfully digging in the soil and nurturing your garden, or simply stepping outside and taking a huge, wonderful breath of fresh air!  There is also the less obvious, but very powerful internal “house cleaning” that many of us feel a desire to pay attention to as this season of renewal seeps into our bones.

For those living with a cancer diagnosis, this idea of renewal or a new beginning can be bittersweet.  On one hand, there is joy and happiness about moving through or completing treatment and feeling a sense of gratitude and sometimes, a renewed purpose in life.  If nothing else, “I have survived” and can have a life again!  At other times, those feelings may get tempered a bit when we wonder, “will I be here next year, or the year after that to enjoy the beauty and wonder of spring’s arrival?” The uncertainty of “if or when” a recurrence may happen along with the challenges many people have of living with short and long-term treatment side effects, can sometimes get in the way of fully embracing that sense of renewal.

If you are experiencing these types of challenges, you may want to consider trying to clear out some emotional and mental clutter and make some space for new things to come into your life. Below are some ideas to mull over:

  • Challenge those limiting beliefs about yourself by focusing on how things should go for you.
  • Start a new practice such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or walking. This will give you a “mental break” in your day, quiet your mind, and will honor YOU.
  • Make a commitment to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never felt you had the time.
  • Make taking care of yourself a priority! Nutrition and exercise are two HUGE ways to renew yourself physically and mentally.
  • Consider nurturing your creative side by taking a writing or creative expression class, learn to play a musical instrument. Plant an outdoor garden or boxed herb garden in your kitchen.
  • Explore volunteer opportunities in your community such as teaching reading or mentoring. Local non-profit organizations depend heavily on volunteers to fulfill their missions.
  • Plan a weekend retreat to reflect on your life, the past year, and what new things you may want to incorporate into your life moving forward.

Cancer Lifeline’s FREE Programs and Services for CANCER PATIENTS, SURVIVORS, and CAREGIVERS are a great way to get you started in exploring these new ideas and activities!

  • Register to Join Online Support Groups: Nothing can compare to the feeling of being a part of a community of people who truly understand your experience and “get it.” Support groups (all cancers & cancer-specific) meet regularly and welcome new members! For dates and times visit  Cancer Lifeline’s website (cancerlifeline.org
  • Call the Lifeline or use the Lifeline Chat: Need someone to listen and help you sort out your feelings? Call the Lifeline at (800) 255-5505 or (206) 297-2500 (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm PST). Lifeline chat (instant messaging service) is also available Monday – Friday, 9 am-5 pm and can be accessed through the Cancer Lifeline website (cancerlifeline.org) simply by clicking the green “We are here to listen” button.
  • Access Cancer Lifeline’s Cancer-Specific Psychotherapy and Family Support Programs: Visit http://www.cancerlifeline.org/ or contact Pamela Krueger at pkrueger@cancerlifeline.org or 206-832-1271.
  • Access Cancer Lifeline’s Therapist Referral Program: Receive names of therapists in the local community who have experience working with people affected by cancer.  Referrals and support in choosing a therapist are available for patients, survivors, family members, friends, and oncology professionals. Referrals are free. * Cancer Lifeline does not arrange payment with therapists on behalf of clients or check insurance benefits, this is the client’s responsibility. For more information, please call the Lifeline at 206-297-2500 between the hours of 9 am – 5 pm PST.
  • Register for Cancer Lifeline’s Artistic Expression, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Management Classes. To register, please visit the Cancer Lifeline website: cancerlifeline.org or call the Lifeline: (800) 255-5505 or (206) 297-2500 (Monday – Friday 9 am-5 pm PST)

Join others at presentations that provide solid information & ideas:

To register, please visit the Cancer Lifeline website: www.cancerlifeline.org  or call the Lifeline:

(800) 255-5505 or (206) 297-2500 (Monday – Friday 9 am-5 pm PST)