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How You Talk To Yourself Matters When You Have Cancer

Written by: Kathryn White, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


How you talk to yourself matters.

Your body hears everything you are telling it. And then it integrates those thoughts into your mind. And then those thoughts become patterns and then habits and then eventually they become what you believe about yourself and voila, there is your personality, your essence, who you are. So ask yourself this. Who do you want to be? What messages do you want to be sending your body, mind, and spirit?

As a person, you want to be mindful of how you treat yourself, as a cancer patient you want to be hopeful for your body, mind, and spirit. This means the language around cancer matters too. What words are you using to describe yourself? Survivor or thriver? Fighter or nourisher? Warrior or champion? Listen to the energy around these words. The survivor can imply you are just getting by whereas the thriver can help you to believe that you are ok and that you are flourishing in life despite your diagnosis. Fighter has angry, aggressive tones around it, whereas nourisher implies a more loving and caring, and more nurturing self. And warrior, brings in the image of the battle-ready hardened fighter, whereas the champion sends the message of strong but with joyful confidence. Think about this, how would you speak to someone that you love about his or her illness? How would care for a child who is sick? Would you call them to battle or would you sooth and comfort? What you say has energy around it and can also create an energetic response in the body. What if you shifted the words that you use towards yourself? In particular, as related to my role as a cancer support coach, I encourage cancer patients to consider the message they are sending to their body and how it responds. We all know that stress is having a major impact on people’s health. So, if someone is already sick how would it benefit them to increase their stress levels by introducing negative perceptions about themself or their illness. People living with cancer are already stressed. Feeding the mind and body negative language creates a state of stress and then fight or flight in the body. The result is increased cortisol (the stress hormone), which only elevates the stress response in the body more. As a cancer patient it is important to try to keep your thoughts calm, your body strong, and your spirit in a peaceful place. So think about the words you are choosing and ask yourself if they are in your highest good. Then try changing how you talk to yourself. You may see and feel a difference, or you may not. But, sometimes regardless of whether we have the proof or not, we just have to believe in the possibility.

If you want to work with me personally, I have a 6 Month Cancer Support Coaching Program that I offer to help people living with cancer, whether you are actively in treatment or are moving into the next stages of reclaiming your life. Working with a Cancer Support Coach is the key to moving beyond just surviving and into THRIVING in life. Go to my website and grab all the details.

I am currently running a Free 5-day workshop, Thrive with Cancer: moving beyond just surviving, once a month so that individuals living with cancer can access my strategies, get to know me, and get some insight into what working with a Cancer Support Coach looks like. It is open to anyone who is living with cancer, is living life after cancer, or is a caregiver. You can register for my workshop here.

You can learn more about living life with cancer on my Living to Thrive with Cancer Podcast. Episodes are available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Kathryn White, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Kathryn White is a Cancer Coach with a passion for serving others. In 2015 Kathryn was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Almost 7 years later she is living a happy and healthy life which she attributes to her amazing medical team, her belief in her ability to rise above her diagnosis, significant lifestyle changes, and the love of her family.

Kathryn merges her experience with cancer with her former profession as a public school teacher to coach others living with cancer, and cancer survivors on how to reclaim their health and happiness. At the heart of her coaching is the belief that we are not our diagnosis and that with support it is possible to navigate a life with cancer.

As a trained teacher, Certified Nutrition Educator, 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and Certified Holistic Cancer Coach, Kathryn integrates nutrition, movement, mindfulness, and other healing modalities into her coaching. The integration of these modalities truly makes Kathryn's Cancer Coaching a body, mind, and spirit focused process.

Kathryn has taken her experience and knowledge and shared it with others through workshops and speaking events, where she strives to inspire others to make lifestyle changes that can build health and prevent dis-ease in the body. She is the host of The Living to Thrive Podcast, which is focused on educating people on how to be more health-full and stress-less. Kathryn has built her life with cancer around the mantra: Live to Thrive.



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