How to Calm the Quiet

I remember so many nights when I was battling my breast cancer – and it was a BATTLE for sure – that I would just lay awake thinking, “OMG I have cancer!” No one was there to talk me down from the ledge. It was just me. Alone. In the dark. With my own thoughts. And the truth is, even if the room was full of people, I was there, alone with my cancer. It’s akin to the saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.”

So, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS? Well, I am no Dalai Lama, but I can share with you a few “tricks” that helped me to calm the quiet of having cancer.

One, find a song that makes you forget about anything and everything. A song that fills your soul with its beat and its words. Get lost in it. If you are thinking about and are lost in a song, surely you don’t have any time to think about having cancer. For me, as odd and ominous as this may sound, my song was “Back in Black” by AC/DC. Seriously folks, it was the beat. A little head-banging never hurt anyone. Pass the blue eye shadow and Aqua Net and I am back in college in my element!

“Back in black

I hit the sack (I WISH I could sleep! Seriously…)

I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back

Yes, I’m loose

From the noose (I will be soon enough people!)


Ok, two. Find a place of peace (in your mind) and get there. Even if it is a beach you’ve been on and in the corner of your eye from your imaginary beach chair you see a man in a speedo who surely should not be wearing one, GET THERE. Imagery is a powerful healer in any aspect. Find a place that brings you joy.

It’s the same as envisioning a goal and then working to achieve it. You are already in the midst of the achieving part – the surgeries, the treatments. Envision the end game. As funny as this may seem, I envisioned the day when I could cook something in my oven without having to remove my wig prior to opening the oven door for fear of singeing the only thing that stood between me and scaring the sh** out of the Schwann’s man when he came to my door.

Three, and this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER. Keep a gratitude journal! I am telling you, this is a GAME CHANGER. Every night before you go to bed, write down 3 things you were grateful for that day. The first thing that happens when you do this is YOU own your day. Not your illness. YOU. There is power in this ownership. So here’s a laugh. I remember one day during my treatment, my 3 things were:

  1. Woke up
  2. Didn’t puke all day
  3. Had enough cereal for the kids

It really is that simple. And the best part of doing this? The power you give to yourself is when you look back through your journal and read your entries from a different perspective. Perhaps you are done with your cancer journey or in a different place along its path. It makes you realize how simple things bring about gratitude and more importantly, positive mindset.

Calming the quiet is really about FINDING the quiet in your mind. We all struggle with it on some level. Make peace with yourself, your cancer, and all the extra noise, and the quiet will come.


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