One of the patterns I’ve noticed in talking to survivors about their experiences is the important message from a doctor, nurse or technician that helped the survivor through the treatments.  Mine was from my surgeon:

“If you’re going to have a brain tumor, this is the ”best” type to have. It responds well to treatments, and tends not to come back [if caught early].”

Although my oncologist later disagreed with this comment, it meant the world to me as I faced surgery and then a year of chemo. I held onto that thought like it was a life raft! It WAS my life raft in a sense, in that it helped me to stay positive, optimistic and in a state of “knowing” that everything would be all right.

I recently met with a former colleague who is an executive and also a breast cancer survivor. She confirmed this theme of hanging onto a critical statement from a member of her treatment team. For her, it was her doctor who advised her to:

“Treat this as a project. You have to take control of it; don’t let it control you.” That idea struck a chord, and her response was “OK, I can handle this.”

Another friend and entrepreneur who is also a breast cancer survivor (celebrating 10 years this year!) brought up her own version of this life line. What gave her hope from the beginning was the radiologist’s comment:

“This will be a blip in your life.”

What comment or comments were made to you that helped you through your treatment process? Sharing can help others who are about to begin or are already in the midst of treatments think about their words to heal by.