Find Your Tribe

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You may or may not know that I am a cancer survivor. When I was pregnant with my son, Chase, my doctor found a lump in my breast and it was BIG, BAD ugly cancer. When I found out, I cried. I thought I was going to die. I was worried about my baby, my two-year old, my husband and my dad. The first doctor that I saw told me and my husband in a 15 minute period that I would need surgery and that I would need to abort my baby and that my ovaries would be done for after chemotherapy so I would not be able to have any more children and last but not least, I would be forced into menopause at age 36. Needless to say, I sought other opinions and found a better treatment plan but still had to endure many hardships. I had surgery while I was pregnant, I lost all of my hair, I had to endure eight rounds of chemotherapy while I was really pregnant. After I had my beautiful boy Chase (who is strong as an oxe and totally awesome still today at age 11), and after my hair started to come back in, I had to go through eight more rounds of chemotherapy and lost my hair all over again. I had two more surgeries and yes, then at that point could no longer have any more children but I was alive and without cancer.

That was 11 years ago and do you know what is so strange? I often forget that I had cancer. When I think about that time of my life, I remember it as if it wasn’t that hard. I felt like I breezed through it. That is not a reality. It was super hard. Cancer is never easy. So why do I have that memory. Well, I have thought long and hard about this and have come to one conclusion. I didn’t go through cancer on my own. I had an incredible tribe of people around me.

My husband was the strong, unwavering supporter who made me feel as normal as possible even on days when he didn’t.

My best friend gave me crazy fun facts about people who lived to be 100 that had major sickness at one point in their lives to make me feel better.

I had the friends who wouldn’t let me pout too much.

I had the friends who brought the meals to feed me and my family.

I had the friends who brought the tissues for a good cry.

I had the friends who took my two-year old out to have some fun on days when I couldn’t.

I had family who would rock my newborn baby when he was having a hard time napping so I could sleep.

My Dad was always the calm action planner to remind me that action helped, no matter how seemingly small.

I had the staff here who kept my elite dance studios running without a hitch while I was out so the business didn’t suffer.

I had my amazing treatment team of doctors, infusionists, surgeons, acupuncturists, massage therapists, nutritionists, and personal trainers.

I had my two-year old who lightened my spirits after all of my hair got shaved off when he said that my head felt like duck feathers.

I had an entire ecosystem of support that just showed up without me asking. It made me realize that being my BEST TRUE SELF is actually a “team sport”. I didn’t get through cancer on my own at all. I can’t claim any of that. I just had an incredible network around me. Today, I am still cancer free and feeling AMAZING with no symptoms although in menopause (see later blog post about this)

Now, I realize too that in every aspect of my life, I have surrounded myself with great tribes of people to help me.

What does this mean to you? It is important if you want to be your BEST, you can’t do that alone. No one is super successful at anything without other people helping them. You don’t need to feel like you have to do things by yourself. Find your tribe. Honor and recognize those who help you RISE. Your parents, your spouse, your friends, your teammates, your coworkers, your mentors, your teachers. They ALL help you to be your BEST.

To grow even further, you must surround yourself with the BEST people and you must protect them too. Be aware of your tribe. Nurture that tribe and keep anyone who doesn’t fit into that GREAT tribe at a distance!