Cancer as Coach

Crazy dreams, I have them.  Honestly, full on movies.  Sometimes three, four, five of them.  I have even dreamt of decorating whole rooms in my house and woken up and executed the exact vision in my head.  My blue and white family room?  Yep, a dream.  Complete with putting my Mom’s blue and white plates and urns on display.  I even dreamt of my big silver punchbowl (bought for $15 at a yard sale by the way!) It all came together in my dream and it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself—very Ralph Lauren!  My Collaborative Consulting office was the same way, dreams of yummy apple green and fuchsia.  Calico Corners served up the exact match for my vision.  Gorgeous silk duponi curtains, fabric for slipcovers and even a rug I walked right over on the way out the door!  I promptly turned around and added that to my purchases.

My dreams have a life of their own.  Last night I dreamt about a psychiatrist at American University who was teaching a class called “Cancer as Coach.” In the dream, I printed all the course materials and headed over to DC to have a peek at the class. What was on the curriculum?  It was founded on the principles of coaching (this is my other career!).  Coaching is about creating self-awareness and accountability. About partnering to accelerate performance.  It is setting goals and the conditions for success to achieve them.  Yes, Cancer as Coach-the curriculum nailed it.

This dream reflects deeply (obviously if it’s showing up in Technicolor in my dreams) my own experience with cancer.  I learned so much about what I am made of.  New things I had yet to discover.  I was fierce.  I was bold.  I was vulnerable.  I needed help.  I would do cancer my way.  I felt the reality of being human.

I had to be accountable.  Hmm, don’t feel like going to radiation today?  Or skipping a biopsy?  Or surgery?  I don’t think so.  It takes commitment, one step in front of the other.  I reflect back on completing 33 days of radiation and working at the same time (both my consulting and coaching business and starting up GO Lisey.  I’m amazed.  It was a feat.

I had a goal.  May 28th, 2014.  How was I going to get to that date?  The last day of radiation.  How did I want to BE in the process?  What was my message to others? What kind of role model did I want to be?  These questions drove my mood and attitude.

Cancer as Coach.  It wasn’t my only coach.  Coaching is about being in partnership.  My sisters, brother, sister-in-law were daily touchstones. They provided support, comfort and encouragement.  Gordon my husband was my safe haven. He protected me.  Held my boundaries for me.  Made me laugh.  He tells me (even just recently with the Uterine cancer scare) that I am one tough broad and I guess I am.

How has cancer been your coach?

Posted on July 24, 2015 .