It was wet, windy and very cold and that was at the bottom of the hill I’m looking up at. It wasn’t a terribly big hill but I knew it would need considerable effort and perhaps some temporary pain. Whilst the rain splashed onto our jackets and the wind howled, Chris and I looked at each other and we almost simultaneously said “do we really want to go up that in this weather?” Oh yes ……. no pain, no gain! So we went up the hill and it hurt. Up there, it was wetter, windier and colder! However, the ‘euphoric high’ was worth it. It was medicine healing the body and mind.
Of course, the ‘hill’ is also a metaphor which might be a number of things from simply venturing outside the house to a full-blown adventurous holiday. It might be a simple bit of gardening, a walk to the shops (mall), 30 minutes on a treadmill at a leisurely pace. Or it might be something more physically demanding like a marathon. It doesn’t even need to be anything physical, for example, starting a diary, trialling a change in diet with a view to improving quality of life, learning about specific aspects of your condition. In general, the “hill” is a state of mind and you metaphorically climb it to fight cancer and improve quality of life.
Whatever your ‘hill’ is, two of the common elements required to ‘climb it’ are motivation and willpower. However, if you are fighting cancer and you are being affected by the symptoms or the side effects of treatment, it can be easy to opt to stay within your ‘protective zone’ even though you know the ‘hill‘ might do you some good. I suspect this is a common predicament for a cancer patient, do I ‘climb that hill’ or do I walk away? Sure, I walk away from the hill occasionally but I try not to make a habit of it.
Sometimes you just need to go and climb that hill!
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