“Give yourself leniency. Give yourself that room to grow into the new you,” Mark advises fellow cancer survivors in this video.
Mark was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at age 26. He went through multiple rounds of chemo. Mark shares his story of regaining mental and physical health after treatment, as well as the importance of building and using support systems.
“People think just because you beat cancer that, like, every day the sun’s shining on you, when it’s not, even when it should be. There’s a lot of scars on the inside that people don’t know, and don’t see, and they don’t understand.
“A few months after my final remission, I’d go to the gym and struggle with just the bar, or just struggle with trying to walk on a treadmill for more than two minutes.
“You want the immediate satisfaction of progress. You wanna see it right away, and you don’t.
“I had so much to rebuild, just physically and emotionally, obviously, from the distance I was putting myself with people, and you just want to crawl into bed and stay there, and not get back up.
“But you have to take those baby steps to get out and make it better, make the day count in one way, even if it’s just the littlest things like folding your laundry, like that can just be the win for the day, and help you get to the next.
“The most impactful moment I probably had post-cancer to help me emotionally get better is just allow myself to see my faults, and to see that I do need help.
“I wouldn’t have come this far without a great group of people around me. No matter how hard I tried to push them away, they wouldn’t go away.
“So, just the people who are around you, no one else had cancer, no one else goes through it, but they all go through it. And you’re never alone through treatment. You’re definitely not alone after. When you need the most help maybe, they’re always there.
“Some advice I would give a fellow survivor, give yourself leniency. You have to give yourself that room to grow into the new you.”