My Story2018-06-06T22:29:43+00:00
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CATHERINE SCHOPFER

My Story

Strive and Thrive Logo Symbol
Catherine Schopfer Mindset Strategist

It was merely seven years ago and I was sitting in my living room, thinking how I can collect the pieces of my emotionally shattered life and start all over again. I had just gone through a divorce, the loss of my mother, who suffered many different types of cancer for years, the loss of my father who had acute leukemia, and relocating to another country after losing my job of the last 17 years as a food engineer. Let’s just say, the rug was pulled completely out from under me.  I was trying to settle into a new house with my two young daughters and a new partner. While I was keeping myself busy with the daily grind and asking myself what should I do next, whether I want to go back to the corporate world, it never occurred to me to take care of my emotional and psychological well being??

Despite that I knew it was time for a radical change, I have lost my taste for living and didn’t know what to do.  There was no more excitement and desire to enjoy life and what was left out of it.

I had everything I needed: I had MYSELF

What I didn’t realize at the time (we often are so short-sighted when it comes to what we have instead of what we don’t) was that I had everything I needed: I had MYSELF. And I was blessed with two wonderful daughters who I wanted to be a role model to, but suddenly I’d lost the zest to do it.

A few months later, while I was still trying to cope with the new realities of my life, I was diagnosed with breast cancer…It was 2012. In the next few months, I was filled with more GRIEF, SHOCK, DISPAIR, TERROR AND LOSS OF CONTROL, MY BIGGEST STRUGGLE WAS NOT CANCER ITSELF. THE REAL CHALLENGE WAS TO FIND AGAIN THE COURAGE AND INSPIRATION TO fight, not to give up. I spent a lot of time asking myself WHY is this happening to me, instead of thinking what’s next.

In the upcoming months, I kept fighting for my life, but it was more of a human instinct and a reflex rather than doing things with intention, a conscious mind, and a determined heart.

It was merely seven years ago and I was sitting in my living room, thinking how I can collect the pieces of my emotionally shattered life and start all over again. I had just gone through divorce, the loss of my mother, who suffered many different types of cancer for years, the loss of my father who had acute leukemia, and relocating to another country after losing my job of the last 17 years as a food engineer. Let’s just say, the rug was pulled completely out from under me.  I was trying to settle into a new house with my two young daughters and a new partner. While I was keeping myself busy with the daily grind and asking myself what should I do next, whether I want to go back to the corporate world, it never occurred to me to take care of my emotional and psychological well being??

Despite that I knew it was time for a radical change, I have lost my taste for living and didn’t know what to do.  There was no more excitement and desire to enjoy life and what was left out of it.

I had everything I needed: I had MYSELF

What I didn’t realize at the time (we often are so short-sighted when it comes to what we have instead of what we don’t) was that I had everything I needed: I had MYSELF. And I was blessed with two wonderful daughters who I wanted to be a role model to, but suddenly I’d lost the zest to do it.

A few months later, while I was still trying to cope with the new realities of my life, I was diagnosed with breast cancer…It was 2012. In the next few months, I was filled with more GRIEF, SHOCK, DISPAIR, TERROR AND LOSS OF CONTROL, MY BIGGEST STRUGGLE WAS NOT CANCER ITSELF. THE REAL CHALLENGE WAS TO FIND AGAIN THE COURAGE AND INSPIRATION TO fight, not to give up. I spent a lot of time asking myself WHY is this happening to me, instead of thinking what’s next.

In the upcoming months, I kept fighting for my life, but it was more of a human instinct and a reflex rather than doing things with intention, a conscious mind, and a determined heart.

My vision is to build a community of women, who are open to share their experience and learn from others about cancer, women who strive for personal growth, living their truth, and thriving through a balanced approach to wholehearted living.  What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and by forming this community, I hope to help those around navigate the healing process, approach it from all sides and ignite their inner fight.  Because I can tell you, what can come on the other side – is a more BEAUTIFUL and amazing life.

During this challenging journey, it never occurred to me to think about the emotional impact of cancer, the “side effects” and life changes during and after the treatment. No one told me that I need to think about my psychological well-being and my future after cancer, dealing with feelings I am not used to….loneliness, guilt, anger, overwhelm… and very often these feelings are more intense, changing daily, hourly, or even minute to minute during and after the treatment.

From the perspective of time, I see cancer as my best teacher and my body as my best friend, but that wasn’t the case when I heard the diagnoses. Cancer was a clear message that I have to stop hiding my head in the sand anymore.

The wondrous thing cancer can do for you is remind you that every day is a blessing and challenge you to ponder how do I live a more grateful joyous life?

There is so much to take during the cancer experience. As much as it is painful and hard to accept all the facts you learn what real surrender and courage are. You learn resilience. You learn how to love yourself without waiting for someone else to do it for you – love you as a whole.

I believe one can survive and thrive

Often in social situations, people feel so sorry or scared for those that are diagnosed and I think it’s because the first thought can be – he or she is gonna die.  And while that may be true, I believe one can survive and thrive with cancer and after in a way that is magical, beautiful, and uplifting.

It’s very interesting but only after cancer, I found out how to take care of myself, to re-connect with my body, and listen to my inner voice. I learned about cancer prevention and how to nurture body, mind, and soul. Cancer made me re-design my whole vision for the future and finally start living and loving my life.

During this challenging journey, it never occurred to me to think about the emotional impact of cancer, the “side effects” and life changes during and after the treatment. No one told me that I need to think about my psychological well-being and my future after cancer, dealing with feelings I am not used to….loneliness, guilt, anger, overwhelm… and very often these feelings are more intense, changing daily, hourly, or even minute to minute during and after the treatment.

From the perspective of time, I see cancer as my best teacher and my body as my best friend, but that wasn’t the case when I heard the diagnoses. Cancer was a clear message that I have to stop hiding my head in the sand anymore.

The wondrous thing cancer can do for you is remind you that every day is a blessing and challenge you to ponder how do I live a more grateful joyous life?

There is so much to take during the cancer experience. As much as it is painful and hard to accept all the facts you learn what real surrender and courage are. You learn resilience. You learn how to love yourself without waiting for someone else to do it for you – love you as a whole.

I believe one can survive and thrive

Often in social situations, people feel so sorry or scared for those that are diagnosed and I think it’s because the first thought can be – he or she is gonna die.  And while that may be true, I believe one can survive and thrive with cancer and after in a way that is magical, beautiful, and uplifting.

It’s very interesting but only after cancer, I found out how to take care of myself, to re-connect with my body, and listen to my inner voice. I learned about cancer prevention and how to nurture body, mind, and soul. Cancer made me re-design my whole vision for the future and finally start living and loving my life.

MY MESSAGE TO WOMEN

 

You are more than enough!    Don’t wait for a wake-up call in your life!
Make your experiences here a worthwhile for yourself!