How do you eat an elephant?…… One bite at a time 


I’ve always found the phrase “how do you eat an elephant?” interesting and thought provoking. The elephant ‘in the room’ (or in your mind) can represent great challenges in our lives and we can find very creative ways of ignoring it or “going around” the elephant. The hardest part is acknowledging it’s there then trying to work out how you are going to tackle this great creature. 

The elephant current in my room (and taking up a lot of space in my head) is the big C and tackling this terrible disease all over again, except the stakes are high and the elephant is huge! 

I’ve been pondering on how I tackle this challenge and there’s only one answer – to eat it one bite at a time. Cancer is all consuming, it’s something you have little control over, the treatment (chemotherapy as an example) can actually be worse at times than having cancer itself. Don’t get me wrong before my tumour was removed I was very poorly, the pain was unbearable. But once removed I started to gain my strength and feel well again. That was until chemotherapy started. The hardest part is having the drugs knowing that there will be millions of side effects that make you feel unwell. 

You see I put my life on hold on my last batch of chemo, I thought this will do the job and I’ll be able to get on with living rather than just surviving. With cancer coming back so quickly and the elephant almost knocking me over (because it’s so big) has been a huge shock. Actually worse than the day I was diagnosed in May 2015.

So I’ve now decided there’s only one way to tackle this – is to start eating the elephant….. one bite at a a time. How you ask? It’s not actually about the how – it’s the steps I’ll take and that’s simple really…..

– believe in yourself: it’s not about “hoping” something will or won’t happen. It’s about faith and belief 

– tackling what I can control: eating well, positive mind and exercise 

– never taking my time for granted, focusing on the big things on my to do list first and yes those “things” are pretty scary but I’m facing them head on

– to spend time with the people who matter; family and friends are so precious to me, they keep me focused, make me laugh and bring happiness into my life

– finally, I’m living in the moment and I’m enjoying it, something many of us forget with daily life. 

 (Pic from David Avocado Wolfe)
Deborah X 


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