Tips for Managing Your Emotions
Discover additional tips that may provide some encouragement for people living with melanoma.
The Importance of Surrounding Yourself With Positivity
Tips for Staying Positive
Schmidt's Tips: Creating a Melanoma Game Plan
When I played baseball, I obsessed over the details. I needed that same approach to taking on melanoma. Here are a few tips I picked up along the way, which I hope will help you through your cancer journey.
I was blessed to have a great set of doctors, my loving wife, my children and grandchildren and friends that were always there to prop me up when I was feeling low. But, even if you don’t have a lot of people there for you, help is available. There are support groups, therapists, and social workers that can offer advice as well as be there to listen.
Build a Team
I became a better player because of my teammates and coaches; they provided me with advice, support, and friendship. The team I have around me while battling melanoma are just as terrific. My healthcare team did a great job of easing my fears and laying out an approach to help me through my toughest challenge. And, I had my best coach there, too — my wife, Donna. She is always at my side offering words of encouragement and love.
Unlike some other players that could just step into the batter’s box and swing, I always needed a plan. That drive for planning ahead came in handy during my melanoma experience. My wife and I always jotted down thoughts and questions ahead of each doctor visit, and took notes during each visit so we wouldn’t forget any important details.
Listen to Your Body
When my body told me I needed to change my exercise regimen if I wanted to extend my career, I listened. And, when I started getting headaches in the middle of treatment, I got the message loud and clear: “Something’s not right!” I let my doctor know and we discovered the lesions on my brain. Listening to my body probably saved my life.
Before my diagnosis I had led a really blessed life; all I had to get over was losing a game or the occasional hitless streak. Melanoma was an entirely new experience. Confronting weight loss, dark thoughts, and a grueling schedule really pushed me. It helped to have my entire family, my friends, and healthcare team there to support me. But, I couldn’t have managed without my faith. It provided me with comfort and allowed me to stay positive. That’s what worked for me. For you it might be family, faith or your dog, all that matters is keeping your spirits up.
Make a Difference
When I retired from the game I was searching for substance; something to fill the void that baseball had occupied in my life. After my diagnosis, I realized melanoma prevention and support was my new mission. It’s something you can do, too. Our melanoma experience has made us all veterans; we need to impart our time and knowledge to the rookies out there.