Chryso is a breast cancer survivor, public speaker and freelance writer/editor who authors the blog http://getfearlessnfree.blogspot.com. A breast cancer diagnosis at age 29 challenged Chryso to overcome a life-long fear of doctors so that she could survive. Her goal is to empower people whose phobias are holding them back from living their best lives.
How many children do you have? I have one daughter, who is 10 months old.
How did you come up with the idea for your blog? I seem to have been born with a fear of doctors. I avoided the doctor my entire life and passed out numerous times at the mere mention of medical care in the most casual of settings.
After I found a lump in my breast, I had to seek help to deal with my fear so that I could withstand countless blood draws, MRIs, surgeries, and chemotherapy. It was daunting, but with the help of a cognitive behavioral therapist, amazing doctors and nurses, and the best husband and mom in the world, I got through.
Afterward, I felt liberated! I realized that overcoming that fear opened up a world of possibilities for me. I began challenging myself to do other things that made me scared.
Flying on an airplane would always make me nervous, but I used the techniques I learned through cognitive therapy to withstand a European vacation than entailed 10 flights. I braved amusement parks, even though I used to be afraid of the rides. (I’ll admit I started with the Dumbo ride at Disney World, but nevertheless, it was an accomplishment!!) I also went snorkeling in the Caribbean and White Water rafting in Colorado.
I had never been so adventurous in my life! My zest for new adventures stemmed from two things: One the fact that I overcame cancer and wanted to live every drop of beauty on earth and two, the realization that if I could overcome that one stupendous fear of doctors, needles, and blood, I could do ANYTHING!
The goal of my blog and my forthcoming book is to let people know the power that they hold inside of them to lead amazing lives as long as they let go of their fears.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Think about the legacy you want to leave and try to live by that every day for your child.
How do you get your family to eat healthy food and/or exercise? I started introducing my daughter to homemade pureed fruits and vegetables as early as her doctor would allow. I hoped that I could give her straight peas or straight broccoli without having to camouflage it with fruit. I would serve her a spoon with a smile and enthusiastically say, “BROCCOLI!” At first, she made faces, but after five or six meals, she began to like the green stuff. As for exercise, we love to stretch together and we make frequent trips to the park.
How do you recharge your batteries?I work from home, which was easy when my daughter was an infant because she slept so much. Now that she’s growing, she’s awake more frequently during the day. I found myself trying to work while she sat at my heels on the days when I didn’t have childcare. It wasn’t beneficial to either one of us. I recently started setting my alarm clock an hour ½ earlier than usual and it has made a big difference in my sanity. It might not sound like a “recharge,” but it takes away the pressure of trying to get important things done during the day while my daughter is awake. I’m able to take care of work matters, writing, or household obligations. I try to choose one or two important items to tackle each morning. Once my beautiful girl wakes up and we’re playing, learning, eating, and strolling, I try to remind myself to soak in those precious moments that I fought for my life to enjoy. The paperwork will be taken care of tomorrow morning.