Second Chances

It's the news we all fear, and it happened to Catherine Schopfer. After transforming her own life, Catherine Schopfer uses her experience to help others to change theirs.

How Catherine Schopfer Used the News We all Dread to Change her Life and the Lives of Others

Having a passion for healing, Catherine Schopfer, cancer survivor, life transformer, and mindset coach, speaks from experience. An expert in resilience, she helps people around the world to rediscover their passions and connect with their purpose to thrive fully after the challenge of cancer. Catherine shares her story with us.

I remember that day when I was going to my gynaecologist appointment to get the results of the biopsy. My heart was pounding, I had to force myself to breathe and I had to pinch myself only to realise I was living my worst nightmare. This time it was for real. I can still see the sunrays shining through the curtains as I sat across from my doctor.

I can still remember the smell of the comfortable leather chairs and the soft wooden desk, mixed with the pungent smell of disinfectant from the adjacent room. It is imprinted in my mind forever. Her voice told me: “You have 2 tumours in your right breast, and they are unfortunately malignant.” Excuse me, what? How could that be? I feel perfectly healthy. And now? What is next…? Am I going to die? A rush of questions pounded my head, my brain was going 2000 miles an hour. Then she told me: “I can organise the surgery for next week. I’m sure you want to get rid of the cancer as soon as possible.” The verdict still hadn’t registered in my brain and I still couldn’t grasp what she was telling me. This was going too quickly! I needed time to think and feel what my body was telling me. We planned a second meeting, and I left.

My knees were shaking. My voice was trembling. My heart was aching. My thoughts were spinning. A bomb had just struck me! Do you know someone who has had to face a life-threatening disease? Do you know someone who went through cancer? Have you had to face this challenge? If yes, then you know the emotions and the questions that are awaken after such a diagnosis: Am I going to die? Why me? Whom can I trust? Who can I talk to? What impact will the treatments have on my body? my life? I used to be a successful engineer and manager, climbing the management ladder, I was overworked and wearing several hats every day: manager, mum, wife, household organiser.

Then…I was diagnosed in 2012 with breast cancer. My life came to a full stop. Now it was my turn to face this life threatening disease! I had so much anger at life! So much anger at myself! So much anger at my partner! I felt like life was so unfair. I had always done my best to please everyone, to take care of everyone, to be a good girl, a good wife, a good mother, a good manager,the only one I had not been good to, was me

My coach Jim told me one day: “Catherine, Cancer is the challenge to change or die, what do you want?” What did I want? I could feel that this was the time to stop and have a close look at my life and what I had been doing with it.

That was the day I decided to take control of my life and to start the healing process. Today I understand that the cancer was a blessing for me and that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it hadn’t been part of my life. What I’ve also understood from my cancer journey, is that you don’t need to get a disease to make adjustments in your life and bring to the world that special gift that we all have. The word disease is really a dis-ease in your body that you’ve been carrying around for too long. Every other man and one-in-three women will face cancer in their lifetime. And I’m not even talking about the other diseases arising around the world. It’s time for us to wake up and realise what we’re doing with our life. We only have one!

I woke up after my breast cancer diagnosis and I decided that it was time to work on myself with a coach and other therapists. I made babysteps to move forward and started to change what had to be changed in my life. I started to change my diet, I started to exercise every day, even if it was just having a walk after dinner, I started to meditate, to have peaceful moments to calm down, I practiced mindfulness on a daily basis, I reconnected with nature to get energy from the beauty that surrounds us, I made sure that I was respecting my bio rhythm and having enough sleep. And I worked on my emotions, on my mindset, on my limitations, releasing everything which was draining my life energy. My transformation didn’t happen in overnight, but slowly and surely I was feeling more energised, was looking at life in a different way, I gained a feeling of happiness and fulfilment day after day. I became grateful for every beautiful moment in my life to the point that I want now to guide others to overcome cancer and thrive.

About Catherine Schopfer

Catherine is a certified coach from Coach Académie Paris, Inner Game Coaching, Go Pro Coaching, USA and has trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as developed by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn and a certified Reiki Master (Usui Shiki Ryoho System).

After more than 10 years as a certified life & business coach, Catherine believes that a challenge can also be the springboard to reinventing one’s life. Before finding her true calling, Catherine trained as a food science engineer and worked in the corporate world for organisations such as Henkel and Luxair Group. Catherine lives with her partner, Danilo, in Zug, Switzerland and has two daughters.

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Darie Nani
Darie Nani

Aiming to inform, educate and sometimes amuse.

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