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What cancer taught me about uncertainty…

We are living through some uncertain times…we are living through what we never thought we would have to experience….

In a world where we feel we are in control at a touch of our fingers…we are loosing control each day…we are waiting for the government to tell us what to do next, we are not sure how our financial situation will be affected, we are not sure if our local supermarket will have enough food for us to buy…we are lost and all we want is to feel safe again…like before the coronavirus.

But the coronavirus is not going to go away overnight…

This situation brings me back to when the rug got pulled from under my feet.

At 38 years, I was told, I had between 70-90% chance of survival.

As I write this, it pains my heart just thinking about these numbers…all of a sudden I had not only lost my sense of security…

But I was scared, fearful and powerless…

Then I had to face the world…and tell people I had Stage 3 Bowel cancer and that I was going to have 12 sessions of chemotherapy.

Most people’s faces gave me even less hope than the actual prognosis given to me.

My GP then told me that I needed to avoid crowds… I needed to stay at home and away from people as much as possible as my immune system was going to be down.

I had a slim hope my immune system was going to be stronger than most as I was young, righht?

Little I knew that as soon as I started chemotherapy, that became my new reality…my immune system became very weak.

I had many delays during treatment because my immune system wasn’t recovering…

Until one day I ended up in emergency with 0.01 neutrophils (these are the white cells that fight any infection/bacteria/virus you may have)โ€ฆ

Well I had none…

Two bags of blood and one bag of iron later, my body slowly started to recover and one week later I was able to go home.

I was then left by myself at home to pick up the pieces of what was left of me…

I knew I needed to focus on building up myself again…my physical and mental health if I wanted to survive.

I needed to accept my new reality, adapt and change to survive.

Slowly I switched my focus to changing my diet, doing exercise, meditation and listening to anything I could to feed my mind with positive things, with knowledge that was going to help me.

I stopped thinking about tomorrow because I had learned that I couldn’t predict my tomorrow…things could change quite quickly and all I could do was to focus on the NOW.

I feel the world is now at a similar place…we have all lost our sense of security and we are finding difficult to navigate through this new reality.

We are listening to some informative news but we are getting bombarded with a lot of negativity too.

It is challenging to move away from it…

I would like to invite you to think about the things you can control right now…focus on what you can control…tap into your inner strength (we all have one, trust me)…

You could focus on something as simple as reducing the time you spend watching the news…or increasing the time you meditate…or take up on reading again.

Little things can make a big difference in how we live, in who we are, in who we become through this…

I have also learned that nothing is permanent…I had some pretty shitty days but they too passed and the coronavirus shall pass too…

Stay safe and healthy,

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Why did I get cancer?

I think we all go through this, right?

We ask ourselves the question ‘why me’ when we are going through a tough time…

going through something unexpected…something that we thought we would never have to deal with….

And in my case it was cancer…bowel cancer…Stage 3

When the doctor confirmed it was my cancer diagnosis and that I would need 12 sessions of chemotherapy.

I asked God: “Why me? Why now? Why cancer?”

My kids were only 4 and 6….

We didn’t deserve this….I didn’t deserve this…

At the same time, I put my hand up and said:

“God, I know I haven’t stopped in years…I haven’t been listening at all…and I kinda thought I was invincible, didn’t I?”

It turned out that I wasn’t invincible indeed.

I also thought God wanted to tell me I needed to heal my relationship with my family which had been troubled for many yearsโ€ฆ.

Deep inside, I started to open…my heart…my body….my soul to a new life….to a new way of being and I knew that I was about to go through a lot of suffering…

But my desire to live started burning inside me….my desire to create a new life became stronger each day.

Slowly the “poor me” feeling, the guilt feeling of not having looked after myself, the ‘why me” feeling of feeling powerless started to change….

I felt a little fire inside me that slowly got bigger…

I felt empowered because I wasn’t scared to ask questions, to receive answers, to work on whatever I needed to work on…

I just wanted to live and that was bigger than any suffering and pain that I needed to face and go through….

When I reflect now how sad and powerless I felt straight after my cancer diagnosis and probably a couple of weeks after that….it pains my heart.

I know now that to work on my power within my body, mind and soul was crucial to my healing.

It made me go from feeling powerless to empowered.

I know cancer is not the only obstacle one can face, we face so many things that we don’t think we are able to cope with…

An accident that changes your life, a stroke, a chronic disease diagnosis, a death in the family, loss of a loved one, a sick child, a divorce…the list goes on.

Making the shift from feeling powerless to empowered is an important part of the process….

it makes you open to change, to learning, to creating, to forgive, to love, to share, to evolve and become the best version of yourself.

So now….tell me about your life?

Has anything happened recently or in the past that you haven’t dealt with?

Something that made you too scared to even face?

Something that you are still living with but that scares you, that make you feel like you want to hide in the corner in the dark?

How can you change your perspective from

‘Why me, poor me’

to

‘This is why….”

If you ask me “why do I think I had cancer?”

I can tell you it was because I needed to heal my heart, forgive…

I needed to appreciate life a little more….

be more grateful….

I needed to learn how to let go….

I needed to learn how to stress less….

to love more….

to laugh more…..

to rest more….

to enjoy life a little more..

.I needed to put my self first…

I needed to love myself unconditionally for who I was, for who I am and for who I was to become.

What about you?

Why has any life interruption happened to you?