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Have you accepted your new normal?

Even though I don’t watch the news and I don’t allow myself to surf on social media for hours but to get myself informed, I have noticed that people are finding challenging to find and accept their new normal.ย 

One thing is to read positive quotes and ideas on how to deal with this challenging time but it is a different story when we are tested to put it all into practice.

Let’s face it…the COVID-19 has interrupted our lives big time…we have never experienced anything like this in the history of a world where we feel totally in charge at all times.

So being confined home with our kids, or parents, or friends and spending more time with our loved ones is not something we are accustomed too. Not going to the gym, to grab a coffee when we want, to go for a run when we want feels like our freedom has been taken away from us.

I remember when I was told I had cancer…I thought to myself is this real? 4 days ago, I came in to hospital feeling unwell and 4 days later I have Stage 3 Bowel cancer and I am about to have a life threating surgery?

I spend quite a few days after that waking up and thinking: is this real or am I dreaming?

Some days I would hang on to that thought for a little longer so I could feel in myself that there was a possibility that I didn’t have cancer.

I would just sit there and think it was a bad dream.

But slowly I learned to accept my new reality…I had 12 cycles of chemotherapy ahead of me so I had a long way to go so I needed to accept my new reality fast because the alternative was to be paralysed by the fear of having cancer and all the “what ifs” that goes into your head.

Accepting my new reality was an enormous part of my healing journey because as soon as I accepted that, I felt empowered to act and do something about my new normal.

So I guess we are living through this exact same thing right now, aren’t we?ย 

Do we accept our new reality and put a new plan in place for what it is happening or do we keep thinking about the “what ifs” and “why me” and “why now” and focus on what we can’t control?

For me the quicker I accepted my new reality, my new normal, not only the diagnosis but feeling unwell 24/7, giving up my work ( I kept sending emails to my boss for a good couple of months after my diagnosis), feeling weak, vulnerable, accepting I couldn’t be or do what I used to before cancer…the more in peace I felt with my new reality, with my new body, with my new “me” really.

So I invite you to instead of fighting what is happening outside of us and everything that we can’t control, accept things as they are, work towards a plan that can help you deal with whatever situation you are in, help your family, loved ones around you to accept this new challenge with you.

As soon as you accept what it is going on, you will feel that life will become easier, the plans that you will be working towards won’t be as challenging, you will be able to come up with different solutions and before you know, your new normal is what you will know.

We human beings are incredibly adaptable and we can adapt to any situation if we set our minds to.

May this unknown time make us grow and learn whatever lessons we need to learn. May this unknow time make us be more compassionate to ourselves and others as we are all in this together.

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Can you face your past?

I can’t believe it is already March – I thought I would celebrate this month by talking about my emotional healing journey…๐Ÿ”ฅ

Ya know….when I speak to cancer patients at my volunteer job at the hospital, and in all the books I have read about cancer patient stories…I see a lot of suffering…not only physical but mental and spiritual too.

I have met quite a few people at the hospital that when I introduce myself and start talking to them, they tell me..

I am fine actually…I don’t need a chat…๐Ÿ˜•

I respect their wishes obviously but I leave their rooms thinking

“What the heck??You have cancer, don’t tell me you are alright? This is hard core stuff….” and this comes from someone who have been there.

We live in a world where we have to be strong all the time….being vulnerable is challenging…and I am talking about being vulnerable for real…right when you are in the middle of the mess.

When I was told I had Stage 3 Bowel cancer, I was in a bed after my 5 hours emergency surgery…

I had woken up from the surgery and was still groggy.

My husband was next to me…thanks God…I remember it was already dark outside…

The doctor who performed my surgery came in and said:

“Hey, the surgery went well. I took the tumour out. I had a good look around your internal organs and they all look good.”

So I asked him: “Any chance the tumour could be benign?”

He then said: “I am sorry…it is not…it is cancer and it is probably Stage 3 and you will need 12 sessions of chemotherapy”

I then remembering saying: “But I have 2 kids”….

The rest is a blur…

After that….I remember thinking “God, is this your way to shake me? I understand now you want my attention, you want me to listen..but are you serious?…Cancer?”

I came home for 4 weeks to recover before I was supposed to start chemotherapy.

I spent 2 weeks in a really dark place…

I planned my funeral every night…I held my tears every night before saying good night to my kids. I wailed and howled before bed in my husband arms saying: “I really want to see my kids grow up”๐Ÿ˜ญ

I begged God to let me live one more year, 2 more years, 3 more years…and I played videos in my mind about what it would happen with my kids at different ages if I died.๐Ÿ˜ข

I know right? Horrendous….

I just couldn’t see past that…cancer meant death to me…I didn’t know anyone close enough that had been through it…

My husband’s aunty was here from the UK which was a blessing.

In the previous year, she had met her partner who was diagnosed with throat cancer shortly after they met, so she knew the beast…she kept saying to me…

โ€It will be ok. You will be ok”

One day my husband took the kids to the beach with his aunty and I stayed at home by myself.

I remembered feeling deeply sad not only because I had cancer…

but because I had been holding on to so much anger in my life…

I had run my body to the ground…

I didn’t look after myself….

I jeopardised my own health for my constant seeking to being a high achiever…

I had let stress take over my life…

I took my health for granted…

.I didn’t let my guard down…

I had always expected of myself to be strong…

I didn’t spend enough time appreciating life…

I hadn’t laugh enough…

I hadn’t lived enough and now I was scared…and I was hanging to my life by a thread….๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

So I put some sad music on…and I cried….

I felt I was letting all the sadness go….

I felt I was opening up my heart…letting the guard down…

I felt it was the start of my healing….

After this episode, it was if I was ready to face whatever was in front of me….

my deep desire to survive kicked in big time…I wanted more out of this life….

I wanted to be a mum to my kids…and the most beautiful thing happened…all of sudden I wanted to survive for me…for Angelica… for myself..

.I acknowledge my inner self again….and that was just the beginning….

I write this from the bottom of my heart as I feel we keep so much hurt inside us…

We all have our own stories but ya know what I have learned is true healing starts on our hearts, on our souls.

We need to acknowledge and accept the call to heal ourselves….

Wherever you are in your life, take the time today to think…

What pain do you hold on to inside my heart?

Who are you angry with?

Why?

Can you face a past issue?

Who has hurt you?

Can you forgive them? 

The list goes on…and all I am doing is invite you to acknowledge what you have been holding on to…

you donโ€™t have to forgive and forget and make friends with everyone that hurt in the past.

Today is about acknowledging…nothing else.

If you want to know more, follow my blog…sign up to my newsletter… because I would love to share with you what happened next…

[To be contd.]