Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Who Are You?

I had a very emotive conversation with a good friend the other day which has grounded my construct of who I am.  I understood and totally agreed with the directional guidance and empathy that was bestowed on me.

My experience of life in the Western world is there seems to be an emphasis on achievement and modes of behaviour.  Throughout life we place different identities upon ourselves that position us into sub groups within our society and we do this so that others can get a view of who we are and what we are about.  From the beginning of our lives into adulthood we pass through many of these opinions of who we are, but when do we really get to understand who we are?  We are encouraged to compare ourselves to others even when we face a traumatic time in our lives the saying comes out “There are worse people out there than you, you should be grateful”.  You should not compare yourself to others, what is important is what is happening within you. We can get confused to know what is our true essence, with all the excess baggage that is placed on us by others and through our own inability to let go of negative emotions.

To be healthy your body is in balance but when an imbalance occurs then your body is at dis-ease and this can manifest as a physical illness, but what causes it is never straightforward.  It has been stated that healthy bodies develop cancerous cells but they are able to eliminate them, but when a body is at dis-ease then the system to eliminate them is blocked.  Throughout my life I have strived to follow a healthy lifestyle so it was a shock to discover I had cancer.  So am I to blame for my illness? I think most of us will experience emotional hurt in our lives, it may be just one or two events that caused pain or grief and we were not able to express this or to let it go and this in time will have an effect on our physical wellbeing.  Or perhaps a stagnation of “life force energy” has caused the dis-ease. There are also environmental influences that cause a strain on the body’s ability to keep a healthy balance. Even within our food chain we are exposed to carcinogenic compounds.  When you reach a point in your life when you are confronted with a life limiting disease then it becomes time to examine what it is that is blocking your existence.  So it is at this crucial time when you are faced with the opportunity to really transform your sense of who you are and discover your true essence. To achieve this you need to trust and have faith to become the healer within to bring back harmony in your emotional, physical and mental levels and to become responsible for your thoughts and actions.

When I was first diagnosed with Lobular Breast Cancer in June 2005 it was also at a time when I was challenged with a lot of negative energy at work caused by a change in management.  I felt that the new Acting Manager was blocking the development in my career by denying me opportunities to progress. This was stifling my creative energy; I could feel it so strong.  So the serious illness gave me a reason to get out of the situation. I started to make changes in my life, I allowed myself to see the beauty in the simplest things around me, I started to de-clutter my life.  I allowed my creativity to develop in my dancing, photography and study.  When I was told in February 2010 that the Lobular Breast Cancer had now spread to my bones and there was no cure only careful management to slow the progression down.  I was trying to get my head around it and said to my daughter, “Its in my spine, my back bone the whole support of my body, I am trying to make changes in my life, what is this illness telling me?” She replied, “Your back bone is your strength, you have to believe in yourself!”

Having a serious illness can consume who you are and it is so easy to lose direction as you are undergoing tests and treatments at the hospital and dealing with the physical side effects of these treatments you become this person with terminal cancer.  But, as my good friend enlightened me, I was reminded not to become the illness, I am not the cancer, I am who I am.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Big C

I wondered what to write about in my first blog; have been chewing over it for a few days now as I have so much I would like to share with you.  Then I realised it was Thursday and my favourite TV program would be on at 22.00 on channel More 4, “The Big C”.

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2005 a friend of mine referred to my illness as, “The big C”, and I was not impressed.  When I discovered the swelling in my breast I knew it was cancer, but I will tell that story another day, maybe, but when I was attending the hospital appointments and discussing what was to happen it felt like it wasn’t really happening to me, it was as if I was a character in a play but no one had given me the script.  I remember when my first consultant told me that I needed a mastectomy.  I said, “I don’t know what I am supposed to say”.  I needed the goddamn script!  My daughter was in the consulting room with me, I remember seeing her show so much strength, she didn’t have to speak, her energy was so strong and comforting.  I believed that I would survive cancer; I did not want to have an illness that would attract pity and shame.  To cut a long story short, as lots have happened in my coming up 7 years living with cancer, in February 2010 I was told that I now had secondary cancer in my bones and I could not be cured.  So I am now terminally ill, or the kinder terminology, I have a life limiting illness.

When the first series of “The Big C” was shown in England last year my daughter told me about it, so I sat one day on my bed and watched all the episodes I had missed on my laptop.  I really enjoyed them, I laughed and I cried at the content and could relate well to the topics covered.  I hope to cover some of these issues in my future blogs.  Although obviously, my experience is of secondary breast cancer and I have chosen to set up a blog on this subject to help woman like me, but also anyone who chooses to follow me.  I hope my blogs will stir an empowerment in you to enhance your own potential.  Being diagnosed with a life limiting illness is a wakeup call.  I decided that if I was going to battle this disease then my life had better get better.  The reality is that it is my responsibility to make my life better.  Many of us fall into “The Comfort Zone” (that’s another Big C) because it is easier.  We stay in a relationship that makes us unhappy but at least we have someone to share our life with, or we stick at a mundane job because at least we will get paid at the end of the month but these situations can drain our energies and then we become the living dead.    It’s scary to jump into the unknown but that is what you have to do when living as a cancer patient, it is all trial and error with your treatments, there are no guarantees.  I have the Big C, those of you that haven’t open your eyes to what is around you and follow my blog for tips on having a healthy, enjoyable life.  Within every negative look hard and you will find there is a positive.

As serious as my illness is it has facilitated positive changes in my life.  It has not been easy, I have cried a river, I can tell you, but it has awakened my creativeness and given me time to learn who I am and made me realise that I have no time for people or situations that create negative energy.  So breathe in deep and wide and smell the coffee and catch up on those episodes of
“The Big C” that you have missed!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.