This year I was diagnosed with breast cancer….
I have been hesitant to share this information with the world, mainly because I am usually a very private person, and also because I am still travelling through the aftermath of the experience. I also don’t need a whole lot of people feeling sorry for me, or thinking of me as a cancer victim, because I’m not, this has actually been one of the greatest gifts of my life. However, my work always, always, stems from my life experiences and as far as life experiences go, this one has been one of the most transformational for me! So it seems important to share with you the catalyst for all of this change.
I can’t pretend it’s been easy, the most profound experiences often aren’t. I have had to face my mortality, seriously wonder what would happen to my daughter if I wasn’t here to care for her, decide whether this life was really worth living, face my unhealthy lifestyle choices and make some hard calls about who and what, I want in my life, regardless of whether it’s a short one or a long one.
Along with all that, I have needed to trawl through the unending contradictory information regarding cancer causes, treatments and options. Often times I have had to defend my “not mainstream’ choices to others, many of whom have never researched cancer in depth, for themselves or for someone else, some of these people are authorities in their field and they can’t do anything except follow an outdated protocol, they are unable to discuss anything besides the “protocol”. So through all of this, one of the main things that I have learned is that there is NO ONE WAY to care for yourself after receiving a cancer diagnosis. If there was, it would be called a CURE and everyone would follow it and no-one would feel absolutely scared shitless when they were told they had it!
This is what many don’t realise, that there isn’t a formula to follow, regardless of what some doctors, surgeons, friends, or family say and like those other transformational “hero journey’s” in life, the best you can do, is follow what feels right for you, knowing that you have done it your way, in alignment with the knowledge that you have gathered, as it has resonated for you.
“Nothing is set in stone and sometimes options that were a NO, become a YES later on.”
One of the things I have been most grateful for, has been those people who have supported me, regardless of whether they agreed, or even understood the choices that I was making. Some of those people have surprised me with their generosity, as in my experience, not everyone can be supportive of life or death decisions, especially when they don’t agree with them.
So this last year (and the preceding couple of years) have brought great change… the catalyst of which was this final diagnosis. I have drastically changed my diet, I have re-prioritized my work choices, I have purposefully let go of toxic relationships, I have re-adjusted my parenting beliefs & behaviours, to serve my health more sustainably, I have been motivated to re-wire my brains pathways to allow for more joy & happiness, but most importantly I have made a conscious effort to move away from the stress, fear and worry that I had found myself so constantly in, as a single mother trying to be everything to my daughter, as well as run a business, negotiate an intimate relationship and experience “more” in the world. I realised beyond a shadow of a doubt, during one of my deep depressions at this time, that happiness was an inside out job, one that required more than just a ‘gratitude journal’, or more ‘positive thinking’. It needed to come from a committed and disciplined connection to myself, to my inner being, to the spiritual side of me that knows life is more than just this physical, tangible reality that we can see, feel and touch. I had to not just be self-responsible (I was all over that already), or have a higher sense of self worth, I needed to learn how to self-nurture, I needed to learn how to BE more, how to soften more (even when I was scared), I needed to learn how to let go of fear, how to trust in myself and in the big picture, I needed to start living life for me!
And so that is what I am doing now and contrary to many’s beliefs, this doesn’t mean I have had to neglect or abandon my responsibilities, or my family. It just means that I needed to re-negotiate according to boundaries that supported me to be the best me that I could be; it’s actually of benefit to all of those who love me and wish to be in relationship with me. It also has the added benefit of getting rid of those who don’t respect or care for you, win/win!
So all that I am sharing now is from this new and deeper perspective of healthy mind, body and soul. All that I am sharing now, has no “fluff” attached to it, not that it every really did. I desire for all of my experiences to be meaningful and beneficial. When I share products, it’s because they have worked for me, when I share articles on parenting, relationships, cancer or health & well-being, it’s because they resonate with me now. When I share my treatments, it’s because I believe in them and the fact is, I always have, but there is an even deeper awareness now, a blending of more worthwhile elements to create a more powerful space for healing and well-being.
It’s important to understand though, that what works for me, might not necessarily work for everyone. You are the best gauge for what you need to do, or not do. I will never pretend to be an expert on health, or parenting, or cancer treatments, because I know that it is such a personal journey for each and everyone of us. I have never actually felt comfortable being an ‘expert’ on anything because I have known that everyone’s knowledge, comes from their own very unique life experiences and while many of our situations overlap, or seem similar, the way that you have travelled through them, is distinct to you. I do however realise that I may have deeper knowledge and embodied wisdom in some areas, because of what I have experienced and in these cases I love to be able to share, help, support and create space for others to find more joy, meaning and fulfillment in their lives. I don’t share to give my ego a pat on the back, I’m doing it because I care, because I believe we are all here to help one another and I am doing that in the only ways I currently know how to.
So thank you to all of those beautiful beings who have been by my side, had my back and put their hands up as being a part of my intimate tribe. I value your insights, presence, love and care. We all have our hero’s journeys to traverse, they are all relevant, valuable and worthy, we all deserve support as we move through them. They don’t need to be life-threatening to change your world, they don’t need to be life-threatening to be worthy of the deep feelings you are experiencing. We are all having our own human experiences and they are all valid, there is no need to compare, or judge….we are all in this together.
Sending you all lots of love