I needed to shift my thinking...

I am not going to lie, these past few weeks have been tough.  I was in a very negative state and I just couldn't seem to shift my thinking. It was awful.  I just seemed to sit around a lot, staring into space and didn't have any inkling to do anything.  Everything just seemed to hard, and what was the point anyway.  -  see bad head space.

Generally I am not a negative person, I always think that things are going to be okay, you just have to go through what ever it is that you need to go through and all will be good.  But, for some reason I lost this thought process and I desperately wanted it back.

During the week as I was sitting on the couch mindlessly thumbing through Instagram (which seems to be how I am spending way too many of my days) I cam across this quote:

 "shout-out to my past self
for putting in the work
to get me where I am 
right now.

And to my future self:
I'm working,
I'm grinding,
I got this,
I got you."

It stopped me instantly.  My first thought - I have put in the hard work to get us where we are right now, do you really want to throw it all away now.

I got off my chair, went to my craft room and did a page in my art journal (this is new, I have never done an art journal before) using this quote.  It also got me thinking, I needed to try and find a way to shift my thinking.  Last week I picked up a timetable from the hospital of different treatments that they offer to cancer patients and their carers.  The only one that I could get to was Reiki.  Now to be honest I really didn't know much about Reiki but I didn't really think it was for me anyway, but that's what I could get to so I booked in.

I wasn't really sure what to expect as I really didn't know anything about it.  And, maybe not knowing was a good thing because I had no expectations of how it would go.  Juanita- my therapist was lovely and took some time before treatment to chat with me about how I was feeling.  I loved that she took this time and she really did seem to care and was listening, really listening.  Then, my session started.

At first I laid there, thinking, well nothing is happening (although I am not sure what I thought should be happening) but after a few minutes I could feel this warm, fuzziness starting at my head and then moving down my body, out through my feet.  It was weird, I wasn't sure how I felt.  Is this how it was supposed to feel?  I decided to surrender to it, just let it do it's thing and see where it took me.  It didn't take me long to feel overcome by the feeling.  It was comforting and weird at the same time.  My eyes started to water, not crying but little tears, leaving my eyes one by one.  It felt good.  I could feel my brain starting to shift and I could feel hope coming back.

I guess my point to this blog post is that you are going to probably have days that suck, and that's ok. Sometimes trying something new is just what you need to change your thinking.  Alternative therapies, and there are so many out there, are definitely worth trying.  I am a true believe in "what ever works, do it."  It will be different for all us and that's ok.  I also truly believe that things come to us for a reason.  As I said the only therapy I could get to was Reiki... maybe I was meant to try it!

Taking one day at a time as my "side trip with cancer" continues
love me :-)


Hello Cancer...

I've gone to right this blog post a thousand times, but I could never figure out how to start it.  Being diagnosed with cancer is without a doubt the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.  You never think that you will get "the call" that says we need you to come in for further views...

I spent the first few weeks trying to get my head around it.  The first few days were just "numb."  I was participating in life but not really there in spirit.  I got up, got dressed, went about my days, seemingly as though life had not changed and "normal" was still a thing for me.

Yeah! that word "normal".  I really struggle with "normal" right now, because, in reality what is normal.  What I knew to be normal is no longer the same for me.  In fact "normal" is something that I don't even really know what it means.  When you are diagnosed with cancer, your world stops, comes to a grinding holt, almost like you have just run into a brick wall.  You want to move forward but something seems to stop your every step forward.  It's like life is playing a game and it 's not letting you have a turn.

Another thing that I have struggled with is the terms "fight", "battle", "war", and "journey".  Don't get me wrong, these are great words and I am certain for many people this has been what has got them through - and as I often say "what ever works for you is what you must do".  I am still trying to find words that I feel comfortable with, words that will help me stay strong, positive and focused.  Although this path I am on at the moment is a journey, I don't feel it fits me.  The definition for Journey is an act of travelling from one place to another.  I usually associate this word with something fun and exciting like a holiday or an exciting adventure.  You see my dilemma!  So while I continue to search for a word that is more fitting to me I thought I would share some of my thoughts so far:- 

There are a million articles to read on the internet about cancer and how to prepare/cope/handle what is happening to you.  Some are great and some are not so great but all played a part in getting my head around this thing... cancer.  When I started to read and gather information it wasn't so that I knew what to expect, it was more so that I had some understanding as to how this disease is different for everyone who has it.  There are no two people that seem to get/handle it in the same way.  Some symptoms are common, but most can be as different and as varied as the people who have to deal with it.  Reading lots of information gave me a sense of direction and a sense of control.  Knowledge is power and the more information I gathered the more knowledge I was gaining and the more I felt like I was not going under.

  • Don't be afraid to accept help.  Any help and all help.  There will be days when you just can't get up, let alone cook a meal or a load a laundry.  We have received so much support and help that at times it's been hard to know what to say to show how grateful we are. 
  • Rest and fluids are your greatest friend when going through chemo.  Instantly give up the idea of your "to do" list because the most important thing you need to do is rest.  Sleep when you can, whenever you can.
  • Be prepared... I don't think you can ever really be truly prepared for what you are about to go through but there are some things that will make life just a bit easier.  One of the things that we did straight away was to order "Lite n Easy" frozen meals.  My husband was happy to cook  a few nights a week but he couldn't do it every night.  He also works full time and he has taken up the care of our children and most of the household chores etc so having frozen meals ready to go when they were needed has been one of our best decisions.
  • Be prepared for lots of tests!  In the first three weeks of being diagnosed  I attended the hospital nearly everyday for tests.  So grab yourself a good diary and don't leave home without it.
  • If you are going to attend any appointments where important information is going to be shared make sure you take someone with you.  You may think you are all together but as soon as they start talking results etc you mind gets overwhelmed very quickly and you just shut off.  I have a notebook that I write down any questions that I have so that I don't forget.  But, if during the appointment I forget to ask my questions I get my support person to ask for me and write down the answers.  I also get them to write down any or all information that is told to me during the appointment.  That way I don't have to worry about trying to remember everything.
I am not sure if this is helpful to anyone or not, but I just thought I would share some of what has been going through my mind.  If you know anyone who is going through cancer please send them my love and let them know that I will be praying hard for them, for me.

Love me :-)

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