Updated: Jan 9, 2021
So lets get to know me. Im 30. I Live in Western Australia. I love long walks on the beach and I have Cancer...for the second time.
The first time I had stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I ignored my symptoms for years!! They were subtle but they were there. It wasn't until my tumour had grown to the size of a grapefruit and spread around my chest that I really felt the symptoms.
I had sharp chest pains where I could barely turn my steering wheel, my throat was swollen and I couldn't breathe properly and I had some mysterious swollen lymphs on my neck. It wasn't until then did it occur to me that my usual "Don't worry - it's nothing" was actually not a nothing. It was a huge something. But like many I charged through life and stayed in my shitty job that I dragged myself to every morning, continued to be in all kinds of friendships/relationships that weren't good for me, never stopped to rest and not putting the right foods on my plate.
My diagnosis was scary and a huge shock. I had no time to process what was going on...In 7 days I went from going to my GP with a swollen neck to having a chemo bag connected to my PICC line (those darn things)!
I was told I was cancer free and in remission halfway through my treatment. Woohoo! 3 more rounds of chemo later and I was done, back to the real world. No more PICC line, no more self-injecting meds, no more blood tests. Thats it.
I resumed normal life, obviously with some changes in place and with a much higher gratitude for the sweet things in life, like swimming in the ocean, going for a run, being able to eat a runny egg without the risk of infection. Life was magical and I truly felt so blessed. Weeks turned into months and I felt myself slipping back into my Pre cancer life. I was getting complacent, I was getting caught up in the rat race, my fears started to creep back in, I started to lose my voice (metaphorically) and started feeling trapped again.
Then, during a routine scan, they found a tennis ball sized tumour, in the exact same spot as old mate Grapefruit.
So...I sit here now at the same crossroad as 2019. Truth be told, yeah Im scared, yeah Im upset its here again, yeah Im frustrated that I can't just move on with my life and yeah its a sucky thing to have to go through. But just like the first time, I don't want my mind to sit there for too long. I don't want to question why me or question my own ability to heal.
I want to befriend my cancer. I want to look at it like a symptom and ask what it needs in order to get better. I want to work with it rather than against. And honestly, the day I started looking at it from this angle has made it so much easier to process and get through. Its so easy to slip into a rage and hate your cancer and want call it every name under the sun but I promise you your mindset will shift to a better place once you start thinking "ok, my body is at dis-ease, its trying to tell me something is not balanced, there is a breakdown somewhere, I need to look deeper and understand why I got sick."
You ask every single person with Cancer what was happening in the lead up to their diagnosis and I guarantee you they were going through some kind of hardship, they were hanging on by a thread, they weren't living a purposeful life, they weren't in a good place spiritually and mentally. Cancer is your bodies way of screaming out and you need to really listen to what it is asking for, you cant just throw some chemo at it and expect it to be ok, its going to take so much more and Its not going to be easy!
I am about to jump on the 'let all your emotions out' train which is a really difficult thing for me to do - A lot of people call me the tin man because I rarely open up. But Ive surrendered to the journey and its going to be filled with unblocking past emotions that I've buried inside me for many years, I need to do a complete overhaul on my diet and feed my body with what it needs to get better, I need to give my mind space and let it breathe, let it sit in silence away from all the noise, I need to chill the f*$k out, I need to figure out my quest and just keep moving through it day by day.
If you've just been told your body is having a tantrum and is not happy A.K.A Cancer, Im here for you! Im also here for the people who know someone going through it and Im here for those who want a better life and have used me as an inspiration to do greater things and turn the beat around (did I seriously just quote a Gloria Estefan song)!
Do us a favour, whatever you're going through, it may be Cancer, it may be a breakup (yes, chocolate does fix a broken heart), you may have lost your pet. Whatever hardship you're experiencing right now...think of 3 good things that you get/got to take away from that.
Ok, fine ill go first.
I have Lymphoma.
Its teaching me more and more about myself than any self-help book could ever do.
The other day I layed on the grass for 2 whole hours watching the clouds go by, which I haven't done since I was about 6 years old.
It's brought me and my family closer
See you in my next post