A letter to myself

random-act-of-kindness Dear Kylie my love,

This letter is a letter of love and caring. You have been through a lot my sweet, and there have been many lessons to be learned. Why? So you don’t have to learn it again my sweet girl.

For as long as I can remember you have been very good at caring for others, putting them first and putting yourself last. This can be no more my dear. Things need to change. God has loved you through this experience and one of the biggest messages he has shared with you, is your value. You too need to be loved, to be cared for, to have space and to protect your heart.

You need to feel ok to say “No” to allow others to learn the hard lessons for them. It’s important that you don’t feel like you need to carry the world on your shoulders. Those old childhood fears and hurts no longer need to drive your actions my love. You can now rest and trust that you are not responsible for others, for their outcomes or for their hurts.

Carrying such a burden is such a heavy load and I believe to a large degree is why you have ended up where you are, sick, tired and empty in so many ways. Yet you still yearn to give and give some more.

You have loved where only anger has been reflected, you have given of yourself without return, you have felt responsible for things you have absolutely no control over, all of this is completely emotionally and physically exhausting.

Change is required and it is necessary my sweet girl. You have such a big heart and such capacity. How long has it taken for this to catch up with you? So many years, this has been building and building. Imagine how much is possible when you let go of what you cannot control and give back to yourself. Imagine when you allow God to heal you completely (from the inside out) and make you whole again, the possibilities are endless.

I know you want to make a difference in this world, to share with others and to help them live lives of hope and significance. To do this, I believe you need to love and nurture yourself, love others fully and freely but let go when it is wise. Allow others to experience things for themselves; you don’t need to protect them. Realise that not everyone will understand or appreciate your journey and that is ok.

This is your journey, your experience and your life. Do what you can, make it a beautiful testament to those who have loved and supported you. Allow our gracious and merciful God to be glorified through your life story.

So what should change? Please love your body by nourishing it with beautiful whole, clean and nutritious foods. Move and stretch your body, allow your muscles to be strong and lean, to support you in all that you do. Allow your ever-questioning mind to be quiet at times, give yourself that gift daily. Love generously, laugh audaciously, spend time with people that grow you and love you. Don’t do things out of some weird sense of obligation. Stop fearing rejection from others, you are a daughter of the most high King, you have been created, loved and accepted by the God of the universe, nothing else matters.

So with love gratitude and friendship I say to you, dear sweet lovely Kylie, be kind to yourself, allow for change to take place at its place, appreciate your amazing body and it’s strength and resilience and above all remember to love abundantly. xxxxxxx

What does Christmas mean to you?

Monday December 23rdlife is short quote

It’s funny how a cancer diagnosis can change your perspective. We are madly getting ready for Christmas getting the last few pressies for people. As you all know the shops are nuts at this time, people push and shove and I am super tender. Still going bra-less mostly so it helps sometimes to make some people back away and give way to me.

Marc and I are trying to working out what we will cook, it is only going to be small but I still want it to be special. Although I really need to manage my expectations around Christmas and my birthday, my lovely mum spoiled my sisters and I so much. So much so that many have paled in comparison. Like I don’t want much but to feel special. That may be with a thoughtful card or a little something that you know I would love.

In our family growing up Christmas was always huge, with the entire family and friends. It was noisy, fun, we all pitched in, it was full on. There would be upwards from 20 people, some we hadn’t seen in ages. My family is all very close and we would all slip back in where we left off even if it had been ages. I have 3 sisters who have all had 3 kids of there own and one who has 2 step children. All of which are part of the family! I now have one child and 2 stepchildren now and the family feels the same toward them. We have a “WELCOME ALL” policy that I love. I know it is a bit weird for the newbies for a while but mostly they come around.

I also LOVE giving presents and try so hard to get people what they really want and for it to be a surprise – not too many expectations hey. However, since both my parents went to heaven, we rarely all get together at Christmas. With growing families and the pressure of life, we don’t do it any more. Some of us have stepfamilies and ex husbands that grows the family tree and adds to the complexity of meeting every ones needs at such times. For some reason, when Mum and Dad were alive we all trekked across the country to be together, now we don’t and this makes me sad. However, I am a part of this problem too, life becomes overwhelming.

So I have my new family, (since marrying the wonderful Marc) which is much smaller than what I am used to at Christmas. There is always Marc and I, Alison and now Eliza and a varying number of kids. My step kids usually spend Christmas with their mum or if not they fly out that afternoon or the next day. Gran dad (Marc’s Dad) comes for lunch but is so elderly and in bad health that this is really hard to manage. This year my son Sam is with his Dad for Christmas, so it is very small. Moni will be here before she goes to her Mum’s then there is Marc, Alison, Gran dad Eliza and I. It will feel so quiet compared to the Christmases of my past.

I am trying to manage my expectations of the day, I want it to be special but I am also not up for much either, such a strange place to be. It’s funny how when life gets potentially ripped from you, the importance of such days seems to grow. There is a big lesson in this for me. I want to live each day like we may not have it again, without regrets and without holding back. I want appreciate all I have been blessed with whole-heartedly every day.

Great Expectations

dignity mj fox

Sunday December 22nd 2013

Eliza our beautiful niece was dedicated at church this morning; a welcomed and wonderful distraction from my burdening emotions and myself.  I was fortunate enough to meet Heather an amazing woman who is a 30+ year survivor of breast cancer. She is also a breast care nurse and is keen to support in any way she can. It is a really lovely morning, people keep telling me how radiant I am, I certainly don’t feel it. Although who would say, “geez you look like crap!”  I wonder if they are just being kind?

Many people have said “you look better than we thought” It also makes me think what do they expect to see? Perhaps a waif like version of myself close to death, with grey skin and sallow eyes? Nope I am me, somewhat swollen, slower, boobless and a little fragile, but me.

When you think of someone having cancer what do you think? Interesting question huh. So many friends have said “wow you look different to what I expected,” or even have said “sorry but I can’t do this”. Some have been silent.

I just don’t want people to fear seeing and speaking to me. But with the greatest respect, each of us have our own journey. You do things your way and I do things my way. This will always be the case.

To be honest, at first it was hard to deal with peoples reactions. I suppose because I had not choice about whether I went through it or not. I just wanted support when I needed it and to be heard. I wanted to be acknowledged and speak about “Cancer” if I want. I certainly don’t want cancer to be in every conversation I have.

In fact, most days when the thought comes across my mind “I have cancer” I don’t really believe it, it does not seem real to me. Even as I sit here and write it is like I am writing about a fictional character.  Self protection I suppose….

So many people have said “Oh I expected you to look so much worse!” I wondered is that a good or a bad thing? I have actually had someone say when I mentioned chemotherapy “cool you will lose weight”, not a word of a lie. Unbelievable huh? But I also realise that this comment was about them not me.

Who on earth really wants chemo so they can lose weight? How tortuously sad that we feel this burdened to look a certain way that even the idea of being subjected to deadly toxins will at least help you lose weight?  The sad irony is that Chemo actually makes you gain weight in some case and also just as bad (or worse for some) makes you bloat. So you don’t even win on that front. Bald, boobless and bloated how beautiful….

I just want to be noticed and treated normally. I want to be heard and supported. I want to useful, to be allowed to support others; this is the best thing for me. Let me do something useful so I feel like there is more to my life at the moment. I crave purpose; each major life event like this means more for me if I can help someone else. Let’s make this awful ordeal at least useful to others.

 

 

Overwhelming emotions

sad girl

Saturday 21st December 2013

Monica is home from South Australia today, she has been visiting her Mum. I am feeling generally anxious, I am adjusting to the new me, coming to terms with my diagnosis, I’ve had my haircut. My sister in law is also visiting with her baby, who is sooo cute!

I walk into the lounge room to say “hi.” Marc is there with Moni and Al & the bub (who is breastfeeding). The first thing Marc says to me out of nowhere is “stop Kylie your scaring the baby!  The baby says where is the other one? There’s only one!”  Moni is sitting there confused saying “what do you mean there is only one???”   I knew straight away what he meant and I knew on some level it was a joke, but I did not know what to say or do and I just dissolve into tears.

DISCLAIMER: please understand that my husband is one of the most giving, loving kind hearted humans on planet earth. He is a fun loving wonderful person and to cope with tough things sometimes he jokes. Marc would never intentionally do things to hurt me. To make things even more confusing for him, sometimes I even start the joke or laugh at his jokes but today unbeknownst to him I was fragile.

I go to the bedroom and cry from my soul, I haven’t done this yet and I guess I really needed too. I am sad at the silly unintentional joke made, but I think this emotion also just needs to come out. I lock the door and I literally cry my heart out for a good few hours. Marc comes and knocks, so does Alison but I just say “please leave me alone.” Marc doesn’t understand, he has no idea what his unintentional expression has unleashed in me. It’s ok, I will explain when I can, but for now I batten the hatches because this pent up emotion is coming out.

We have friends coming over later and have dinner with us – I don’t come out for ages as I have swollen eyes, a broken heart and just don’t want to face anyone. Thankfully these guys are the type of friends that just accept and love you wherever you are.

I begin to ponder about the idea of what will Marc find attractive about me when I have no boobs, no hair, no female hormones, what is left to make me a woman? What if he looks at me and is repulsed? Every physical part of me that makes me a woman is going to be cut out or poisoned so it no longer functions. Lovely thought huh?

The needling begins….

acupuncture

Friday 20th December

Today is my first session with Amanda for acupuncture. I have had acupuncture before. My body responds well to it.

“So what is it?” I hear you say….   Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the skin – or applying various other techniques to the acupuncture points – to restore balance and encourage the body to heal itself. Scientific studies have shown the potential for acupuncture to be effective in treating many disorders. Acupuncture is effective and safe when performed by a skilled practitioner. Source (Better Health Channel Victoria, November 2011)

The first time I had acupuncture was when I was pregnant with my son Samuel. At the time I was under extreme stress, my first Husband was an alcoholic and drinking like a fish, I was working to support the family, my father was diagnosed with cancer and at the time he was caring for my mum who was chronically unwell with the outcomes of years of metastasised breast cancer.

It was an amazingly stressful time. I was about midway through my pregnancy and my blood pressure was too high. Funny that! I was determined to have my baby naturally so when I was told I may need to be admitted to hospital for the last weeks of the pregnancy I asked what I could do to help myself.

I was told acupuncture may help and I found a lady in the Blue Mountains who agreed to help me. I had 4 sessions, each time I would arrive with my BP at 145/95 or something similar and 45 minutes later I would sail out Zhen like with a reading of 110/70 and this would last for 3-4 days. It was amazing.

The second time I tried it was soon after I married the wonderful Marc and moved to Inner South Sydney. After an old back injury came back I saw a local physiotherapist who uses acupuncture in his practice. I had back spasms that normally took up to 10 physiotherapy sessions to steel, he sorted me in 2 with acupuncture.

So in short, if you haven’t tried it and you are open, have a go! It has been an amazing addition to my wellbeing toolkit. Just in case you are freaked out by needles, it is not like having an injection, the needles are as fine as hairs and do not hurt.

I meet Amanda from Sydney Integrative Medicine, who is lovely. She takes my history and tells me she has just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s of the thyroidalso wow! She explains that the acupuncture will help my liver cope with the toxins ( surgery, drugs, chemotherapy)  from surgery and treatment, will help my digestive system, and my kidneys function optimally. It will also help me to relax and manage the enormous emotional and physical changes I have been through.

She puts needles literally everywhere, as she does this she explains what each point is for. This I love – I am an information freak. I then lay there for 20 minutes relaxing and allowing the needles to do their work.

The first needles were to relax me and were in my side. I felt immediately like I had had 2 glasses of wine, it was amazing. Teach me that one! I would love to do that whenever required, perhaps a permanent needle implant there would be great.

After the session I feel relaxed, balanced and empowered. I learned a lot, Amanda is very gentle and wise and I feel like she will teach me many things over coming weeks and months.

I will see her again after chemo which starts in about 2 weeks and then probably weekly after that. My next appointment is made for day 5 after chemo begins.

Can I encourage you; if you know of anyone who is going through treatment for cancer, anyone going through chronic illness, anyone coping with ill health or chronic pain, please share this blog, or what you have read about acupuncture. Seriously, it has made such a difference for me and I would hate to think of someone missing out who could benefit. We all deserve to feel the best we can, and to be able to make informed decisions about our own health management.

The hardest thing about cancer is that the treatment can be worse than the disease at times, and at least complimentary medicine supports your body to heal and for you to feel stronger and almost human again.

 

 

 

 

It’s so complimentary

change quote20th December 2014

It’s the 20th of December and with the crazy spin our lives have taken we have not even thought about Christmas.  No matter – we have 4 days, it’s all good!  Marc and I madly start to do Christmas preparation and shopping.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love to make quick decisions so this works for me.  We got o a large shopping centre and go nuts!  As much as a slow moving one boobed woman can.  In my mind I am moving much faster and smoother.

I am still so bloody sore it is driving me nuts.  I still have the seroma (swelling at the surgical site) and the worst of it is right where the bra elastic sits, so no matter what it is really uncomfortable.  Only a few days ago I was struggling with the desire to “fit in” and to wear my prosthesis.  No more baby, stuff the weird looks I’m in too much pain!   I get pretty comfy with going bra less.   AND more importantly ignoring the weird looks from insensitive or inquisitive people.

Marc and I see the Naturopath Theresa today.  She works at the same clinic that my lovely GP works.  For anyone wanting to know about this clinic it is called Sydney Integrative Medicine. Check out the resources page on this blog site to go to their website.

The blessing about this for me is not only will my GP and naturopath communicate and work together, they have access to each others notes.  It’s awesome.

Therese is great, she is switched on, caring and a cancer survivor herself.  She changes my supplements and says my diet needs to change substantially.

I need to avoid dairy, wheat, caffeine and sugar as they all feed cancer either directly or through increases in insulin.  Insulin is a growth factor so that means any circulating insulin will cause any single cancer cells in my system to grow.  Sugar, is what they use in MRI scans to show where cancer is as it feeds on the sugar and lights up like a Christmas tree.  No thank you Ma’am, that’s not what I want!

I need to eat green, fresh, variety and get my body more alkaline.  Having an alkaline body means that cancer cannot grow – bring it on!  She gives me supplements to take to help cope with chemo and its awful toxicity.  I feel like I understand and have a real plan.  She also says I need to lose 10kgs.  Any extra weight is a place where your body manufactures estrogen.  So I need to be lean.

Therese suggests acupuncture to help me cope with the side effects of treatment, stress, pain etc. I’ve had this therapy before and it works wonders for me, so I book into to see an acupuncture therapist they can do wonders during chemo.

She asked how I am doing emotionally, I explain that I feel quite numb at the moment and am wondering when I will “feel something”.  She explained that she is a cancer survivor too and that after a diagnosis there is at least a 6 week window where you function and it does not feel like anything, then after 6 weeks it can hit and you then need to come to terms with it.

Because of this process she recommended that I have some counselling.  She recommended a psychologist great with grief and such diagnosis experiences who is also a cancer survivor.  I agree to book in with him.  I leave feeling empowered and resourced.  More importantly I feel heard!  I feel that there are aspects of this crazy journey that I can actually have some management over.  Now that is an amazingly comforting feeling.

I have felt completely out of control since this started, actually for years before my diagnosis when I was feeling like crap and stressed out.  Slowly my world began to spin out of control, I tried everything I knew how to do to help, but nothing worked.  Hopefully with the help of counselling and hindsight I can learn from this experience and see where things went pear shaped.

That afternoon one of my oldest friends comes to visit.  We were roomies at University and lived together for more than 3 years.  He is now a Dad and lives south of Sydney with his beautiful family.  We have always remained in touch but he has been really supportive since I told him what’s going on.  More supportive and caring than many of my closest girlfriends.  This really surprised me!

One thing this journey really helps you determine your friends and who does the hard yards with you.  I don’t hold any grudges or hurt toward those who fell silent, its not an easy journey to do and many people just don’t know what to say.

One thing this has really shown me is to show up, let someone know you care and that you are there for them.  If you don’t know what to say, say that, but show up

Shaving down for battle

safety_razor

Wednesday the 18th December 2013

It’s my day to go to the hairdresser.  A sweet piece of normality.  After years of struggle to find a good hairdresser, one that cares, that wants to know me and my needs, that is not into the hair “up sell.” That’s Luisa.  I found her through my sister in law and she is just great. She works on the basis that it is a small boutique salon where you are always the only client! It’s so personal and private I love it.

She is honest, about my crowning glory or not. I have always had fine hair with far too many cowlicks, but she is great, she shows me ways to make it do what I would like within reason. If I pick a picture and say I want that she gently brings me back to earth.

I book in ahead each time my hair is done so I had this appointment booked in for 7 weeks. So since the last appointment I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and had the right mastectomy. Without any planning or foresight.

So I walk in and sit and she says “so how have you been?” I take a slow deep breath and say “well a fair bit has happened since I last saw you.”  She looks at me puzzled but realises something big has happened.  I tell her “I have breast cancer and have had a mastectomy 3 weeks ago.”  I planned on keeping it together but of course I did not and consequently I ugly cry all over her.  She cries with me, we hug, and then when we can speak I answer all of her questions.

I explain that I have been recommended chemotherapy and that I will definitely lose my hair so I would like it cut short in preparation.   So we look at some pictures and I explain what I want, she cuts my hair really short and I love it!!!

I asked her if I can come to her when I need to shave my head?  She is so supportive and says “of course.”  I had read of some women trying to make losing their hair as gentle as possible so they arranged to have champagne, food and their best girlfriends and to make it as special as they can.  You see there is something about losing your hair that many men don’t get.

Your hair is not often seen as particularly feminine but it really is. Perhaps less so for me, because I have never really had that amazing head of hair, I’ve just had hair. However, the prospect of being as bald as a badger makes me feel somewhat challenged, and certainly less feminine or beautiful.

Marc wants me to let him do the shaving, he has the shaver and does his own scone every few weeks. But I think I want it to be feminine, gentle and safe in case I lose it all together.  Even if you are a woman like me who has never had luscious locks, it is still a large part of me as a woman.

Luisa is so open to this option and we begin to strategise.  I explain that I have been told that my hair will fall out anywhere between 14-21 days after chemo starts, there is little warning it just comes out like it was never attached. Luisa says “call me whenever”, I agree and I leave with my sharp new hair do and my hairdresser on speed dial.

 

Life begins to move on

road w quote

After the Oncologist, my big sister arrives for a bit over a week. Her and her Husband fly in from interstate. This trip was planned before the diagnosis; we don’t get to see each other often so I did not wish to change it.

My big sister has many health problems of her own, she has been to hell and back and this continues on a daily basis. She is resilient and takes each day as it comes. Her husband is an amazing support and they have the most wonderful relationship. They have been married and divorced before and finally found each other. It is so lovely to see how they do married life together.

It is hard for all of my sisters having me diagnosed with breast cancer I don’t think anyone expected the youngest sister to be diagnosed. It brings up all of the questions around genetics and family history. It makes each of them think, “will it happen to me, when will my body defy me?” We don’t have great genes honestly. Cancer, heart disease, weird blood disorders. But in our favour we are strong and resilient.

We spend lots of time sitting about talking and reminiscing. My sister closest in age to me stays for the week to see her big sister too, and to help out me after surgery. So we laugh, we cry, we talk, we disagree, it is a big week.

It has been an interesting journey for my big sister as her illness is obvious as she is on oxygen 24 hours per day. She also needs to use a walker or wheel chair to be mobile as she is so weak and is so much pain. She cannot avoid but explain what is going on with her health.

However, for the moment I have blessed anonymity, which I am treasuring. Soon enough I will be ‘bald, barren and boobless’ and obviously look like something is not right so I will have ‘the looks’, the inevitable questions. So for now I am not keen to even bring up my health with people outside the inner circle.

As we catch up with some distant family members over the week, my sister talks about her health and is quite puzzled when I don’t bring mine up. Again it’s me making the most of this window of opportunity when my health does not need to be the foremost topic of conversation.

Particularly when you don’t know how different people respond. Some are supportive and encouraging (excellent!), while others can be fear mongering, can blame you and then of course there’s those who open with “oh yeah I knew someone who died from that last month.” That’s always a helpful conversation. No I don’t have enough of my own fear and doubts that I wrestle with every moment, please give me more!  Once I explain to my big sister why I don’t wish to tell people she understands, again different people different journey.

It’s a full week, my second oldest sister visits from the Hunter Valley, which is lovely. I haven’t seen her since the mastectomy. She is my sister who has also had Breast cancer, so I feel like she understands so much more. She’s been there, she knows the “what if’s” the mind games we play, the pain, the body image issues, the grieving for normality, the realisation of ones own mortality.

So it has been a big week, I am slowly recovering, the pain is lessening, I still cannot wear a bra with my soft form prosthesis for long. It’s just too painful. If we go out in public and I feel the need to wear a bra, I almost rip my bra off when I get home. Oh the sweet relief when I do that.

It makes me angry that I feel the need to conform and wear my prosthesis in public. But then again without it I get the looks and questions. I don’t want to have to deal with that, I am still coming to terms with what this means for me. I am sure it will all become easier in time.

 

Kylie’s first Oncology visit

Right Decision, Wrong Decision Road Sign Monday 9th december

I wake up and think I have a seroma. This is the collection of too much fluid in the cavity where your breast tissue once was.   It is a very sad replacement for my breast that is for sure.  It is quite sore and swollen and when I move from side to side it sloshes in my chest. It literally sounds like a hot water bottle being sloshed. How disgusting!  I call the breast care nurse, she says “yeah call the doctor.”

Today I also have my first appointment with my Oncologist.  This is one medical professional I never thought I would say I have.  “I’m seeing my oncologist today.”  I’d much rather be saying Beautician or even Gynaecologist!!

Marc is still away in South Australia so my sister is coming with me. If you read about chronic illness you should always take someone with you to the Doctor. Just to offer support and make sure you ask all of your questions and understand the responses.

Because of the seroma, I call my Breast Surgeon and they ask me to come after the Oncologist. We arrive at the Hospital and my Oncologist is running 45 minutes late, so I think, lets scoot up to the breast surgeon and see if he can fit me in now. This is one part of my nature that I need to explain; I hate waiting around. I love to do things in the most effective way possible. So rather than wait for 45 mins I think let’s get this seroma sorted.

The breast surgeon can see me now, which is great. He says “you do have a seroma but it is not that big.”  “Oh I’m sorry.” I think,  “I did realise it was a competition!”  When I am upright it is very swollen, sore and downright ugly.  When I lay down the fluid disappears.  Not unlike our ageing breast hey girls…..

I ask him to drain it while I am sitting, he won’t do it in case I faint. Personally, I would rather be upright and know all the fluid is gone than lie down and be told there is hardly any fluid there.

So, he makes me lie down and then he says “it is not that big but I will drain it anyway.”   My blood pressure rises in line with my frustration and related directly to my feeling of being a pain in his butt.  He gets a whopping great needle and sticks it into my chest to drain the fluid.  He gets 50 mls and says “see I told you it was not much.”

His mannerisms and tone have such a way of making me feel like a real whiner. I am feeling so uncomfortable and in pain and he was so understanding before the mastectomy, but since he lopped off the boob its like “stop whining please, what more do you expect me to do?”

We leave the breast surgeon, somewhat deflated ( hah hah) and go to the Oncologist with my sister as planned. I am a little nervous, as I am not sure what is ahead.

The Oncologist is lovely, she is my age, down to earth, open to my questions, gentle, supportive, but strong. She says because I had 2 tumors of different grades in one breast and there was lymph node involvement.   I need chemotherapy, then the ovaries stopped and Tamoxifen. This is because the cancer is driven to grow by my female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

All I hear is chemo! Wow, I did not expect this. She also says that I will definitely lose my hair, due to the type of chemotherapy used. She says I can have my ovaries removed or have my ovaries chemically halted.

Me being Miss efficiency thinks that when I get the second mastectomy and reconstruction in about April 2014, I will plan to have my ovaries removed.  Thats typical me, lets make a list and get it done.

I only need 4 rounds of chemo at this stage, ( I am so lucky compared to many) she says let’s give you Christmas off, allow you to heal from surgery and you can start in early January. Woohoo! I get Christmas off.

It’s funny how stress brings out the best and worst in you, I turn into little miss practical planner, and who knows that a journey like cancer doesn’t always let you play this type of game.

How do I feel?? I don’t know – numb is a great word, I just go into problem solving mode, I’m good at that. I need a blood test as a base line before chemo starts, I go down to the oncology centre to book in for the 3rd of January 2014.  It is very interesting walking into an oncology department.  I’ve never seen so many posters for wig manufacturers and scarves.  The staff also say, you can have Christmas off. Funny, they have the same idea. I don’t feel like it’s a good thing, I sort of want to get into it.

My sister and I go to lunch to digest the information form this morning. She is really supportive but I think she wishes I didn’t say “yes” to chemo. I think that she wishes I would go the complete natural route. I just feel like I need to use the best of both worlds. Use the chemo but use complimentary medicine to support and strengthen my body. The idea that a single cancer cell is roaming my body makes me want to obliterate it and just get as strong as possible.  There is still so much I want and need to do with my life.

Even though I sense that my sister would like me to take a different path, I don’t feel any pressure for her, just love and support. We are both very aware that each journey like this is so individual.

So now I need to tell my family what is ahead and let young Sam know that I will be needing that cool beanie after all…

How important is faith?

faith 1 Faith is such an interesting word. It means “Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. Or, a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material.

Now we all believe in something, whether it is ourselves, the medical system, our partners, friends or family and God or other spiritual belief systems. So you may believe;

“ I have cancer therefore I am going to die from it”.

” I will never get cancer “

“ The Oncologist and medicine will cure me”

“ My family will always be there for me;” and many more varieties.

For me from the very beginning of being told I had cancer I felt no fear. Now this is a big thing, the idea of getting cancer before this has hands down been my single biggest fear.

However, sitting in front of the specialist and being told I had cancer I felt absolutely no fear. Sadness, loss, and confusion yes, but no fear! I am so amazed by this. However my faith always amazes me.

Now if you do not have a faith in God, please don’t leave me here. I am not a weirdo, but I do have a very close relationship with God aka Jesus. I only came to have this relationship around 10 years ago. I was not born into a Christian family and found this relationship whilst searching for what was missing for me, as an adult after my son was born.

Don’t worry, I am not preaching just filling in some background detail so you understand my perspective. I believe that God has a plan and purpose for my life (and for all of our lives). From the moment this diagnosis was thrust upon me I felt so strongly, “this will not take my life.” I honestly felt Protected by God. I don’t mean that He healed me instantly, but that by trusting Him, He will show me the way and that I am not on my own.

So for me, I put my faith in God, and I believe that I will be ok. Now for me this means that I still get treatment from Doctors and the medical system and that I support my body with complimentary medicine and healthy lifestyle. Through this journey I believe I will be ok.

So, answering my own question, faith is very important but just as important is knowing who or what you put your faith in. So no judgment either way, this journey is such a personal one, but I really feel compelled to share my journey with whoever is willing to read or listen. It is such a powerful question isn’t it, where, what and who do you put your faith in?