Breast cancer support, Uncategorized

Still Learning

Last week on Next Steps I wrote a bit about decluttering my house and getting rid of all the material stuff we accumulate over the years. This week I started a workshop with my local cancer support centre and serendipitously the facilitator spoke about decluttering our minds!  It is called a Louise Hay Workshop. I must admit my ignorance and state that I had never heard of her until recently but she appears to be one of the  founders of self-help books and her most famous book is “Heal your Body”, which is over thirty years old.

Prior to the workshop commencing I decided to learn a little bit more about Louise Hay.   She has had a very eventful and fulfilling life working with many people encouraging them to live well through body, mind and spirit.  To my chagrin I realised that she claims to have cured her cervical cancer by alternative methods… Oh dear!   And I thought I was doing a mindfulness course…This is obviously something that upsets me greatly. So if you are not positive enough you will die from your cancer?        I abhor anyone who claims to be able to cure illnesses with no scientific or healthcare background.  As I had already committed myself to attending I decided I would go with a bit of scepticism and at the very least I might sneak in a little daytime snooze during the meditations especially as I hadn’t been sleeping well recently.

Feeling tired and maybe a little cranky, or hostile even,  I duly arrived at the workshop. Our facilitator turned out to be the same person who does the weekly Mindfulness sessions that I have enjoyed in the past. My heart rose a little when I saw her.   Without breaking any confidentiality I managed to clear the air by having an open discussion.   Needless to say there were no snoozes and I felt challenged in a positive way during the session.   Lessons learned or re-learned from that day are that  if something doesn’t ring true or causes inner discord, speak up and voice your concerns.  I have learned this constantly thorough my working and personal life and am still learning!  Another reminder is to be aware or mindful even, (excuse the pun!) when you develop preconceived ideas, rightly or wrongly about someone or something.

On a different note altogether, this time of year marks my recurrence anniversary and I can happily say that I am now five years in remission.   I wondered what I wrote about this last year so I had a look back at what I had written.   The same thoughts still resonate with me today…

The difference of a recurrence anniversary is the admission that yes I am well and grateful for that but there is no knowing when any rogue cancer cells will rear their ugly heads and take off replicating again. There is no distance created as each year passes in the hope that each year will minimise any further risk of recurrence as is the case with most triple negative breast cancers, only acceptance that this is part of my life now and it is up to me to live it as full as possible. I don’t know when or if I will ever get another recurrence or even metastasis but I am not going to spend my time waiting. I will do my best to stay well by eating healthily (except for the odd slip!), exercising and having a moderate lifestyle.

All I can add to the above is that I am so, so grateful to be still here.

6 thoughts on “Still Learning”

  1. The two lessons learned that you mentioned are good reminders for anyone. The first one reminds me of when I attended a support group meeting, probably five years or more ago now, and the speaker ended her presentation with a statement something along the lines of, her cancer was a gift. Of course, I immediately squirmed and then stewed about that for days. I didn’t speak up at the time, which was really the reason for my stewing. I no longer keep quiet. Or as quiet anyway. And you’re so right about the preconceived ideas too. Good for you for going to the event. It’s good to be open to all opinions and try to better understand those we don’t agree with too. And congrats on another year of remission. Here’s to many more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I have been in that situation too. There are certain words like “gift” or “cure” that spark an internal reaction each time. In this situation I was able to articulate my feelings which were well received . It is such a nice group, the facilitator is just so warm and engaging and the participants are lovely. I am glad I didn’t miss out!

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  2. Found this so interesting and moving.

    Most importantly, congratulations on your five years clear and your approach to this entire experience including the seasonal prompts of the significant turning pints in the journey. I wish you many more moderate years living well and thoughtfully as you are.

    I had got LH book when first diagnosed and struggle with that – also permeated to mainstream alongside the repressed anger aspects so very interested in understanding more about her intention or how your fabulous course leader explained it?

    You also inspired me to go along to another group course. When you have a facilitator you trust it enables these to work so well as can risk sharing openly thus all benefit.

    Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments. I don’t want to break any confidentiality within the group but I think it was simply down to acceptance of my views. We were able to move on then.
      I am so pleased that you are considering another course and hope that you find one that will suit your needs.
      Best wishes

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