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.