I Hope You Never Understand

I Hope You Never Understand

Late last week I felt a thickening of my left breast tissue.   A small but noticeable lumpy bit that just managed to get more painful the more I poked and played with it.  I made an unscheduled visit to my doctor, followed by a lengthy mammogram, and ultrasound.  At least some relief was given to me at the appointment and although nothing was found in the left breast a fibroadenoma was found in the right. This will require some monitoring due to my history and genetics as Lynch Syndrome also carries a slighter higher risk of breast cancer.  Yet another reminder that no matter how positive I am, how healthy I live, how self aware and #ultraspiritual I feel there are just some things that I cannot control.   It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m a good person , a bad person or something in between. Sometimes shit just happens. 


Having gone through an enormous life changing experience in 2011 I  know I have grown and changed in so many ways.  My family is the most precious gift I have.  Watching my children grow up is such a blessing that many of my cancer friends will never get.  Every year that ticks past, and every photo that I can get with Santa fills my heart with so much gratitude.  I have focused and continue to develop in my craft and work at it every day.  My art has been at the forefront of my ability to heal, help and express myself.   I also devote my time to helping others to connect and give a platform to so many out there that also live life without a stomach.  I have used the last 4 ½ years positively, productively and creatively in the hope to better understand myself and what I have to offer the world.
My ability to discern which relationships I allow into my life is extremely important and anything I feel is toxic just has to go, no question. When you are sitting in a doctors office waiting for test results you are not thinking about what the mums at school are saying, or what sale you might be missing out on.  You are worried about your kids, your husband, yourself .  You worry about how you and your family are going to cope. How you are going to stay positive? How you are going to get through this?   You ponder on the what ifs, no matter how hard you try not to.  The anxiety and anticipation of an outcome you cannot control is the scariest thing you can possibly imagine.  It shakes you to your very core and nothing else matters to you accept those that are close to your heart.  
I feel like I am continuously being grounded and reminded of what matters most. As much as I can appreciate the experience from a spiritual awakening sense, from a human perspective it is absolutely exhausting. And this isn’t just a little bump in the road, I have to live like this for the rest of my life.  I have been reminded this week that no matter how much I put the cancer behind me there is always, always going to be a percentage of it on my mind.  Every lump, every blood test, every scan brings another wave of anxiety that unless you have experienced it, you can never possibly understand it.  
Why wear a dress if it doesn’t fit you anymore?  Of course you might put up with it for a while but you will eventually get to a point where you think “I need to let that go that, it doesn’t fit me anymore”. Nothing has changed with the dress, it’s exactly the same as when you first purchased it. Its you that’s changed. 
If you were once a part of my life and are no longer then it’s nothing personal.  Seriously, it’s got nothing to do with you, it just means that you are no longer a reflection of me. Why wear a dress if it doesn’t fit you anymore?  Of course you might put up with it for a while but you will eventually get to a point where you think “I need to let that go that, it doesn’t fit me anymore”. Nothing has changed with the dress, it’s exactly the same as when you first purchased it. It’s you that’s changed.  We all have our light bulb moments, the ones that put our lives into perspective.  Well, my life seems to be one massive light bulb!   Your perspective on life is based on your own personal experiences, your truth, your belief systems and I respect that, but it also means my experiences have evolved me to a point where I have outgrown you. It doesn’t mean I think I am better than you, it just means that I am very selective about who I allow into my life and the energy they bring. I truly hope you never understand, but if one day you do then you might appreciate just a taste of what its like walking in my shoes.    
“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.” 
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones 

We strive so hard as humans to be happy, spending so much time trying to fill the void.  We go to work, build our nests, take vacations.  It is almost impossible not to feel like a hamster going around a wheel sometimes. ‘Ground Hog Day’ for those that can remember that classic early 90’s film.  A year passes, two years pass then all of a sudden it’s ten. Time has a way of flying and before you know it you are standing there middle aged looking at your life. If you are lucky you may feel somewhat pleased at the job, house, car or family you have surrounded yourself with, but chances are you might be one of those people who are thinking “Well, this didn’t quite work out how I planned it”. 

Everyone has problems; I have never met a person without one.  The degree of those problems and how you handle them however is measured by the amount of personal shit you have had to endure. The type of person you become is molded by how you get through them.  I remember when my brother’s girlfriend was killed in a car accident. I was in my early 20’s and worked at a sports store at the time. I remember looking at customers who took hours pondering over a pair of shoes. I honestly couldn’t believe that someone could waste so much time and energy on something so trivial. It really shook me up and put my life into perspective.  

I have had people through my life that have made their problems their armour. Instead of walking through the fire and becoming an inspiration to others they have chosen to be victims and have spiralled downwards into alcoholic or drug induced depression. It really saddens me, when I see what has become of people I once called friends.  I feel like giving them a bloody good shake. For goodness sake they were the fastest sperm! Surely that has to mean something, but sadly not. And it’s not that I don’t feel for these people, they are simply no longer a reflection of me anymore.  To invite their drama and negativity into my life would tip the fine balance that I have to delicately tend and nurture so I stay a happy and healthy person. 

I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to keeping my life busy. I have lists, for lists. Life simply couldn’t go on without me and I have to fit as much into a day as humanly possible.  I will often forget that not so long ago I was a very sick person. After surgery I was barely able to walk to the car let alone race around a shopping center.  Slowly Ground Hog Day sucks you back into this illusionary world of material happiness and then you get news that slaps you right in the face.
A colleague and friend, someone I consider to be one of the support beams in my life has just been given a terminal cancer diagnosis. This has affected me on so many different levels that I could do nothing but cry for three days.  It is just awful to say that my genuinely upsetting photo on facebook reached a ridiculous 2,332 people. I was very touched by the people that left comments and contacted me personally to see if I was okay. The outpouring of support was comforting but I knew I didn’t need ‘to talk it out’. I needed a few days away and some journaling to help me work out my feelings in all of this. This hit to my heart feels like I have been thrown back into a place of fear and despair. 


 Sometimes the only thing that helps a hurting heart is a paint brush and some loud music. Hug your loved ones tonight peeps. Life can change in a heartbeat xox


My friend has looked after me like a sister and as the years have gone by, we have been able to share more personal experiences inviting each other into parts of our private lives that have forged an emotional sisterhood of sorts. She has seen the birth of my babies, the heartache of my cancer and my slow and steady recovery to wellness. I am so indebted to her and so grateful.  She has genuinely cared for me and my family, and now I feel so totally helpless. I am getting a sense of how people felt when they heard of my diagnosis. 
I have been of working through my cancer issues for four years now. Constantly and consciously looking inwards and working with the shadow side of myself. Committing to meditation and self awareness classes to release the cancer part of me and to help me become an enlightened version of myself. Dedicating my energy to my art and using that as a healing tool.  All the while staying as grounded as I can be with looming genetics and the constant vigil of medical appointments and intrusive procedures.  It is very hard for some people to comprehend the hard work and commitment it takes to stay true to your destiny path. 


A recent visit to the oncology gynaecologist , which at the moment is on my annual ‘to do’ list revealed that the ‘preventative surgery’ of a full hysterectomy should be done sooner rather than later.  My funky MLH1 gene makes way to an increased risk of cancer of the uterus by 60% and ovarian by %15.  Part of me wants to hang onto what I have left for as long as possible, if they take much more out I’ll be a walking tube. The other part never wants to put my family in a position of ‘helplessness’ ever again. Of course there is also the part of me that NEVER EVER wants to go through cancer ever again, and then there is the enlighten part that reassures me that my biography becomes by biology and I may never ever get a cancer again.  This bamboozle of thoughts and emotions is played out almost every day of my life. Hence the small circle of friendships I keep and the immediate rejection of anything toxic which might want to invade and play out in my life.
Emotional? Yes, I am after all a Cancerian.  Sense of humour? Most definitely. It is probably what has helped me get through as much as I have.  The security of the support team I had locked around me is starting to shift again and that is where the most fear has come from. It is embracing change and knowing that nothing in life is set in concrete. My heart however still needs to come to terms with what is to come, although my friend has been given the best of a worse case scenario. If I was to make an analogy of the situation it’s like this – most people think that I would be use to all the medical procedures by now, but infact it is quite the opposite. I know what is coming and that is what makes it even harder to deal with.