(Originally written in July 2015 and updated Dec 2017)
The moment I was told I needed an operation to remove my cancerous lump, ‘George’, (apologies to any Georges out there) I immediately said to the surgeon,
“OMG – I can’t possibly tell anybody, they’ll think I’m a fraud!”
He was extremely surprised at my reaction and asked me why on earth would they think that?
I felt people would think that, firstly, I should never have developed cancer and, secondly, shouldn’t I be able to heal myself?
How easy is it to live with that thought? Bl _ _ dy hard? I can tell you!
At first I thought that maybe the medical team had mixed the bottoms up! Could this possibly be MY bowel they were discussing? Hahaha – some hope!
And so – for eight months following 19 December 2014 only a few people knew what went on through that Christmas holidays.
Thankfully, I realised fairly early on that I’m NOT a fraud and, if you have ever lived with the fear of what other people might think, I’m now confirming that it’s ok to be human!
As you know, I am a complementary therapist and have always encouraged my clients to take the best from both complementary treatments and ‘modern’ medicine. (I come from a long line of doctors and nurses.)
John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
Like a number of people who experience the news they have cancer, there have been several fantastic realisations that occurred along my path.
Mine have been:
- I found I wasn’t at all frightened of dying!
- All the advice and techniques I share with my clients were used to excellent effect (proof that they really DO work – phew!)
- I had only a 90 SECOND moment of being a little bit scared of what was ahead of me, just before the operation
- I did not look at this situation as a ‘battle’ and a ‘fight’ – I accepted that this is just life and I remained positive!
- It’s ok to feel vulnerable and to learn my ‘human’ lessons
- It was confirmed I have wonderful family & friends, and health practitioners, who provided heaps of love, empathy, and support and treated me ‘normally’ right the way through the experience (No, “Oh you poor thing” treatment)
- I have met wonderful new friends who are such fabulous role models
- It gave me the kick I needed to work out how I’m able to support others even better
- I know I still have much more time left on earth so I’d better make the best use of it!
- To stop putting anything off until ‘one of these days’
‘One of these days’ came very unexpectedly back in December 2014!!!
I would have expected to have had a hint that something was wrong in the area… but, no, it didn’t quite happen like that.
- I was still full of energy
- My diet was, had been, and still is, really good (at least 90% of the time)
- I had worked at ‘letting go of baggage’ throughout the years (and continue to do so)
- I was loving my life and had already planned my Christmas holiday with relations
(Excuse this next detail…)
- My bowels were working perfectly – not even a slight change!
- There was no pain, no discomfort, no tenderness, no ‘anything untoward’ seemingly going on in my abdomen
What spurred me to go to my doctor was that I was getting frustrated about a ‘puffy feeling’ in my left forearm every morning. I know that sounds ridiculous but it was becoming more and more painful and I ‘just knew something wasn’t quite right’.
By midday any pain had gone and I had no recurrence of the pain until the following morning. I realised I was going to have to go to see my GP in order to solve the mystery of this strange phenomenon!
Blood, and other subsequent tests led to the operation on 12 January 2015.
I still have no definitive answer for why ‘George’ took up residence and I don’t know how long he’d been along for the free ride! I DO know that I AM pleased I met him – and I AM eternally grateful that my knowledge of his presence was for only a short period of time.
So why say anything after the event?
To be quite honest – I was a bit nervous about originally sharing this story (in July 2015). When we are self-employed our business is US!
I’m telling you now because…
I believe the more mentally flexible we are in life, the easier it is to ‘roll with the punches’ that life has for us at times.
It dawned on me, many years ago, that we may not be as much in control of our life as we’d like to believe… even in business.
What we ARE in control of is how we view, and approach, the issues we experience. I believe we’re here to learn, and to make the most of every experience – even the ones we’d prefer to not experience.
As I encourage all my clients… we need to be OARSum and Live Above the Line at all times!
A business friend and I were discussing how weird it is that, just when you think things are going great with your business, life can side-swipe us and knock us off our perch… and how important it is to have (at least one) person who loves, understands, can support us, and tell us that ‘it IS all ok’.
This experience has given me a far greater understanding of what happens when we have to face up to a situation that makes us feel extremely vulnerable mentally, as well as physically.
We rarely, if ever, have the knowledge of what’s going to come out of left-field and so, the more easily we can flow, flex, and view life from a different perspective, the more comfortable we usually find we are.
The wonderful thing is that what we see, when we look back at how our life changes, we realise that ‘it’ HAD to happen in order to get us either back on track, or to move us in a completely different direction! And, with my changes, I… FEEL… FABULOUS!
I don’t want to be lying on my deathbed with any of the regrets Bronnie Ware describes in her wonderful book, ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’.
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Fiji 28 June 2015
If you are self-employed you will certainly understand that this ability to flow, and view things from a different perspective, is absolutely vital for the success of your business.
If you own your own business you may sometimes feel you’ve chosen a ‘double whammy’ in life and I am here to provide empathy and support, to share easy techniques, that really DO work, as well as sorting out the ‘deeper stuff’ when necessary.
You really are the engine of your business! Let’s keep your engine running smoothly!
Getting rid of the frustrations and frazzle, and moving into easier flow, is what allows us to experience the true reality of much more usable time in our life.
If you need help and support right now – PLEASE CALL ME on +64 (0) 21 88 36 89!! Or you can email me. You don’t have to do this alone.
PS – MANY thanks for all the wonderfully supportive emails and FB messages I’ve received over the years about this blog post.
I realise I didn’t make it clear in the original version… I really became my old self again with heaps of energy, and happy as!
I was treating clients 11 days after the operation… in January 2015 and it took me only 5 weeks to be back to running up and down the stairs at the Vector! My only disappointment was I missed the Paul Simon & Sting concert!!! (Those who knew me ‘back then’ know I had been moonlighting at the Vector Arena so I could get to see the concerts… Hahaha!! )
This photo was taken on 15 March 2015 – 8 weeks after the operation. (I’m able to kick MUCH higher now!)