From shock to deep joy – living well with a chronic disease
Living with breast cancer nearly 16 years now my relationship, approach, attitude and feeling about it has changed dramatically over the years.
Having had 5 recurrences after the mastectomy, the longest break from surgery or treatments I’ve had in the last 7 years was a 1- 2 year period.
With breast cancer, it is a common perception that you are considered a cancer survivor only after you reach the 5 year mark after the last cancer treatment. So from that point of view I am not a ‘cancer survivor’, yet I have survived so far more than 15 years. And I feel better and better within myself and accept what my body can do or cannot do anymore.
The first diagnosis was a total shock. After the mastectomy, there was always a sense of anxiousness in me if or when the cancer would return. I felt nervous, insecure, not being able to plan or fully live my life. I felt, depressed, could not sleep, was unmotivated, why me? I felt a victim.
This has very much changed with my different understanding of the dis-ease, of life and the knowing that there is life after death, that my body will deteriorate (like everybody’s) but my essence will come back in another body. I looked into many religions and reincarnation is mentioned and taught in most of them, interestingly, even in early Christian teachings.
I realized that my body was not ‘at ease’, I was ill at ease with the way I was living and feeling about myself, others, life. I was disregarding my body and feelings, numbing my body and feelings with alcohol, hardness, resistance to accepting the tumours that kept coming back, and not really feeling much at all.
I started listening to my body, it was telling me very loudly that something was not right and that I had to take responsibility for it and change – change my choices and my way of doing/being/and living.
When I first began to make changes I looked in all the wrong places for support and understanding. There were trips to Brazil, Mexico and other far out places to seek out the physical healing that I didn’t think Medicine could offer.
Finally I came across a complementary healing practice that was right under my nose. With a clinic in the Northern Rivers the Universal Medicine practitioners and in particular its founder Serge Benhayon supported me to restore my trust in Medicine again and empowered me to feel confident to get the surgery I required and find a surgeon I could trust.
Around that time many surgeons I met could not accept that I wanted to have a say in what happened to my body. This has by now changed quite a lot and the surgeons and doctors I see today are much more understanding and accepting of that.
The difference with Universal Medicine’s approach in contrast to my trips to ‘healers’ around the world, was that there were no promises of a physical cure, it was more about supporting my body and being as I underwent all the surgeries and treatments - so that I felt deeply held and nurtured throughout the process.
With the physical and emotional support I received in the form of healing sessions I slowly turned my life around on many levels. It did not happen in a week but every month I felt a bit better, I saw a light in my life – in myself – that wanted to grow.
I stopped drinking alcohol and anything with caffeine because it made my body feel nervous and under tension.
I changed a lot of my eating habits that were just that – habits, and addictions like to sugar or anything sweet. I started feeling what felt good – truly sustainable for my body and I listened to it more and more.
Sometimes I would still try something like ‘just a little’ sugary thing or yogurt (dairy) or a meal with some gluten to feel what it did to my body. Raciness, sinuses a bit blocked in the morning, or a very bloated tummy would always follow … The short-term pleasure was just not worth the longer-term unpleasant effects.
With a lot of healing and clearing of old issues – usually childhood hurts – I felt more and more balanced emotionally and physically, and better able to deal with new challenges and situations.
I developed a better understanding and acceptance of the dis-ease. No more ‘why me?’, no resistance around accepting the cancer, and no fear.
I stopped being a victim and took responsibility for the life I lived/created, and for my previous unloving and disregarding choices.
I kept practicing more self-love, tenderness, regard and respect of my body and of myself, and that changed my life. I still had more recurrences and 3 surgeries in 2014. I had no fear, accepted the facts and lovingly and tenderly looked after myself and had the support of beautiful friends looking after me too.
Very rarely did I wonder if or when I might have another recurrence and I am not fearful. Last year it turned out that the cancer spread to other parts of the body and also another tumour growing in the usual area. And that is ok. I am not fighting it. People talk about battling cancer or fighting it. What is there to fight?
I feel wonderful with and within myself by accepting what is happening and not by fighting something.
Whatever comes to be dealt with does not change how I live and who I am. I am not my dis-ease at all. That is just something that is happening to my body.
By making the choices to truly support myself, and living as I do now, my life is far deeper and richer than it has ever been.