health

Spring 2019 Update

Hello Lovely

It’s certainly time for a long over due update on what’s been happening in my world over the past five months. I can’t believe I’ve not managed an update since last year…where has the time gone?!

I will try to bring you up to speed without overloading you with details. Here goes!

Book and Book Tour

In case you missed my millions of updates on facebook, instagram and twitter, I have just finished a four month UK book tour and it’s been AMAZING!

What an honour it’s been to meet so many of my readers face to face. Thank you for being so welcoming. Not to mention I got invited to talk at some pretty epic places in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland including Westminster!

My book is now available to buy worldwide on Amazon and so far it’s been receiving all five star reviews and was recently listed by the Scottish Sun as ‘pick of the week’ which was really special.

If you don’t already have a copy then you can buy one here. Please also be sure to leave a review on Amazon if you have read it. This really helps me to reach more people. Thank you, your support means so much.

I’ve recently submitted it to Hay House with the hope of them publishing it. This is a life long dream so all fingers and toes crossed please. This would really help my story to reach and help so many more people.

Charity Work

March was ‘Ovarian Cancer Month’ and I was involved in lots of media coverage to help raise awareness alongside Target Ovarian Cancer, Ovarian Cancer Action and The Eve Appeal. It’s been an honour to work with the teams who are working tirelessly to help raise awareness of this insidious disease with the hope of saving lives.

Also I got to hang out with Cherry Healey for the afternoon at Westminster which was pretty cool. I tried, and perhaps failed, to play it cool and not ‘fan girl’ her too much. She is brilliant.

I launched a social media campaign in March where I asked people affected by ovarian cancer to send me videos of their stories. I posted one of these every single day in March and together we told tens of thousands of people about the symptoms of ovarian cancer! Thank you so much for your support in helping these videos to reach so many people.

I also made a yoga video for Ovarian Cancer Action that is specifically designed for women who have had surgery, are receiving treatment and even those with a picc line. It means so much to me to be able to give back and help in this way. You can check it out here and have a yoga class with me in the comfort of your own home.

May 8th is World Ovarian Cancer Day and I have something very special planned with a group of fabulous ladies. We will be in Glasgow City Centre 11-1pm handing out 3,000 white roses as part of Ovarian Cancer Action’s campaign to hand out one rose for every woman currently living with ovarian cancer in the UK right now. Amazing! Oh, and did I mention we will all only be wearing teal underwear!

‘Why?’ I hear you ask.

Well, the number of women being diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer is constantly increasing. The two main barriers to a woman receiving an early diagnosis are 1. not being aware of the symptoms and 2. them being too embarrassed to talk about their bodies with their GP. Through our plans we hope to help break down both of these barriers by firstly talking about and raising awareness of the symptoms, and secondly by demonstrating that all our bodies are different, unique and wonderful and not something to be ashamed of.

I really want to help save the lives of other women.

Upcoming Events and Media Coverage

I have so many exciting plans over the next few months. Here are just a few of the plans lined up:

I am returning to Trew Fields, Surrey in 5-7th July to speak alongside incredible people such as Robert Verkerk from Alliance for Natural Health International, David R Hamilton, Sophie Sabbage, Nashua Winters, Saima Thompson (aka Curry and Cancer) and more!! This is such a special event and well worth it if you can make it.

I have been recording some special podcasts over the past few months for a range of media organisations including Inspiration North. I’ll share these with you as soon as they become available.

I recorded a very exciting piece for TV. It’s not being released until August and I am sworn to secrecy until then (which is super annoying!) but I will broadcast it loudly as soon as I have permission.

Health Update

So, this is the big update. My health has changed quite a bit over the past few months.

As you will remember, I had a rough summer in 2018 with over two months of vomiting and losing two stone from my already petite frame. Despite this I was able to become the first, and only, ovarian cancer patient on a ‘triplet’ immunotherapy trial in Scotland. I was, and still am, so grateful.

Since then I had to have a port-o-cath fitted in December the week of Christmas, which was rough. I don’t recommend having an operation and then trying to host Christmas in your house. Needless to say that was not one of my finest decisions and Christmas 2018 was more than a little ‘rough’.

Anyway, that aside, my bi-monthly scans were showing promising results and my cancer markers dropped into healthy range. This is amazing for someone with stage four cancer over three years since their diagnosis!

However (and here comes the stinger) my February scan showed a little lesion inside my right lung. That’s right, in my lung. I was shocked. How could this be happening when I felt so well and my markers were in healthy range?!

Not to be knocked down, I decided to wait until my next scan (8 weeks later) to see what was happening with this little guy and whether or not it was worth my anxiety.

The second scan was two weeks ago. Sadly it showed that the lesion had grown by 50% and also that I now have notable ‘thickening’ in the wall around my heart.

The fact that the lesion in my lung had grown confirms that it is a new tumour.

As if that wasn’t rubbish enough, my right lung (which clearly wasn’t getting enough attention as it was) decided to partially collapse due to a pneumothorax (a hole in the lung).

Now a partially collapsed lung is rubbish at the best of times, but I received this news the day before I was meant to be traveling to France by train with my hubby for a well earned two week rest together following my book tour.

However, this was not to be. A collapsed lung meant that I was not allowed to leave the mainland UK and that I would need weekly X-rays to monitor my lung.

As if that was going to stop me though!

Instead my husband and I decided that if we only had a week until my next X-ray, and I was only allowed to travel in the UK then we might as well have an amazing trip to London. So that’s exactly what we did and it was magical and wonderful with so many amazing adventures that just wouldn’t have happened if we had gone to France. Thank you lung!

Since then I have had two more X-rays and my right lung remains partially collapsed. However, it is not stopping me doing anything. I’m not even breathless. In fact, just before writing this I went for a 90 minute walk with Ozzy. I feel so grateful to be able to be this active with this medical condition and hope that this remains the case.

So, what’s the plan going forward?

I will continue with the trial as it is being effective on my abdominal tumours and we will hope that my lung lesion stabilises and that my lung heals and re-inflates. I should point out that the hole in my lung is not related to the lesion in my lung…it’s just an unhappy coincidence. Annoying eh?!

On the trial I have been getting blood results every 4 weeks and scan results every 8 weeks. It’s been exhausting! Especially because I have no symptoms and so if I weren’t on the trial I wouldn’t even be having check ups! So, in a bid to have a bit more normality I have asked not to hear any of my results for the next 6 months. This feels much more manageable!

It’s time to focus on living my life and not on my cancer!

Business Plans

So as I focus on living my life, rather than on my cancer, I find myself making some awesome business plans.

Firstly, I connected with The Traveling Shaman and Dundee Herbal Clinic to found Integrative Retreats Ltd. Our first retreat together is taking place 14-17th November in Dunkeld and will offer clients yoga, meditation, shamanism, herbalism and more in a beautiful setting in the heart of Scottish countryside. It’s £595 per person which includes accommodation, food and all activities. There are a few spaces left so if you want to work with me over a few days then this is your opportunity. Book now.

I am moving away from working with one-to-one clients. Instead I will be focusing on running retreats, doing public speaking events and launching a series of new ecourses that I am very excited about!

I will also be publishing two more books. Yes, two!

Writing, speaking and working with groups are my key passions and so this is where I will be channeling my precious energy.

I am so grateful for you being part of my community of support and for engaging in my story and journey.

I hope my words help you and bring sunshine to your day.

Wishing you love and healing.

Fi Munro xx

ovarian cancer

‘How long Have I Got?’

Hello!

I am so sorry for the silence on here while I worked on my new book…I have been updating my facebook and instagram so you hopefully knew that I was ok.

Anyway…my book ‘How Long Have I Got?’ is now published and I am about to start my UK book tour!! I am so excited and I truly hope you will be able to come along to one of my events. I would love to meet you xx

Tickets available now on Eventbrite.

Book-Launch

HLHIG Kindle Book CoverHow Long Have I Got? The story of a ‘terminal’ cancer patient

By Fi Munro, Ph.D.

Suitcases filled with medication. Life and death situations. Multiple organ removal.

Risking everything to stay alive just one more day.

And people still moan to you when they have a cold.

Welcome to the life of a ‘terminal’ cancer patient.

In January 2016 thirty-year-old Fi Munro was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. Told from day one that her cancer was incurable and ‘terminal’, Fi faced unimaginable pain, heartache and suffering as the life she’d dreamed of was suddenly pulled away from her. Yet in the wake of this news she did not wallow. Instead she discovered a remarkable inner strength, resilience and, above all, a very dark sense of humour.

Years later and she is still here, having outlived, in her opinion, two ‘very unreasonable’ prognoses.

How Long Have I Got? is her inspiring story. Honest, open and often tear-jerking this is everything you wanted to know – and some stuff you’ll want to forget – about living with cancer and an important reminder that we are all terminal. Reading this will change your life forever.

Fi Munro, Ph.D. is a multi award winning researcher, author, blogger, speaker and mentor recognised internationally for her presentations and articles on her journey and the importance of holistic health. She has been featured in two BBC documentaries, in TV and radio shows, and in newspaper and magazine articles across the globe. Today she is healthier and happier than ever before and believes cancer saved her life. She is currently training to be a shaman and is excited for what the future holds.

£9.95 €11.95 $12.95

Available to buy internationally at:
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Warning: some readers of this book have ended their abusive relationships, left their soul destroying jobs and uprooted their lives to follow their dreams.

‘Please read ‘How Long Have I Got?’ Fi has courageously chosen to share her experiences of becoming a warrior – of HAVING to become a warrior. Of having to almost fight for a correct diagnosis of ovarian cancer… and then to fight on with her own extraordinary armoury: joy, light and love. Her generosity in sharing her every step knows no bounds. If you or someone you know has just received a frightening diagnosis – please have this book as your lifeline. I wish my family had had the gift of Fi’s beautifully written account eight years ago when the symptoms of my mother’s ovarian cancer were dismissed. No more of ‘brushing off’. No more dismissal. No more leaving the doctor’s surgery without getting that referral for a scan, exam or test. Take courage and heart from Fi Munro. Oh yes, she’ll make you laugh too.’ – Sarah Greene, television personality

‘Fi is a true cancer warrior and thriver. She has been to the brink, undergone potentially catastrophic surgery and emerged more herself than before. She finds light in darkness.’ – Sophie Sabbage, bestselling author of The Cancer Whisperer and Lifeshocks – And How to Love Them

‘Cancer is a scary word for most people. Putting ‘ovarian’ before it makes many clinicians sigh deeply because of the tough prognosis. Diagnosis often comes late. Raising awareness is vital and that’s why wonderful women like Fi telling their stories is at the heart of what we do as a charity. Fi doesn’t ask ‘why me?’ (statistically it really shouldn’t be her), her call to arms is: ‘this could be any of us so what can we all do?’ Above everything, Fi shows us how to live well with cancer, not to be defined as potentially dying from it.’ – Athena Lamnisos, CEO of The Eve Appeal

‘Fi a rare flashlight in the tunnel of illness. She shows it’s possible to live an extraordinary life with cancer. She empowers, inspires and fills me with hope. We’re all alive, but how many of us are truly living? Fi’s story could save lives and transform beliefs.’ – Sophie Trew, founder of Trew Fields Festival, a ground breaking cancer awareness and holistic health event

‘This book is a powerhouse of useful information from the front lines of a cancer journey. Truth, honesty and practicality shine through; it’s a must read for anyone experiencing or supporting a similar journey.’ – Rhonda McCrimmon, The Travelling Shaman

‘Using her values as a compass Fi shares a message of hope, not fear, about how you can heal your life even if you can’t be cured. A powerful message for us all.’ – Lesley Howells, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Centre Head, Maggie’s

‘Fi is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. She has not only brought us all a game changer of a book, it’s also filled with love, positivity, humor, practical insight and huge awareness of what cancer does to the body and mind. It’s a book that changed my life and I now recommend it to everyone.’ – Tina McGuff, best-selling author of Seconds to Snap

‘Fi made a choice to take a leap and live in  her heart.  Her heart centred wisdom, coupled with her fastidious approach to research makes the very best combination. Fi’s book is a generous, hearted and beautiful gift for human kind.’ – Dr Kate James, Integrated Medicine Doctor

‘Fi brings her distinctive voice and perpetual positivity to this wonderful book. Fi and Target Ovarian Cancer share a goal of raising awareness of ovarian cancer, yes – but more than that, of showing the world that you can live a full life after a diagnosis. She is an incredible, inspirational member of a wonderful community and I am full of admiration for all that she does.’ – Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer

“To describe Fi Munro as positive is a massive understatement – she has turned a journey which would have broken the strongest wills into a recognition of what is important in life for everyone.” The Courier

“Anyone suffering from cancer needs to read this book.” The Scottish Sun

“Fi continues to prove an inspiration in her determination to not let a devastating cancer diagnosis ruin her life. Her new book, like so much else, is sure to be a success.”  The Courier

Copyright © 2016-2019 Fi Munro PhD. All Rights Reserved.

ovarian cancer

2018 In Summary and Exciting Plans for 2019 

2018 in Summary – What a Year!

As the year nears its end I wanted to send all of you lovelies a message to thank you so much for your support and encouragement over the past year.

My start to 2018 wasn’t ideal, to say the least, with an emergency admission to hospital due to a collapsed lung resulting in my New Year celebrations involving an Indian takeaway in the respiratory ward at Ninewells!

However, it wasn’t long until I was back on my feet and connecting with you all through events, yoga classes, one to one sessions and, of course, through my blog and social media posts.

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img_8544A Huge Thank You!

Following the return of my cancer at the start of the year, I took the unconventional route of turning down second line chemotherapy in favour of less invasive maintence therapy. This wouldn’t have been possible without such incredible generosity and support from you all – even now I am in happy tears just thinking how incredible you all are. Thank you! Without you I can honestly say I wouldn’t be here today.

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The Highs

In so many ways this year was absolutely amazing! I completed my training as a Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Therpist and pregnancy, post natal and mother and baby yoga teacher! I also started my training as a shaman.

I spoke at some wonderful events, including Trew Fields FestivalTrew Fields Festival – a joyous experience where I connected with so many like minded souls. I am excited for next year’s festival already! I also spoke at Pecha Kucha Dundee – featuring my now infamous ‘ain’t dead yet motherf**kers slide’!

I was featured in lots of press, including, most recently, The Courier who recognised me as one of 100 people making an impact in Tayside and Fife in 2018 – an unexpected honour!

I was also in another BBC Film – this one was for The BBC Social and was all about ‘self-care’.

AND…I was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Charles!

A highlight for me though has to be the incredible Lindsey Gardiner Artist creating one of the Maggie’s Penguins off the back of my story leading me to teaching children yoga. It was so exciting to be involved in the parade and attend the auction!

Of course, this year also saw me secure a place as the only Scottish stage four ovarian cancer patient on an immunotherapy trial. The results so far are exceeding all of our expectations and – despite the despair of the start of the year – I am hopeful and excited for what 2019 has in store for me!

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2019 – What Next?

I have some big plans for 2019!

New Book

First of all I will be launching the second edition of my book! ‘The Peaceful Warrior – releasing the healing power within’ is due to hit the shelves in January. It features a new cover, new chapters and new (never seen before!) insights into my healing journey. I can’t wait for you all to read it.

Remember that the first edition will no longer be available for sale once the new book is released!

Book Tour

I will be going on a book tour to help ensure that my words and insights reach as many people as possible – however I am asking you to chose where I am going! If you want me to come to your local town then get in touch and we can see what we can do!

I will be holding an official book launch in my local city – look out for tickets going on sale in January.

Workshops

I will be hosting workshops throughout the year starting with one on 9th March alongside Claire Standen of Rising Strong – my wonderful colleague and empowerment coach. Tickets for this event are on sale now!

I will be sharing details of further events at the start of the year.

Retreat!

AND…drum roll…Claire and I will be hosting a retreat in Dunkeld on 14th-17th November 2019! We are limiting spaces to just 10 people so do look out for tickets going on sale in January or send me a message about paying a deposit to secure your space now!

Yoga – some sad news…

With so much other exciting stuff going on in my life it didn’t suprise me when my instinct started telling me not to run any yoga classes at the start of 2019. Always an advocate for listening to our intuition – it did save my life after all! – I know that I have to honour this. So, as hard as it is, I will not be running any yoga classes until March 2019.

I also won’t be taking on any new one-to-one mentoring clients during this time.

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I want to end this message by thanking you all for your incredible support throughout 2018. I can’t wait to see you all in 2019!

Wishing you all a fantastic time with you loved ones over the festivities.

Love and Light, Fi xx

ovarian cancer

Life is Precious

In the early hours of Sunday morning, after a lovely Saturday evening with friends, Ewan and I ended up as the first responders to a young woman who was hit by a car at 60mph…through no fault of the driver I hasten to add and, in fact, I send the driver so much love and compassion as they heal from this trauma too.

I lay in the road with the young woman until the police and ambulance arrived and then I helped the ambulance crew.

Her injuries, unsurprisingly, were extensive and very traumatic to witness. It is unbelievable, in fact, that she was still alive. The police told me that my actions, and first aid training, saved her life.

While I was with her I kept telling her my name and that I was there for her and I wasn’t going to let anyone touch her until paramedics arrived. Like a lioness with its cub I fought off two guys who wanted to roll her onto her back. I knew she had a spinal injury and, because she was still breathing, that this could be a potentially life threatening decision.

I know I was meant to be there. I could feel it the whole time and felt guided in my actions to protect her and preserve her life.

But the reality of knowing that she could die at any time in my arms was terrifying. I could literally feel my soul pleading with hers to stay with me.

One of the most powerful moments was when the paramedics arrived I said ‘I’ll get out your way’ and they said ‘no, you’ve been managing this scene’ and handed me a pair of gloves so I could help. Them valuing my actions is a great comfort for me.

I knelt in this woman’s blood as I helped them to cut off her clothes to assess her injuries. All the time I was talking to her and reassuring her. I have never felt such an instant human connection with a complete stranger.

I am so grateful to the emergency services for their support for this woman, me and the driver.

I feel so much love for the driver who hit her and we had a precious moment hugging each other afterwards as two women who will forever be connected by a traumatic event.

I also feel so much love too for the woman who was hit and I hope that she has the support and protection around her that she needs. I truly hope she finds the inner strength to survive her injuries.

I am sharing this with you all for two reasons. Firstly, this was extremely traumatic for me and I want to talk about it rather than hold it in my body and risk PTSD. I have already arranged an appointment with a therapist for this week in a bid to be proactive in my mental and emotional health – something I encourage others to do too.

Secondly, this offers a reminder for us all of how fragile and precious life really is. I have stage four cancer and thought I had a good understanding of my own mortality but holding this woman and her wounded body made me realise the fine line we all – not just cancer warriors – walk between life and death and the importance of living each day with compassion and love for ourselves and others.

I have no doubt that I will be processing this for a while as I strive for ‘post traumatic growth’ and I plan to take you all on this journey with me.

This evening, and always, I am wishing you all healing and hope you know you are not alone on your journeys.

Fi xx

UPDATE..the police have called me to say that the woman is alive but with very serious injuries. Her family are with her. Please hold her and those who love her in your hearts.

PLEASE NOTE – I do NOT consent to press coverage of this post.

health, holistic health, ovarian cancer, positivity, yoga

Do You ‘Self-Destruct’?

Have you ever slipped into ‘self-destruction’ mode when what you really needed was ‘self-care’?

I certainly have…and more recently than you might think!

Lately I’ve found myself making all kinds of excuses for this – ‘I’ve lost a lot of weight I should eat high calorie processed food to regain it’ – ‘my body is tired, it’s ok to eat sugar’ – ‘I’m too exhausted to go out in nature today’ – and you should see my Amazon purchases after a hospital admission!…yes all books but no definitely not ones I needed!

All of these were excuses for not supporting my body, mind and spirit to properly recover. Instead I was giving myself a hard time, not acknowledging reality and, in fact, making my situation worse through self-judgment rather than much needed self-love.

Realisation, finally, hit me yesterday when I said to my nurse “I’m just too tired to do anything” – now, firstly, dramatic statements like this (in my experience) are usually just excuses and secondly, her reply was the wake up all I needed.

She reminded me what I’ve been through lately: 9 weeks of vomiting; 10 days in and out of hospital; two stone weight loss; an abdominal drain of malignant fluid; being told my cancer had spread (again); an IV of two broad spectrum antibiotics for a week; unable to eat for over a month; starting an immunotherapy trial…need I go on?

I realised that despite all of this happening, what I hadn’t done was give myself the necessary time to properly understand the effect this has had on my emotional and spiritual health.

Yes I’d started lots of self care practices – yoga, acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, Body Stress Release etc but I had done so with the frustrated mentality of ‘why isn’t it fixed yet?!’

What I’d needed to do instead was to treat the wounded parts of myself with care and compassion (like you would a small child – a friend recently suggested)

So yesterday I embraced what these parts needed (in particular after a long day in hospital getting dose two of my immunotherapy) – an afternoon cuddling my hubby in the sofa with Ozzy watching comedies…tick!

Then today I did the same. I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn like usual but instead had a lazy morning getting up only in time for my medication; then I sat about in my pjs eating a leisurely breakfast while watching Ted talks before me and Ozzy set out for a long walk in nature just the two of us – allowing me some valuable alone time in nature.

It feels so refreshing to be giving myself ‘permission’ to acknowledge that I am wounded rather than fighting this reality with frustration. In doing so, I am allowing myself the time it takes to truly heal and become whole again.

I wonder if you’ve acknowledged the wounds you’ve gained recently or in the past and if you’ve given yourself permission to take the time and space you need(ed) to heal?

Or perhaps you can relate to being in the ‘self-destruct’ mode through diet, exercise, indulgent or impulsive shopping, self judgement or anything else?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Love and light, Fi xxx

ovarian cancer

How I Thrive with Stage Four Cancer

Hello!

I am Fi Munro – ‘Health Blogger of the Year 2017′; Macmillan Cancer Support 2017 ‘Sir Hugh Dundas Volunteer of the Year Award’; Scottish Fundraiser of the Year 2016; award winning PhD researcher and author of “Love, Light and Mermaid Tails”.

I’m also a yoga teacher; reiki and crystal therapist; intuitive life coach and, now, a trainee shamanic practitioner 🙌🏼

In January 2016, aged just 30 years old, I was diagnosed with non-genetic stage four ovarian cancer.

There is no stage five. At the time of diagnosis my cancer was terminal.

Suddenly, everything I had identified as ‘me’ came to a stand still. In one moment, after months of pain, tests and assurances that it was “nothing to worry about”, my instinct had proved right and my worst fears had been realised.

Yet, just seven months later I was in remission, and healthier than I’d ever been before.

Life before cancer had seen me working as an award winning researcher specialising in health and healthcare.

Using my expertise as a researcher I dedicated my time to understanding everything I could about my diagnosis and subsequent prognosis. I was not prepared to be a statistic. I was not prepared to die. I was going to be the change.

In the months that followed, understanding my diagnosis, recovery and health became my full time job. The more I researched, the more I uncovered about the possible causes of cancer. I began to realise that whilst I appeared ‘healthy’ there was still much repairing to be done to remove the life-sucking ‘crap’ I’d accumulated over the years…a previous abusive relationship; personal traumas; a stressful job; societal pressure; excessive and damaging exercise routines…the list goes on…

So, knowing I needed to do some deep inner work, I gave myself permission to dedicate my time to my health and recovery.

Not a single stone was left unturned as I examined every aspect of my life and, guided by my instinct, I began to make changes.

And do you know what? Wonderful things started to happen.

Just 12 weeks after being told my cancer was inoperable because, not only had it spread throughout the organs in my abdominal cavity but also into my chest cavity, I was approved for surgery. Cancer was no longer evident on my lungs. In fact, the scans weren’t showing any visible signs of cancer anywhere in my body. Amazing huh?!

So, in May 2016 I underwent a 12-hour operation during which they removed my cervix, womb, tubes, ovaries, appendix, spleen, ommentum, part of my liver, part of my bowel (I now have a colostomy bag), part of my pancreas and part of my diaphragm. It was the most radical operation the surgical team had ever performed in one sitting on a patient with stage four cancer.

I’m not going to lie, the weeks that followed were torture. However, just eight weeks after my operation I was on no painkillers, walking 2 miles a day and loving life!

My incredible healing didn’t stop there. Just twelve weeks after this major surgery I began training as a yoga instructor and went on to launch my own yoga business and I knew I was different. I knew something magical was happening inside of my body that was allowing me to live a full and happy life despite my diagnosis.

In August 2016 I was told that my cancer was in remission. Just seven months after being told I had stage four, inoperable cancer I was completely free of the disease. I wasn’t living with cancer anymore. I was surviving and I was THRIVING!

I knew then that I had to share with others what I had done to change my life, the wonderful lessons cancer had brought me and why I am grateful and give thanks for my diagnosis every single day that I’m alive to tell my story.

Since then my cancer has recurred (December 2017). This time it caused a collapsed lung. I was told that without further chemo that my lung woul keep filling with fluid and I would, inevitably, die. However, I was emotionally and mentally stronger than I had been when I was first diagnosed and I was more in tune with my body and what it needed. So, despite advise, I turned down having my lung filled with talc to ‘help it’ and I turned down chemotherapy.

Instead I took the time I needed to recover, heal and become whole again with the support of a range of alternative therapies. I also used western medicine in the form of a privately sourced drug called Avastin – this cost over £2000 per month and was only possible through generous donations (gofundme.com/fimunro)

I had been served another life lesson and I was paying attention. I stood by my values and beliefs and did what felt right for ‘me’. The universe supported this and my disease stabilised. My cancer markers even dropped 70% ….without any chemo!

From July until September 2018 I was given another ‘curve ball’ when I had months of constant vomiting. Various tests (including a frightening brain scan) could not find the cause as I grew increasingly weak. I lost two stone in weight from my already small frame and spent a week in hospital kept alive by a drip, unable to even stomach water.

Then miraculously…literally over night…the vomiting stopped after I saw an energy healer who told me they had removed a ‘wayward spirit’ from my body.

During this time I became the first U.K. patient to start a drug trial* for recurrent non BRCA ovarian cancer. I continue to be on this trial supported by acupuncture, reiki, body stress release therapy, shamanism, energy healing, yoga, nature, massage, swimming, diet…and so much helps more!

My journey isn’t easy but I wouldn’t change a single moment of the bad because it not only makes me value the good but it has made me into the person I am and I love the person cancer made me – she’s a mother fucking warrior!

We all face adversity. Each and every day brings new challenges and sometime despair. But life is a gift and an adventure waiting to be embraced and enjoyed. It is possible to live a fulfilling and grateful life through adversity. At any given moment we can decide ‘this is not how my story ends’ and begin to rewrite our story.

Cancer taught me how to live a deep and fulfilling life. Rather that making me fear death, it taught me how to love life and how to live each day full of joy and laughter. I want to share with you how cancer has healed my life; the wonderful lessons it has brought me; and why I am grateful and give thanks for my diagnosis every single day that I’m alive to tell my story.

My website is a guide for everyone, not just those with cancer, who wants to embrace a healthier and self-caring approach to their life. It explores how you too can embrace a life with complete physical, mental and emotional health. May it bring you hope, peace and, above all, joy.

Love and light to all xxx

www.fkmunro.com

To book a one-to-one session please drop me a message 💖

Love, Light and Mermaid Tails” by Fi Munro (PhD) is available to buy now worldwide on Amazon in paperback and for kindle.

UK – http://amzn.eu/iAKYI4F

Kindle – http://amzn.eu/1Ls2TCj

USA – http://a.co/jkQx2fl

#pleaseshare

* I started the immunotherapy trail on 4.9.18. The drugs are :- Durvalumab through IV every 4 weeks; Avastin through IV every 2 weeks; and Olaparib as tablets twice daily. The study leads are keen to recruit more patients so, if you think you meet the guidelines, please do ask your oncologist about the Mediola Phase I/II Study for non BRCA patients. Please note, I am not able to put you in touch with the study leads under any circumstances. Instead please speak directly with your own oncologist. Thank you. I wish you all healing. xxx

ovarian cancer

Why I’m Having a ‘Yes Fast’

I have always been a people pleaser and a yes sayer. Guided by a ‘what will they think?’ mentality I have often found myself doing (and agreeing to do) things that I later regret or wonder how the fuck I got myself into that situation in the first place.

You would think that following my cancer diagnosis this would have been one of the first mentalities to go – I mean I have done a shit ton of internal and spiritual work – but sadly this was not the case.

Instead, even when I was at my sickest and receiving chemo and awaiting major surgery, I found myself agreeing to be filmed in not one, but two(!) documentaries. Exciting? Yes. Exhausting and time consuming? Absofuckinglutely!

And this is just one example! I could give you at least a hundred more but I’m sure you get the idea or, at least, can relate.

I was reflecting on this recently and began to wonder whether I say yes to please others or, actually, because of the fear of missing out if I say no. So, to test this theory in a typical ‘all or nothing Fi approach to life’ I decided that for one month I would say yes…to everything! It was supposed to start the day after my fire walk as I was feeling bold and refreshed and I thought it would lead to new adventures, encounters and more.

However, instead, something unexpected happened. I found myself saying no – a lot. In fact even to things I wanted to say yes to. The complete opposite of what I had planned!!

Now, having spent many years as a ‘people pleaser’ and quite often as a ‘yes person’ this was an odd rebellion. It felt like a switch had been triggered and my sub-conscious had become so resistant to me being a yes person that it was directing me in the completely opposite direction.

I pondered this for several months and, in doing so, I began to really reflect on what I was saying yes to and who these people were I was trying to please.

I realised, like so many other things in life, that it is a societal illusion that we must please others and that, in reality, there is no need – at all! -to please ‘them’ – whoever ‘they’ may be – but instead to honour only our own hearts, values and purpose. As a good friend of mine puts it “we are responsible only for our own happiness.” She also tells me that ‘they’ are usually assholes! She actually has a pretty kick ass website I recommend while we’re on the subject…

So, once again, I took an ‘all or nothing’ approach and decided to start a ‘yes fast’. That’s right, I made the decision to say no to everything.

In just the first week I turned down three press interviews, a research study and being filmed in a third documentary! And, miraculously, the world did not fall apart when I said no. Surprising I know…

Now, the ‘old me’ would have said yes to all of this, despite having just had 10 days in hospital and being very very sick, to please others and/or to not ‘miss out’. Instead I got to have valuable recovery time, focus on my health (in every sense of the word), spend quality time with my loved ones and truly honour my heart, soul and body in a way that felt right to me.

Over the following weeks I continued to say no and, in doing so, I leant three valuable lessons.

1. I now know what I want to say yes to. If the ‘thing’ in question uplifts me, inspires me, makes my heart sing or fills me with excitement and joy in that moment then it’s a yes. Lunch with a friend – yes. Day at the spa by myself – yes. Penguin auction – yes. Nap on the sofa – yes. And so on and so on.

And, on my better days when I have more spoons of energy, a press interview becomes a yes, but not at the expense of my health and absolutely not to please someone else.

2. I also learnt how to say no. Now this may seem like a really simple thing to do, and on paper it certainly seems that way. However, how many times have you said yes when your heart and soul were screaming no but you didn’t know how to say it because you were worried you would a. Let someone down; b. Hurt someone’s feelings; c. Lower someone’s opinion of you….or any other number of reasons?

However, saying no is actually really easy. Here are a few examples:

  • Let me get back to you.
  • This gives you time to think about whether or not you want to do something without rushing into an automatic yes mentality.
  • • Thank you so much for asking but that won’t work for me just now.

    You aren’t saying it will always be no, but just that it is no for now. This has been great for me while I’ve been needing time to heal – I’m not saying ‘never’, I’m saying ‘not now’.

    • Yes, but can we do it this way?

    Maybe the date, location, timings, activity (etc) don’t work but you still want to say yes. For example, a friend might ask me to meet for dinner. My energy levels are best during the day so I might say ‘I’d love to meet but is there a lunch time that works for you?’

    • Just say ‘no, thank you’.

    Sometimes the answer is just simply ‘no’. And, if done in a kind way, it doesn’t need an explanation. A simple ‘thank you’ is more than enough.

    3. I’ve learnt that saying ‘no’ doesn’t cause you to miss out. In fact, when you say ‘no’ to things you don’t want to do you free up physical and emotional space to say ‘yes’ to things you do want to do – and that’s way more fun!

    Learning how to say no has been one of the most empowering changes I’ve made in my life. I’m finally putting my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being first and, more importantly, I’ve given myself permission to honour and respect myself enough to be completely authentic in my choices. This, of course, is scary and raw and exciting all at the same time because, as hard as we try, I think, in reality, we always hold a bit of ourselves back to protect ourselves and others. But when we finally step into our true selves and start to say ‘yes’ to who we really are and ‘no’ to who other people think thinks we are, wonderful things start to happen.

    Also, when we start to say no because we value and honour ourselves, we give others the permission to do the same – and then everyone’s happier!

    I wonder if any of you lovelies have ever done a ‘yes fast’? Or maybe you did a ‘say yes to everything’ month? Or can you relate to trying to please others?

    I would love to hear your thoughts and reflections.

    Above all, I hope this article inspires you to start saying ‘yes’ to what makes your heart sing and ‘no’ to everything else.

    Love and light, Fi xx

    I am posting regular, daily updates about my treatment and journey on Facebook and Instagram.

    Please come and say hi!xxx

    ovarian cancer

    When Cancer Plays a ‘Dick Move’

    So, in the words of a good friend of mine, cancer has played a ‘dick move’ and surprised me with new disease right across my pelvis.

    Needless to say this was not the news I was expecting 😭

    I’ve had nearly two months of daily nausea and frequent projectile vomiting which led to a hospital admission in France. Due to this my incredible oncology team in Scotland have been doing various tests to uncover the cause. As well as abdomen, chest and pelvic CTs I’ve also had a head CT and various blood tests. Everything kept coming back clear and I was beginning to feel like I was losing my mind.

    Then, last week on my pregnancy yoga training, I started to experience excruciating pain in my left hand side. Initial scans suggested an abscess. However, when it was drained it showed no sign of infection but instead the fluid was high in white blood cells.

    When the scans and the fluid results were reviewed together it was confirmed that I have new disease that has spread right across my pelvis (it was previously thought to be a large pocket of fluid).

    I am devastated…switching from numb to angry to terrified.

    There are two options:-

    1. I can have surgery to remove it. The operation would be major and extensive. This would delay any treatment until I am completely healed. This delay could potentially cause the cancer to return to my lungs.

    2. I can start immunotherapy next week and hope it shrinks this disease.

    As surgery is a huge risk I have decided to go ahead with immunotherapy and if it doesn’t work to review surgery at a later date.

    I’m shaken by the news as it’s not what I was expecting. I feel weak; nauseous; exhausted and fragile and I’ll need some time to process all of this.

    Thank you all once again for holding me on my journey.

    Also a HUGE thanks again to everyone who donated to my Avastin fund so that I could make it this far and actually start immunotherapy. You have literally changed my life and I am forever grateful for your generosity, kindness and support 💜💖 thank you!xxx

    fkmunro.com

    #cancer #stagefourcancer #dickmove #ovariancancer #immunotherapy #surgery #canceryoufucker #stillhere #feelingthefeels #emotional #itsoknottobeok #yougotthis #yougotthisbabygirl #yougotthisgirl

    ovarian cancer

    Immunotherapy Trial Screening

    BIG UPDATE!…today, after months/years of waiting, I am finally being screened for my suitability for immunotherapy!! Since early on in diagnosis I have been interested in immunotherapy as a treatment option over chemo. From day 1 I believed that our immune system, or lack there of, is an essential factor in determining whether or not we get cancer. I couldn’t, therefore, get my head around why standard treatment involved therapies that reduced our immune system further. As a result I couldn’t accept the notion of chemotherapy as a suitable treatment for me. Despite this, when I was diagnosed in Jan 2016 with stage 4 ovarian cancer (aged just 30) I begrudgingly accepted chemo as my ‘only option’. The side affects were brutal. So, when my cancer returned in Dec 2017 I made the controversial decision to forgo chemo and continue my holistic approach alongside the, privately sourced, maintenance drug Avastin. This cost a massive £2000+ every 3 weeks and I was only able to access it through the incredibly generous donations of all of you. THANK YOU! The hope had been that this would buy me time to still have a level of health that would enable me to potentially go on an immunotherapy trial, should one that I was eligible for become available. Well that day has arrived!! ‘On paper’ I appear eligible for a new trial!! Today I will undergo a number of tests to see if I am clinical suitable. I will then find out the results in 1-2 weeks. This is an incredibly exciting point in my journey and I literally could not sleep last night! The trial, of course, has risks and I am in no way delusional about how serious some of them are but I just ‘know’ that this is the right path for me. It is the moment I’ve been waiting for – a moment I thought may never come – and sometimes we have to take risks when something matters this much to us. After all, isn’t life about the scary, exciting and unknown future that has yet to unfold?! 💜 last night I found myself sobbing with gratitude for everyone who donated to help me receive Avastin; to my loved ones; to my medical team; to research; and, above all, for life. My next chapter is about to begin… #immunotherapy #cancer #fimunro

    Please note – suitability for a trial is not just a simple case of having a type of cancer (ie ovarian cancer). It is about that grade your cancer is, what stage it is, what your performance factor is, your genetic composition, when you last had treatment and what that treatment was, your blood results, the size and spread of your tumours, what treatment they have responded to in the past…and so much more!

    I know, first hand, how frustrating it can be to see someone else with ‘the same’ diagnosis as you get treatment that you can’t. I’ve felt the pain of my BRCA ovarian sisters getting drugs that prolonged their life that I couldn’t get because I am not BRCA positive.

    This is the main reason why I know I must try to get on this trial – not for me but so that one day, if this drug is affective, it will be available for more women and more people will get longer with their sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, wives, girlfriends, cousins, friends, grandmothers…

    Together we are stronger 💜

    Target Ovarian Cancer

    Ovarian Cancer Action

    ovarian cancer

    Introducing Ozzy

    So the Munro household has a new addition moving in soon…meet ‘Ozzy’…named after my favourite place in the world ‘Ossian Hall’ at the Hermitage in Dunkeld…the name also means ‘Devine Power’….although if you ask hubby, he’ll tell you he is named after Ozzy Osborn 🤦🏼‍♀️

    I am beyond excited to welcome this bundle of joy into our home soon and I’m so grateful to the wonderful people who bred him and cared for him so well. He is a gem 🐶💜😍

    We had our first meeting this afternoon… he is 4 months old today.

    He’s half poodle.. one quarter Bichon Frise and one quarter Cavalier.. and 100% cuteness 💜