FiMunro

love, light and mermaid tails


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Sickness – Ambulance – Home

Last night I took unwell at about 12.30am with severe abdominal pain which woke me up. I near crawled to the bathroom from where I was then unable to move and began constantly throwing up. After 3 hours, and knowing that abdominal pain and vomiting can be associated with an Avastin and/or OC complication, my hubby called our local hospital for advice.

After a lot of back and forth and several services refusing to treat me due to ‘a complicated medical history’ NHS24 sent an ambulance.

By the time the paramedics arrived I was lying on our bathroom floor, screaming in pain, covered in sick and I had even wet myself from the severity of my sickness and pain – once upon a time I would have been ashamed of sharing this but I think it’s important to be honest about our bodies, to not be ashamed and to show others that they are not alone.

The paramedics were exceptional. They were compassionate, caring and fortunately shared the dark sense of humour you will inevitably find in our household in these (actually, in all) situations.

They took all of my stats and then helped me into the ambulance where they inserted an IV, through which they gave me anti-sickness medication and morphine while I continued to vomit and writhe in pain.

Morning had broken by the time we arrived at the hospital and fortunately the medication had started to are affect. After thorough examination it was agreed that I had contracted food poisoning, during our celebratory dinner in Edinburgh after my good results yesterday – the irony!

I am now home and trying to rest after, literally no sleep during the night. This evening I head off to a yoga retreat for a few days and I don’t plan on missing it!

I am writing all of this for a number of reasons.

1. I think there was a waste of services used on me last night. My history may be complicated but that doesn’t mean that I don’t need care. Also, it would have been a lot cheaper for an ambulance an A&E hospital bed not to have been used.

2. I realised that while I have successfully navigated the integration of NHS and private treatment for myself, this leaves me in a vulnerable situation when I need acute care.

I am already working on how to navigate and avoid these two points in future.

3. Finally, and most importantly, I want to highlight the exceptional care of the paramedics who came to see me and also to the A&E team. In my experience, both of these services rarely get the recognition they deserve. I felt held, safe and truly cared for as an individual. Most of all, I felt listened to. In fact, when I woke an hour ago (to our little cat bring us a ‘gift’ of a live bird) I thought I had just had a vivid dream about ‘an ambulance family’ – of course, when I saw the dressing on my arm and the hospital sick bowl (or ‘free party hat’ as they had called it) by my bed I knew it had been real. However, I think it’s beautiful that they left this sense of family with me – you don’t get better care than that. Thank you xx

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The Best News Ever!!!…ONWARDS

Blood tests results are in…

Three weeks ago my cancer markers were rising…in fact they were higher than they have ever been…even higher than when I was diagnosed in January 2016.

Today they showed a 60% drop. This drop is the largest drop I’ve ever had in a three week period – even larger than when I was on chemotherapy in 2016!

I refused chemotherapy when my cancer returned in January this year. At the time my right lung was collapsed and filled with fluid and I had multiple tumours in my abdomen. Over the following weeks my abdominal cavity filled with fluid and I had three abdominal drains and one lung drain. Still I refused chemotherapy, instead opting to receive Avastin (a maintenance drug) privately and to pursue ‘complementary therapies’ and a complete re-evaluation of my life.

Now, my lungs are clear, my abdominal fluid hasn’t returned, my markers are dropping and I feel AMAZING!

When I chose to receive Avastin it was hoped, at the minimum, that it would slow down my cancer…this result was never expected!

I honestly believe that Avastin did just that and that it allowed everything else I was doing, to have the chance to work on reducing and reversing my cancer.

The plan moving forward is to keep receiving avastin and to continue to monitor my blood results – we can only hope that they continue to go in the same direction!

Some of the recent changes have included:

– seeing a holistic oncologist (Dr Kate James) and, under her careful guidance, starting medicinal mushrooms.

– stopping my lifelong antibiotics

– walking 5 miles a day (previously 3 miles)

– daily dance

– daily meditation

– living my truth

– eating well

– drinking more water

– a reevaluation of my vitamin supplements

– reducing negativity in my life

– improving my social circles

– setting clearer boundaries in my life

– working more in a job that I adore

– seeing a shaman

– continuing to see a bodytalk and a body stress release therapist

– loving my life

– truly living

I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has donated to help me receive my avastin and also to everyone who has been sending their love and prayers and wishing me well.

I am living and loving life because of you xxx


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Two Years Post Op – Still Here Bitches

Hello…my name is Fi Munro and it’s been 730 days since my last fart…. 😆

Happy 2nd ‘sliciversary’ (a word my hubby uses) to my scar and my stoma bag!

2 years ago today I had my life saving operation for my stage four ovarian cancer….an operation I was told I may never have because my ovarian cancer had spread too far. I was just 31 years old…literally…it was less than a week after my 31st birthday.

Today I am alive, feeling amazing and absolutely loving every second of my life.

Normally I detail the extensive list of parts of my body that were removed during this 11 hour operation. Now, however, two years later, I find myself feeling grateful for all of the parts of my body that were saved. Today, and every day, I am so thankful for all of my medical team – my surgeons, oncologist, nurses, health care assistants – for saving my brain, my eyes, my ears, my sense of smell, my taste, my lungs, my liver, my pancreas, my diaphram, my stomach, my kidneys, part of my bowel, my bones, my muscles, and, above all, MY LIFE.

I spent a long time coming to terms with the parts of my body that were removed – however, I am here and I am alive and that is the most important thing.

I start each day with a silent thank you to everyone who has been involved in getting me this far; not just my medical team, but the many complimentary therapists I see; my family; my friends and, of course, my hubby Ewan.

So if you have been told that you have cancer, and you are worried what tomorrow will bring as you face an uncertain future then I encourage you not to live in fear but to grab life in both hands and go and make the best of it. 12 weeks after this operation I started training as a yoga teacher – that was just weeks after leaving a HD Unit with an 18 inch scar! It was a year long course and some people asked why I would spend ‘the little time I have’ training for something I may never finish. Today I am not only a qualified yoga teacher but I now have my own yoga and holistic therapy business….just imagine if I had listened to the nay sayers. I am going to go as far as to sugest that I wouldn’t be here because I wouldn’t have embraced my life and followed my dreams. I literally would have had nothing to live each day for because I wouldn’t have been living my authentic life, the life my soul wanted to live.

The only person who controls your life is you. So, today, make a decision to live it because, guess what, we only get today once.

“Do something today your future self will thank you for.”

Love and light, Fi xxx

#WOCD #StageFourCancer #OvarianCancer #LiveToday #StillHere #Alive

Fkmunro.com


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Avastin – Round Two

I couldn’t be more grateful to have received my dose of Avastin today. This wouldn’t have been possible without all of you wonderful people taking the time to donate your hard earned cash – thank you so much!

Huge thanks also to all of those who have been holding fundraising events in my name so that I can afford treatment and to the many, wonderful businesses who have been supporting these endeavours…. I have listed all of the businesses below – I hope I haven’t missed anyone xxx

Thank you from me, my hubby, my family and friends For believing in me and giving me the chance, and time, that I so desperately need. Love and light xxx

Mbody

T B Mitchell

Dunkeld House Hotel

Madoch Centre and Cafe

In hydra Arts Club

Chestnut Tree Coffee Shop

21 Boutique (Justine Williams)

Integro Image

Oliver Bonas

Alibob Cafe

Gavin Clark Microlight Flight

Gill McIntosh Tropics

Partylite – Shona Connie

Jamberry – Caroline McLean

Waggytails – Anna Blackburn

Dolly’s Inchture

Active Kids Adventure Park

Stagecoach

Camperdown Country Park

Indian Cook School by Praveen Kumanga

McCormack Motors

Glendoik Garden Centre

Body Stress Release – Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Mackie’s Potato Crisps

Kilgraston Equestrian

Pirate Boats Ltd

Sub Rosa Cafe and Coffee Lounge

Stanford House

This Little Piggy

EVA Lucia

Byers and Co

John D Forest Eggs

Arabesque

Murray’s Pies

Rae Peacock

Lynne McDonald Therapies

Procaffeinate

Cairn O’Mohr Winery


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Healthy and Happy Lungs

The results are in….

drum roll….

4 months ago today I had a collapsed lung; 2.5 litres fluid; malignant spread to right lung. My ‘mean time survival’ was just four months according to cancer research uk…

But….today’s xray shows no fluid and no evidence of malignancy on either lung. The consultant said it was much better than he expected. He reminded me that four months ago we had talked about the option to fill my lung cavity with talc to ‘seal off the fluid’ and buy us time before the fluid returned; we’d discussed the need for regular lung drains alongside chemotherapy and we had even discussed the potential of a permanent drain for when chemo ‘stopped working’.

I had been told that the fluid would return again and again, each time more rapidly than the time before. The situation has been dire to say the least. However I had trusted my intuition. I didn’t have the talc treatment and I didn’t have chemotherapy.

And…All of that, he said today. wouldn’t be required anymore. My lungs are completely clear!!

He was so smiley as he explained this and, needless to say so were me and my hubby!

He said clearly I am ‘a very positive person’ and it is working for me 💖

He even discharged me from respiratory and said he doesn’t expect he will see me again…I will actually miss him as he has been an amazing dr!

So…to explain the X-ray images which are March and today…

• The fluid between the two chambers of my right lung left over from the drain in January has disappeared.

• There is no sign of cancer on my lungs.

• AND the white bit at the base of my right lung that they thought was cancer and fluid that hadn’t been drained is actually my ‘lazy diaphragm’ – a result of having part of it removed during surgery and it now sitting higher on that side.

I couldn’t have dreamed of better results. I basically have ‘perfectly healthy lungs’.

Of course I am under no illusions about my situation. I still have tumours in my abdominal cavity – only three weeks ago today I was having abdominal drains removed! However, I think it’s important to celebrate the victories on our journeys back to wholeness. Also, I think it’s important to recognise that as wonderful as our medical teams are (and mine are exceptional!) they dot always have all the answers and they certainly don’t have crystal balls that can predict the future!

Today is a good day!!!

Thank you all for your continued support. Love and light xxx


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Stepping Into Grace*

Months ago one of my dear friends, and life long friends of my hubby, asked if I would do a fire walk with her at the 2018 Beltane Festival at Tir Na Nog.

‘Sure’, I said while feeling gripped with fear inside.

At the time of agreeing to do it, it had felt far away into the future and, in all honesty, I hadn’t been sure if I would even be here or, at the very least, if I would even be well enough to do it. So, when the day finally arrived (yesterday) and it was in the wake of incredible(!) news about my lungs, I knew there was no backing out.

We arrived at the centre for 2 hours of workshop and ceremony before the actual fire walk. A group of about 25 of us gathered in a small room as we listened to the instructor tell us about the traditional rituals of fire walking. The energy in the group was palpable; a heavy mixture of excitement and fear generated by a group of experienced fire walkers and ‘fire walk virgins’ such as myself.

The first ‘initiation’ was to each take two candles – one white and one red – out to the pile of logs sitting ready and waiting to be lit for our fire walk later that evening. As we huddled around the fire our candles were lit and we were instructed to put our energy into the fire as a group by each using our two candles to light part of the fire.

When we had been in the room we had been told that the red candle symbolised everything we were getting rid of and leaving behind and the white candle symbolised everything we were moving into and welcoming into our lives.

As I crouched beside the pile of logs and held my candles against the kindling I couldn’t help but feel the emotions of the ritual I was taking part in. My red candle symbolised all of my fears and insecurities, my need to please others, my worry about what people think, my anxieties and every time I’d had my boundaries crossed and my body violated in a medical setting. My white candle beautifully symbolised hope, peace, love, light, joy, the confidence to be myself, permission to embrace my true self and the recognition that I was going through an emotional and spiritual transition.

Once every one had gone through their own ritual of lighting the fire with their two candles, we then took it in turn to throw pinches of frankincense and cinnamon on the fire as we wished for healing for the collective whole of the beautiful planet we are so blessed to live on.

Then, together, we stood in peace and silence around the fire as it crackled and burned. We all knew that soon it would be a pile of ash and coal and we would each be taking our turn to walk across it with our arms open in anticipation of whatever lay before us.

When we returned to the workshop room, we were each handed paper and pens and asked to draw or right what we were invoking in our lives as part fo the fire walking ritual. It was so wonderful to have the space and opportunity to be creative and, without thought, or hesitation I found myself drawing an image of a vision I had during a shamanic journey recently (undoubtedly I’ll explore this in a future blog post).

Then, once our drawings had been complete and put into our bags, we were introduced to one final practice, commonly associated with fire walking.

The instructor stood before us with an arrow in her hand and explained the process of placing the end of the arrow against a tree and the tip against your throat. It was traditionally believed, she explained, that the arrow symbolised something that has been holding you back and that by pushing against it and snapping it with your throat, you are enabling yourself to push through whatever is holding you back and break free.

My fight of flight response was instantly activated as I noticed the bag of arrows behind her.

(Image for reference from https://deafpagancrossroads.com/category/firewalking/ as I didn’t take any images of our group doing this.)

As there was no tree in the room, she explained that we would be doing this with her (or someone of our choice) holding a board and acting as the tree for us to push against. She explained that this wasn’t a necessary step of the evening but one we could take part in if we wished.

I watched as people took it in turn to rise from their seats on the floor, place the arrow tip against their throat and explain, with open vulnerability, what it was that was holding them back that they were ready to release and break free from. Then, as they pushed through and broke the arrow, the group held them in supportive energy by chanting a word of their choice.

It was one of the most beautiful and magical things I have ever seen; this raw, energetic vulnerability was incredibly healing.

Despite my fear I found myself stepping up from my cushion and asking my friend to be my ‘tree’. As I stared directly into her eyes I felt our connection as the rest of the group melted into the background.

Before I could even begin to express what had been holding me back hot tears begun to fall down my cheeks. Within seconds I was sobbing loudly and crying uncontrollably. I literally couldn’t speak as I held my head in my hands and cried in front of a circle of strangers. When I uncovered my eyes I realised I wasn’t he only one crying; my release had enabled release in others too.

I found the words I needed as I explained my deepest vulnerability to the group. I explained my diagnosis and the guilt I feel for still being alive when so many of my fellow warriors no longer have this privilege. This emotion is so common in cancer warriors that it even has a name, ‘survivor’s guilt’ and yet no one ever talks about it because it is treated like a dirty little secret.

As I expressed this emotion and the raw parts of my journey I felt completely held in love and light by the group. However, as I tried to break through that arrow my own limitations held me back and I just couldn’t do it. Instead I took the arrow in my hands and snapped it over my knee. Then, taking ribbon from my bag I tied it to the end of my arrow in symbolism of my uniqueness.

At the time I had momentarily judged myself for not being able to break the arrow with my neck like the others. However, on reflection, I realised that I have never done things like everyone else. Instead, I have always done things in my own way and, let’s be honest, the outcome had been the same; the arrow was still broken.

Instead of pushing through the demons that had been holding me back, I had grabbed those little fuckers by the neck and snapped them in two over my knee. I have walked through hell already, I don’t need to walk through an arrow to prove my worth or commitment to myself. I am ready to grab life, to hold and embrace it and nothing is getting in my way any more.

I also realised something much more profound. It takes real balls/ovaries – actually I have neither of these so maybe it just takes permission to tune into your core, raw, bad ass, inner strength – to stand up in front of a group and say I can’t do what you are doing, I need to do this in a way that speaks to ‘my’ soul and is what I need for me. And then, gathering up your core self and actually doing it your way and celebrating it as the mother fucking bad ass that you are. That, in all honesty, is one of the most (if not ‘the’ most) empowering thing I have ever done!

After my turn others followed and each journey was beautiful. When all those who had wanted to do it had done so we started to make our way down to the fire. Several of the group came up and personally thanked me for expressing myself as they embraced me in warm hugs. I was reminded then that when we share our story with others we are not only healing ourselves, sometimes we are invoking healing in them too as we connect on a deeper level.

Arriving at the fire walk we removed our footwear and stood in line, each waiting our turn to cross the hot coals. My fear had now shifted to excitement and anticipation.

When my turn arrived I gave myself final permission to leave behind all that no longer served me, to say goodbye to everything had had held me back emotionally and to step into the person I was ready to become.

That person wasn’t a person cured of cancer. Instead, in my mind’s eye, I held an image of me standing in front of the hospital mirror, tubes inserted in my tummy. I felt the energy of that moment when I had looked at myself and had seen a warrior, and a mother fucking, bad ass warrior at that. I have been through so much in my near 33 years on earth and still I stand with my head held high and a smile on my face and I embrace each day with love and joy and laughter. And I realised that for this to be the image that comes to mind of the person I want to become, the person that I am ready to embrace, that I can say without an ounce of doubt that I am healed and that, while I may never be cured, this is the most important and wonderful gift that cancer has brought me.

Realising this and holding this energy, I walked over those hot coals with my head back, my broken arrow held high with ribbon floating from it’s tip and I stepped into my new life knowing I am ready!

I went on to do the walk 4 more times. Once with my arms linked with my friend as we walked it together and then again in my underwear because, well, why the hell not!

Following this ritual, as cheesy as it may sound, I felt reborn and the most alive I have ever felt, ever! My parents were spectating with my hubby and it felt right for them now to have witnessed both of my births. Most of all, I feel whole.

As the coals started to cool, we descended into the woods with fire lanterns and lamps. At every corner was a fire performer until we reached a clearing where a giant green man and bonfire had been built ready to be burnt in celebration of the Beltane Festival. Party ensued as the fire performers congregated, the music played and the ritualistic burning began. It was an incredible and magical evening.

At one point I turned to my hubby and said “the old Fi wouldn’t have walked across hot coals in her underwear in front of a crowd of people, would she?”

“No,” he replied with a smile and a sigh.

“She was a boring fucker wasn’t she?” I laughed.

He didn’t reply but, instead, shook his head and hugged me in a way that left me feeling fully supported, emotionally held and, above all, loved and accepted for who I am today and who I may be in the future.

We stayed in those woods until the early hours of the morning before embarking on our 90 minute drive home. Despite the late (or early) time we arrived home, I still felt energised and even as I write this I have only had a few hours sleep and I am alert and ready to embrace the day.

I will be hanging my broken arrow in our home as a reminder to not be held back by any emotional obstacles or limitations and to always trust my inner voice and do things my way, even when it is completely different from everyone else.

I encourage you all to do the same….I also encourage you all to do a fire walk.

Love and light, Fi xxx

*’Grace’ is the name I once gave to my ‘inner wisdom’ during a guided meditation ceremony – last night, as I walked across those hot coals, I gave myself permission to embrace her completely.

With special thanks to my dear friend, and the two new friends I met last night.