health

Children’s Cancer Awareness Month

I want to tell you a story about my friend Katy and her little boy Ezekiel.

One day, when Ezekiel was just 2 years old, he developed a “bit of a lump” in his abdomen, it just showed up out nowhere. It was right sided, painless and quite firm.

Katy thought he was maybe constipated, though it was a bit high up for that.

To be sure, she went to the GP who sent them up to hospital…just to get checked out.

But Ezekiel was admitted that night and the doctor wrote in the notes that he didn’t want anyone pressing too hard or even examining the swelling…”just incase”, he said.

The next day Ezekiel had an ultrasound. “He was quite happy”, his mum, Katy, recalls “he thought it was an adventure in the hospital and was quite excited. In fact, that night I had to stop him from jumping on the hospital bed!”

His blood tests (including kidney function) were all normal. The doctor was surprised by that.

The next day the sonographer asked Ezekiel’s parents if they knew what they were looking for, when Katy said “no” the sonographer looked away. Katy says it was at that point that she knew something was wrong with her little boy.

A couple of hours later they were waiting in his room, Katy was very anxious. “I think I knew something was wrong but I didn’t want to admit it to myself. I remember asking Stephen (Ezekiel’s Dad) “What if it’s something serious?” and him saying “It won’t be.” To which I replied “But what if it is?” and his response is one that I’ll never forget. He said “Then we’ll face it together. As a family.”

Minutes later their doctor came into the room with another doctor, a nurses and a couple of other people.

That’s when Katy and Stephen were told every parent’s worst nightmare. Ezekiel‘s ultrasound has confirmed a diagnosis of Wilms Tumour. Ezekiel was just two.

They were told that treatment would involved chemotherapy, a radical nephrectomy (kidney removal) and then most likely more chemotherapy and possibly radiotherapy afterwards, depending on the staging of the tumour. This wouldn’t be determined until after his operation.

“They left us to talk shortly after that and to think about what they’d said. We then had to make some of the most difficult phonecalls of our lives and tell our families that our beautiful little boy had cancer.” Katy recalls.

Over the next few days Ezekiel was transferred to Sick Kids in Edinburgh, where he had an MRI, port insertion, a biopsy and was started on Enoxaparin which was used to thin his blood as part of the tumour had started to grow out of his kidney and up the Inferior Vena Cava (the main vein running from the kidney to the heart). They were there for 6 days, after which Ezekiel started chemotherapy.

After each of the first 3 doses of chemotherapy, Ezekiel was admitted to hospital with a fever. Each time there was no sign of infection and his doctors concluded it must be the tumour reacting to the attack from the chemo.

A few weeks after chemotherapy started Ezekiel underwent a big operation where they removed his kidney and slit the IVC open to remove the tongue of tumour that was making its way up the IVC. It was very close to little Ezekiel’s liver so a liver surgeon was brought in from The Royal as well as a paediatric kidney surgeon from Leeds.

Ezekiel then had 27 weeks of post-op chemotherapy which is given to make sure any remaining cancer cells are killed off and to reduce the risk of relapse too. He was admitted a few times with infections and anaemia, etc. His sickness became very difficult to control and he lost a lot of weight during this time. His core muscles were affected too so he became quite clumsy and with his blood thinning injections he would bleed a lot when he fell over! There was still a clot in his IVC after the operation so he stayed on the Enoxaparin after he finished chemo.

In December 2018 he was pronounced ‘in remission’ and has remained cancer-free for the past 9 months, since then. He has clinic visits once a month, ultrasounds once a month, chest xrays every 2 months and MRIs every 3 months. He’s had a few longer term side-effect from chemo but nothing terrible.

Ezekiel turned four last week and has started nursery. He has been in remisison for 9 months now and is slowly gaining weight and readjusting to life after isolation. He goes to birthday parties, rides his bike, likes to swim and is able to do everything now that other 4 year old likes to do.

September is children’s cancer awareness month. Please share Ezekiel’s story. Not just for me, but for his loving parents Katy and Stephen and for ever other child with cancer and their families.

CHILDREN’S CANCER FACTS….from Ezekiel’s mum…

Here are some statistics around childhood cancer and what they mean.

FACT:4 out of 5 children who are diagnosed with cancer will survive.

REALITY: These statistics only take into account children who survive past 5 years. If a child relapses and dies, they’re still considered a survivor. The real statistics are much lower but “4 out of 5” sounds better. Also, most cancer-related deaths in children are not classed as cancer-deaths because the death certificate usually reads along the lines of whatever ended their life. For example, if Ezekiel died from a respiratory virus during treatment (which he almost did) the cause of death of his birth certificate would read “Corona virus” rather than “Corona virus caused my lowered immune system due to chemotherapy treatment for cancer” so the official stats don’t take that into consideration either.

FACT: big charities like Cancer Research UK only give about 1% of funding to paediatric cancers. That’s 1% for ALL children’s cancers.

FACT: Most of the chemotherapy drugs used I the UK were developed in the 60s, 70s and 80s for adults (the ones used for Ezekiel were developed in 1963 and 1964) The children get a watered down version of these drugs because it works but they also come with the usual harsh side-effects and can actually cause cancer, later on in life.

FACT: more than 95% of children who have had chemo/radiation in their early years will develop a serious health condition by the time they’re 45 as a result of their treatment.

FACT: 30-45% of parents who’s child has been treated for cancer will develop symptoms of PTSD.

FACT: Only 4 medications have EVER been developed and FDA approved for use on children

FACT: Childhood cancer caused more deaths than any other disease. Its not rare.

“Cancer isn’t easy for a lot of people to talk about. But childhood cancer is even more difficult to comprehend, it’s difficult to consider and its difficult to talk about. So people just don’t. They avoid the subject, they avoid the parents, and they avoid the reality of what could happen to their child. Friends become strangers and strangers become friends.” – Katy

– – –

I’m so glad I met Katy…she is a stranger that became a friend and she has a special place in my heart.xx

health

Timing is Everything

Ewan and I have had a week of immense trauma. A lifetime of pain squeezed into 5 short days. With bad news coming from all areas of our lives.

Just when we thought the week couldn’t bring us anything else we were placed in the right place at the right time for a stranger…again.

Some of you will remember that roughly this time last year Ewan and I witnessed a woman getting hit by a car. We are both first aiders and responded to the scene. I lay with the woman in the middle of a duel carriageway, surrounded by her blood. It was a pivotal point in my life and my healing – me living with a terminal condition, holding space for an otherwise healthy woman fighting for her life.

Last night we were traveling back from Aberdeen. It was the early hours of the morning and a thick fog had filled the road.

I’d fallen asleep while Ewan drove and was woken suddenly to him shouting ‘oh fuck’.

I opened my sleepy eyes to the scene of a smashed car facing us in the middle of the road in front. It’s headlights blurred by the poor weather conditions.

I pulled on my shoes (stilettos!) and ran towards the car, not knowing what I’d find.

As I ran I was simultaneously asking other people that had stopped behind us to stay back. That fierce lioness energy I’d discovered last time had returned.

As I ran I was taking in the scene. The car facing the wrong way. The debris and gravel on the road. The smashed vehicle.

The fog was so thick I couldn’t see the driver until I was right at the car.

It all happened in slow motion.

The relief I felt to find the driver, not only alive but, uninjured was palpable.

Here sat a young boy, clearly very shaken, trying to call his parents to let them know what had happened.

Let that sink in for a moment – the poor shaken young man was still sat in a smashed vehicle, in the middle of a duel carriageway and the first thing he thought to do…before even removing himself from danger…was to call those he loves and who love him.

What a beautiful message from the universe about life and love.

Understandably in shock, he wasn’t able to speak to his parents and so he handed me his phone. I spoke to his mum, calming and reassuring her and giving her directions to where we were.

She arrived at the same time as the emergency services.

Here is what I learnt last night…

When we were leaving Aberdeen we were held up by our dog Ozzy for a few minutes. He had started crying and we’d had to stop at the side of the road for him to pee.

I was admittedly a little frustrated as he had been out at the start of our journey only 15 minutes before and, exhausted, I was desperate to get home.

Had he not stopped, however, the fate of that young boy could have been very different…

The boy was sat in his vehicle at risk of the next car hitting him…visibility was so poor, an approaching car would have had no hope of seeing him. However, we were driving our campervan and were going slowly. We had time to stop.

Behind us was a truck. When the truck driver saw us stop and me run from the car he stopped in the middle of the duel carriageway. This meant that all other traffic was stopped and the boy was removed from danger.

When I spoke to his mum she advised that he has autism. This is a condition I am very familiar with through my own family and through working with children. I could handle the boy’s needs with compassion and understanding suitable to how his beautiful brain works.

I was also reminded of what a beautiful team Ewan and I are. Without words, I ran into the danger while Ewan called the emergency services. While I dealt with the trauma, Ewan managed the scene around us…the traffic, the other people.

Once the situation was stable he brought me jackets to keep me warm and then he assessed the vehicle…turning off the engine and lights.

Our skill sets are so different and so complimentary. He thinks of things I wouldn’t and vice versa. The way we work together through all of life’s traumas is a silent dance with each of us doing what the other cannot.

Reflecting on this I see the deep beauty in what we do together each and every day.

Above all my reflection is, once again, how beautiful and precious and fleeting life is.

This story could have been very different had little Ozzy not needed a pee.

This story could have been very different were it not for a million other seemingly tiny events.

Every day we live in this dance. When we can’t find our keys, when we get stuck at a red light, or when we go straight through a green one, when your kids won’t put on their shoes, when you wake up early…

Every time our schedule is altered by even just a few seconds, we never know what is being put right into our life, and we never know what is being taken from our path.

If we’d been on our journey 60 seconds earlier we would have missed this happening. The boy’s story would have been very different. If we’d been on our journey 30 seconds earlier the boy’s car would have hit our van as it spun. All of our stories would have been very different.

Instead, what happened was the most ideal – no injuries, just a broken car.

The next time you are frustrated because you are running late, take a moment to pause and reflect on the beauty that this could be bringing into your life.

Above all, take a moment to surrender to your life, to go with it in good times as well as in bad and to know that each moment is fleeting.

And if you do nothing else, love fiercely, because this all ends.xx

health

A Letter to Materialism

Dear Materialism

I don’t care much for you. Not anymore.

Oh but I used to. My goodness I was all about you. I think I may have been your biggest fan.

But, in truth, it was kind of an emotional relationship, perhaps verging on an abusive one.

I mean I constantly tried to get away from you, but there you were, lurking everywhere, telling me I wasn’t good enough without you.

On the TV, in the magazines, on social media, even in some of my friends houses.

You are so intrusive!

But I’ve left you now.

Good riddance to all the pressure you brought me.

I still see you lurking in the same old places but I call you by your other names now; fear, lack of self worth, shame. You don’t like that and it makes you shrink away a little more each day. Maybe one day you’ll vanish altogether.

Maybe.

I know that when I used to buy three outfits for a night out, only to wear something I already owned, that it wasn’t you, dear materialism, that made me do it, it was fear, it was because I didn’t think I was enough with what I already had, it was because I was worried I wasn’t good enough to just show up as me.

When I persistently bought ‘trinkets’ for my home it wasn’t you either, it was the fear that I wouldn’t be perceived as being good enough without them.

Every time I bought something I didn’t need to impress someone else, all I did was squash down the real feelings I needed to face. All I did was avoid looking at how much value I was placing on ‘things’ instead of on myself.

I see that now.

And now I value me above anything material. I value my happiness and my joy and I know that, for me anyway, that’s not found in a new pair of jeans, sofa or candle holder but in the rain hitting my face, the waves crashing against my body, the wind in my hair.

I don’t need or want you in my life to justify who I am anymore.

I love myself now and I’ve realised, finally, I’m happy just to be me.

So you can lurk wherever you want, because I don’t need you anymore.

And with my head held high, and self love in my heart, I can walk past you now, unaffected by your desire to tell me I’m not good enough.

Goodbye. I will not be shamed by you anymore.

Love, Fi xx

———

When I write these words, these letters, I personify the emotion and then I meet it and sit with it. It’s a wonderful healing tool for me. It really helps me to listen to and connect with my heart and soul.

Do you have a suggestion of what I should write to next?…comment below with suggestions (such as love, death, pain or joy) and I’ll see what I can do (I have a growing list – thank you!)

Like my words? Check out my book ‘How Long Have I Got?’ available now on Amazon WORDWIDE!

I am working on 3 more books. Join my mailing list via my website to be the first to find out when they are available www.fkmunro.com

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @fkmunro

health

A Letter to Fear

Dear Fear

It’s a funny old relationship we have, you and me.

Sometimes I think while you stop others from doing things, you propel me forward.

What am I afraid of? I don’t really know. I’ve faced so much pain I’m not sure there is anything left to fear.

Over the years, in the past, I’ve felt the fear of not being safe in my own home, my own body and my own life.

But, as a result, I don’t fear death, pain or grief. I’ve befriended so many of life’s enemies that invoke fear in my peers.

Yet I do still feel you. I feel you when I open up to being vulnerability, to authenticity, to truth. But I power on. I keep facing you and opening my heart because in doing so I am uncovering myself, I am growing and learning and truly feeling all that life has to offer.

I am so grateful for you, my dear friend named fear because when I feel you I know I am pushing myself to the edges of my boundaries and, in doing so, I know I am growing into the best version of myself.

Thank you for being my marker, my flag, my guide.

This is the kind of fear I crave – but none of that shitty life threatening fear please…I’ve had my fair share of that already!

Love, Fi xx

—–

Read more in my books

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

—–

Fi is Currently:

Looking forward to a weekend of kayaking.

Resting after treatment yesterday.

Enjoying the imminent arrival of autumn.

Excited for Ewan’s birthday later this month!

health

Dear Cancer (a postscript)

Dear Cancer (a postscript)

I know I’ve said farewell already but I realised I still had a few more things left to say.

I’ve planned a ‘divorce ceremony’ to say farewell to you properly: to honour what you gave me as well as what you took. A proper goodbye.

Until then I’ll keep writing letters to you. I want to be sure there is nothing left unsaid when I say my final goodbyes to you.

Today I find myself reflecting on the fear that comes with saying farewell to you.

Yes fear.

I mean I don’t know who I am without you.

Yes that’s exciting, but it’s also terrifying.

I held on to you for so long because of this fear; because I was too scared to step into the unknown.

Not only do I not know who I am without you, but so many people in my life don’t know either. I mean, many of them met me after you came on the scene.

What if I don’t like the me that’s left? What if they don’t like me either?

What if, perhaps worse still, I discover I love myself more without you now and that I wasted time caught in the fear of letting you go?

But, while I’m scared I am also ready.

Feel the fear and do it anyway, they say.

I feel the fear of saying farewell to you, yes. But the fear of staying attached to you is far greater.

So I prepare to step into the unknown. I am taking a step of faith, trusting that the path I can’t yet see will appear before me before my foot hits the ground.

It’s time.

Love, Fi xx

—–

Read more in my books

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

—–

Fi is Currently:

Working on a new book idea.

Watching a wood pigeon make a nest in one of our trees.

Excited for some self care this afternoon.

Waiting for the arrival of autumn, my favourite season!

health

A Letter to Grief

Dear Grief

I used to be so angry at you.

I used to want to fight you.

I hated you.

The pain and suffering I felt when I felt you was suffocating.

I thought it was you that had taken those I love.

I thought it was you that had brought the pain and suffering.

But I realise now that I was wrong.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I know now that you didn’t take them. You are them. You are the love I feel for them now they’ve gone transformed into another form, another name.

You are what my love for them became.

As my love transformed into grief it was that space in between that caused the pain and suffering.

It wasn’t you.

It was your shadow.

You are still, of course, often harder to carry than the love I used to know and feel for them.

That felt warm and soft and comforting.

You can feel cold and lonely.

But you are a reminder of how much love I felt for them.

I’ve found that carrying you gets easier with time. The weight of you doesn’t get less but perhaps I grow stronger. Perhaps I am able to carry you with greater ease as more time passes. Perhaps my muscles grow stronger.

Or perhaps you have become a part of me, a crack in my heart that shows I’ve felt love transform into grief, that I’ve loved someone through to the other side of my own pain and suffering.

I’m still figuring you out but I don’t hate you anymore. Instead, when I feel your presence I try to transform you back to love. I remove the pain and suffering and focus on the feeling of love. I focus on my heart.

I remember the love.

Perhaps this is what makes me able to carry you with greater ease over time; not the growing of muscles but instead the lightness that comes as you transform back to love.

Yes, I’m still figuring you out but I’m happy to sit with you now, as friends, not enemies as we figure it out together.

Love, Fi xxx

—–

Read more in my books

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

—–

Fi is Currently:

Writing extracts for my ‘random act of kindness’ book.

Appreciating the imminent arrival of autumn.

Sitting in my summer house – my perfect writing sanctuary.

Listening to ‘The Highwomen’.

health

A Letter to Cancer

Dear Cancer

This is the hardest letter I’ve ever written.

You’ve been a part of my life for so long it’s hard to remember who I was without you; who I was before the day you arrived in my life.

In many ways I’m grateful for your arrival. You woke me up to a life I was taking for granted. You showed me that the job I was doing no longer served my soul (I sometimes wonder if it ever did). You illuminated the relationships that drained my heart and those that shamed my authenticity. You showed me all the dis-ease in my life.

You held my hand as I looked at the shadows in my soul; the grief, the trauma, the pain I’d tried to hide.

You striped me bare of everything I associated as myself. You made me look at what lay beneath all the layers I’d carefully orchestrated to create the facade of a perfect life.

Through the daily reminders of your presence (some days less subtle than others) you held me as I kept working through the pain.

You helped me to uncover a strength I never dreamed of owning. You introduced me to a hidden version of myself. A strong warrior.

With your guidance I discovered a tribe of people like me. A tribe of truth seekers.

I discovered a new way of living my life; with the truth of how precious each and every moment is.

You taught me how to feel joy and love; to really feel them radiate through me.

You put me on a path that I could never have even imagined; one so beautiful that I wake each day overwhelmed with gratitude to be alive.

For all of this I am forever grateful.

But, you also taught me to say goodbye to relationships that no longer serve me; to part ways when the time is right.

That time has come for us.

I’m ready, and excited, to discover who I am without you.

I will always be grateful for the lessons you gifted me, but now I need to say goodbye and step into a new version of myself – one that no longer requires you or your labels.

I’m saying goodbye, I’m bidding you farewell, I’m laying you to rest and returning you to source.

Goodbye old friend.

You are no longer welcome in this precious body or life of mine.

Farewell.

—–

Read more in my books

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

—–

Fi is Currently:

Planning a ‘divorce ceremony’ for my cancer…I’m being intentional on the fact that I no longer permit its presence in my life.

Reflecting on another amazing weekend of shamanic training.

Sitting on our sofa cuddling Ozzy.

Writing 3 new books!

health

The ‘Ugly Yoga’ Challenge

I’m launching an ‘Ugly Yoga’ Challenge on 1st September 2019 and I really hope you’ll join me!

In just 5 minutes a day you can change your life and it won’t cost you a penny!

Read on to find out how!

WHAT IS UGLY YOGA

‘Ugly Yoga’ stems from my passionate belief that yoga isn’t about having the ‘perfect’ mat, clothes, body, posture (insert any other ‘perfection’ that’s ever put you off going to a yoga class).

It also doesn’t require you to have ‘perfect’ health either!

Instead, I believe yoga is about connecting with your heart and soul and moving your body in a way that nourishes YOU and your individual needs!

It really doesn’t matter how your poses ‘look’. What matters most is how they make you ‘feel’!

When I say ‘ugly yoga ’ I want you to think about the story of the ‘ugly duckling’ who transformed into a swan…your ‘ugly yoga’ too will transform you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine!

MY STORY

I’ve been practicing ‘ugly yoga’ for nearly 4 years. Before that, I used to go to yoga classes trying to do ‘perfect yoga’, I was training for London Marathon, I was also weight training and seeing a personal trainer. Admittedly, I was one of those yogis that was trying to appear ‘perfect’.

What unachievable bullshit!

In January 2016, aged just 30, I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.

Since then I’ve trained as a yoga teacher specialising in adult ashtanga yoga, children’s yoga, pregnancy yoga, pre and post natal yoga and baby yoga.

I have a colostomy bag, a pneumothorax (hole in my right lung) and lung tumours. I’ve have multiple organs removed during major surgery including a complete hysterectomy and splenectomy. Most importantly, I’m still alive!

To say I understand the human anatomy, holistic health and yoga would be a massive understatement! I can guarantee whatever you’re feeling…I’ve been there too!

BUT through it all I’ve done yoga every single day (yes, even when I was in hospital). I’ve taught classes and one to one and I’m now running yoga retreats in Scotland with Integrative Retreats.

I believe that yoga is for EVERYONE! And I get super frustrating with the western view that yoga has to look a certain way.

When I trained as a yoga teacher one of the fundamental aspects I was taught was about the philosophies of yoga and it’s role in nourishing us as a whole – our mind, body and spirit. We were never taught that yoga was about having washboard abs or ‘nailing’ a particular pose. That’s all ego led nonsense!

Understanding this important differentiation is something I reference as significant to my physical and emotional healing in my book ‘How Long Have I Got?’

When I stopped trying to do ‘perfect’ yoga and stopped comparing myself to others and what I couldn’t do, I discovered that my body was capable of so much more than I ever imagined!

I also discovered that 5 minutes each day doing yoga that nourished my body is far better than zero minutes!

Of course, some days I do more. Some days I do 90 minutes when I’m feeling good and in flow with my body! But I never set this as the goal. I always set the goal at a manageable and non threatening 5 minutes. Because we can do anything for 5 minutes…even when we feel rubbish and unmotivated!

THE ‘CHALLENGE’

So, I am starting a different kind of yoga challenge. One that doesn’t promise to get you doing a headstand in two weeks – although you might and that’s great if it feels nourishing for you.

Instead this challenge promises to help you connect with, love and learn from your unique and special body.

And, best of all, it’s suitable for everyone, regardless of your health situation or any other circumstances.

All you have to do is commit to 5 minutes of yoga every morning for 30 days.

Just 5 minutes.

You don’t need a yoga mat or fancy yoga clothes.

You don’t even need a yoga studio.

All you need is 5 minutes.

You can do ‘ugly yoga’ in your pjs or your gym clothes…hell you can even do it naked if you like (you badass you!)

You can do it in a chair, on your bed or even in your bathroom – I know that’s the secret place you busy parents hide from your kiddies when you need 5 minutes…yes you!

All you have to do is carve out 5 minutes each day where you put on some relaxing music (I have a free yoga playlist on Spotify under ‘Fi Munro Yoga’) and just stretch and move your body how it wants to move.

Some days you’ll do big stretches and lots of downward facing dogs, other days you might sit and gently twist your body from side to side. There might even be some days where you just lie on your back in shavasana for 5 minutes.

And do you know what? That’s all perfect!! As long as you are listening to what your body needs for at least 5 minutes then, I assure you, you are nailing ‘ugly yoga’ my lovely!

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Starting 1st September 2019 commit to just 5 minutes each day for one month where you stretch your body in ways that feel nourishing to you. That’s it!

Take pictures or videos or write about how ‘ugly yoga’ is making you feel and share it all with me using @fkmunro and #uglyyoga or #uglyyogachallenge

You’re going to be amazed at how different you feel! Seriously!

AND I’m going to join you too by posting live videos of my ‘ugly yoga’ each day across my social media channels.

Are you in?

Love, Fi xxx

—–

Read more in my books

Book into one of my workshops.

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

—–

Fi is Currently:

Listening to my yoga playlist on Spotify.

Feeling grateful for a day in the sea.

Loving life and the gift of being alive.

Admiring the sunflowers on my kitchen table.

health

I Didn’t Know Before

I’m sorry…I didn’t know before what it was like….

To love someone and watch them be diagnosed with incurable cancer.

I have, of course, felt the pain of being diagnosed myself.

I’ve managed the emotions of others as I tell them good news and bad…the highs and the lows…always underpinned by the fact that I’ll never be cured…that my cancer is terminal…that treatment is just ‘buying us precious time together’.

I often suspected it was worse for them than it was for me….the ones who were watching…the ones who love me…the ones who would be left behind…afterwards…

When I felt pain; when I was sick; when I couldn’t get out of bed; when I was in a wheelchair; when I was kept alive by a drip…at least I knew how I felt, at least I knew what I needed…they, however, just had to watch…they just had to hope that their words were enough while they lived with the fact that they could never take it away from me; the pain; the illness; the suffering…no matter how much they wanted to.

For the past 3.5 years it is mainly those who love someone with cancer that message me…asking for advice, for hope, for answers, for anything I can suggest that they can do to help the person they love with cancer…

Reflecting on this, and reflecting on my own loved ones, I often thought it must be harder to watch someone you love have cancer than to have it yourself…

I often thought…

But now I know…

Now I know it’s harder.

Now I have to hold the hand of someone I love…

Now I have to be the one who would do anything to take away the pain; to make it all better; to fix them…

Now I know for sure…

I preferred it when it was just a thought…

To everyone who loves someone with cancer…now I see you…truly see you…because now I am your sister too…now I am no longer just a woman who stands with her fellow cancer warriors…now I stand with you too; now I am one of you; now I know for sure that the pain you face is harder.

I love you, Fi xx

Note: I will not be disclosing who has been diagnosed, just that I love them – it’s their story to share, not mine.

But it’s not my Ewan 🥰

Fi xxx

—–

Read more in my books

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

—–

Fi is Currently:

Cuddling Ewan on our sofa.

Reflecting on everything I’m learning through this crazy journey of life.

Decluttering our home and creating more space for love.

Reading ‘when the body says no’…a great book about stress!

health

How You Spend Your Time Is How You Spend Your Life

Your time is the most precious thing you have – far more precious than money because once spent it can never be re-earned.

Yet, so often, we waste time we don’t have doing things we don’t want to do trying to impress people we don’t even like!

If you want to live your best life, chose how you spend your time carefully…don’t waste it doing things you don’t want to do, that don’t bring you joy.

Spend it doing things that make your heart sing and your soul happy.

Don’t waste it with people who bring you down, who drain you or who are toxic.

Spend it with people who lift you up, who bring out your best qualities and who energise you.

Don’t spend it doing things that are mediocre or meaningless to you.

Spend it doing things that make you feel grateful to be alive.

Above all, spend it doing things that make you want to scream ‘this is so f*cking awesome’.

Because, at the end of the day, you don’t get the day back to relive again.

Today I am feeling so grateful for relationships that bring me joy and laughter, that lift me up, that challenge me to be the best version of myself and who says ‘Fi you’ll love this [insert adventure]’ and are always sooo right!

I welcome more of this into my life…more joy, more love, more adventure and more moments when I can say…thank you thank you thank you for my health for enabling me to have all of this amazing fun while spending my precious time.

I spend my time doing things that make me happy with people that I love…do you?

Love, Fi xxx

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Fi is Currently:

Listening to the kettle boiling.

Looking forward to some focused book writing this week.

Grateful for time with people I love.

Loving the smell of fresh flowers on my kitchen table.

Excited for Secret Cinema in London next weekend.