gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, ovarian cancer, positivity

Today I Rise Again

Today is a new day.

I rose today having felt what I was meant to feel, having seen what I was meant to see, having said what I was meant to say.

So many people ‘advised’ that I stop writing and that I focus on me. I know they meant this with the deepest kindness but writing ’is’ me focusing on me. It is my therapy, my release, my way of processing and feeling everything that is there to be felt.

I do not write for anyone else but myself – although, admittedly, it brings me so much joy to realise how my words have helped so many others.

I can’t help but wonder how different our world would be if someone had told Anne Frank to stop writing. I’m not suggesting I am anything like Anne Frank, a courageous young girl whom I have admired since first discovering her words when I myself too was only young, but I am suggesting that our stories are important, healing and essential. We must share our stories. We simply must.

I feel in a good place today, like I am emerging from something, like I am shedding an old version of myself and stepping forward into something new.

I sense change ahead, yes, but change isn’t necessarily bad and I find myself feeling a sense of excitement at this new adventure I find myself on.

I’ve been in worst places in the past four years since my diagnosis than I find myself in just now. There is, of course, one significant difference now. Now I don’t see chemotherapy as an option for me when the trial completely stops working (which it hasn’t, yet).

As I’ve written many times before, chemotherapy (and any treatment) is a very personal choice and I do not advocate for or against any options. But I do know that chemotherapy is not the right option for me. Not again. Not after 4 years ago. This is my inner guidance and I trust it profusely. Nothing and no one will ever change my mind.

So what are my options?

Just now, medically, it is to stay on the trial. It is to keep breathing in the gratitude that this wonderful cocktail of significantly less toxic drugs is doing something to slow down this disease (even if they can’t stop it completely).

But that is just the medical picture and, if I’ve learnt nothing else on this journey it is that the picture is bigger than what can and can’t be done in a hospital. There is so much more that can be done for my mind, body, spirit and soul.

So, yes, it is accurate when I say I am excited because I find myself wondering ‘what if there is another way?’

And that’s exactly what I intend to spend the next 16 weeks finding out.

Why 16 weeks? Because that is the length of time someone with ovarian cancer is on chemotherapy for…AND, more importantly, because 16 weeks today I plan to get my adventurous soul onto a plane to Bali where I plan to spend 4 weeks healing with my gorgeous husband…something that will only be possible if my lungs stay stable…so I’m excited…I have a focus, I have an aim and I have a shit load of passion.

It ain’t over and, as ever, I ain’t dead yet (motherf*ckers)

health, holistic health, ovarian cancer

The Necessary Grief of the Life Unlived

My cancer markers rose again.

Four months in a row.

Slowly rising, creeping upwards, no longer stable and far from dropping.

It’s not good news.

My treatment is no longer as effective. The trial I fought for is no longer holding things at bay. There is a crack in the dam. The dam is still there, yes, but it’s no longer as effective at holding the tide back from crushing me as it once was.

Was I naive to think that it would keep things at bay longer? Was I overly hopeful?

I thought I was realistic. I thought I had accepted and understood the odds, that I realised how lucky I was that it had worked for as long as it had. Yet my tears tonight tell a different story.

They show the hope that’s been lost, the fear, the anger, the sense of defeat in a battle I never even willingly engaged in.

And while it’s far from over (I am still on the trial treatment and it is still doing ‘something’ even if that isn’t as much as it once was) this rise marks a turn in events.

No longer do I feel like I have the upper hand. No longer do I feel in control. No longer do I feel like I have a grasp on what is coming next.

It’s the fear that hurts the most. The fear of more bad news, of more pain, of less options, of death.

It’s the fear of breaking other people’s hearts, of no longer being able to keep a brave face, of losing my sense of self to this insidious disease.

But most of all it’s the worry that I took the time I had for granted; so busy telling others to live like they are dying that I forgot to do it myself.

I’ve had many great adventures yes but did I love enough, did I laugh enough, did I open my heart to the deep vulnerability necessary for true connection?

I don’t know. But I plan to spend the rest of my days finding out and making sure.

Today marks a change, a shift. Tonight it feels painful. I feel deep sorrow and grief for the life I thought I was ‘supposed’ to have. Tomorrow I will welcome a new day, a new phase, a new beginning.

But, for now, I grieve.

ovarian cancer

The Importance of Going the Extra Mile

Today I had an absolutely incredible experience I want to share with you all!

A dear friend invited me out for afternoon tea at Malmaison Dundee – this was a potential nightmare for me!…due to range of allergies and stage four cancer I follow a strict no dairy, no gluten and no sugar diet and, historically, that basically eliminates everything in an afternoon tea.

I nervously called the hotel and explained my allergies weeks in advance. ‘Not a problem at all’ they explained. Still, I was nervous. I so didn’t want to be ill and, selfishly, I also didn’t want to be faced with a dull salad I could make at home while my friend was spoiled.

Well the pastry chef went above and beyond! She carefully prepared a beautiful selection of food for me. Each item met my dietary needs and she even carefully didn’t use any artificial sweeteners either! She went one step further and came to introduce herself and explain genuinely that she had enjoyed the challenge of creating something new!

This was without doubt the best eating experience I have had since diagnosis! For the first time in months I felt I was eating like a ‘normal’ person and it was incredible! The simple act of this wonderful woman taking pride in her work gave me an amazing experience.

In fact, all of the staff were exceptional and I feel truly blessed!

This post is a HUGE thank you to Sara the pastry chef at Malmaison in Dundee and the rest of the team…especially our waitress too (she was awesome as well)! The world needs more people like you who take a pride in their work. Thank you for being awesome!

Unsurprisingly I gave Sara one of my random Act of Kindness envelopes too!

Perhaps we can all learn from people like Sara. We can…

  • Enjoy our work
  • Take a challenge as an opportunity to learn
  • Help others
  • Smile
  • Be kind
  • Go the extra mile

I feel truely blessed to have had such a lovely experience.

Thank you to everyone involved!

Love and light, Fi xxx

ovarian cancer

Celebrate Today, Every Day

Last week marked one year since I was diagnosed. One whole year already since I heard the words ‘you have cancer’ and my whole life changed forever.

📷 © FKMunro 

I’d waited desperately for this day to arrive. At times, like after my surgery, I thought I’d never make it. Yet, here I am, not only living but THRIVING!  Each new day I wake full of health and positivity.

Over the past year I often thought about this date. It’s a huge milestone after all. [Only 75% of ovarian cancer warriors make it to their one year anniversary…the statistics are even lower if they have a stage IV diagnosis like me but we’ll not go into all that!…far too depressing!] I’d think about how I’d celebrate this ‘special occasion’. But, now the day has been and gone I’ve realised something…

I have no need to celebrate reaching a particular day. The date of my diagnosis isn’t any more special than the rest and, for me, it certainly isn’t a milestone.

Do you know why?

Cancer has taught me that every single day is a gift, that each breath I take is more precious than the last. Each moment I get to spend with my family, each hug I receive from my sister’s incredible children, each joke I share with my friends…that’s the milestones. That’s the celebration of a passing of time I didn’t think I’d receive.

You see, if you embrace the gifts that cancer brings – the knowledge that there is no tomorrow, the opportunity to embrace each and every beautiful minute we spend alive (yes even the seemingly crap ones) – then you don’t need to celebrate a particular date because you are already celebrating each and every breath. You are already celebrating being ALIVE!

I don’t need to celebrate a date defined in my diary because I LIVE every day.

Last week just marked the start of my journey. It marked my rebirth into a new beginning and an incredible life filled with new insight and love.

So, my message to you…

Don’t wait for a special occasion or a significant date to celebrate being alive. Celebrate today! Laugh today! Love today!

Above all, embrace everything in your life today for the miracle and gift that it truly is!

So, today I raise my glass (of water) to each and every one of you for supporting me on this journey and I take a moment to remember the beautiful souls I have met over this past year who have passed and the loved ones they leave behind.

You all inspire me daily.

Celebrate today, every day!

Love and light, Fi xxx

You can read more about Fi Munro on her website and public Facebook page.

She is also on twitter, instagram and youtube.

She is currently writing a book due for release in 2017.

© FKMunro.com 2017 

ovarian cancer

“Fight Song”

I’m sitting in the chemo room (in my mermaid tail!)
in tears as I watch this video.
An incredible 16 year old woman who has survived stage three ovarian cancer…if you watch only one thing today let it be this…even if, like me, you are not a reality tv fan…it is so worth it!

I cry because I live her journey every day through my own ovarian cancer journey – the laughter, the love, the fear and the pain a late stage ovarian cancer diagnosis brings.

I cry because she is a much needed inspiration to me and to other warriors.

I cry because I saw her story on the Ellen Degeneres Show and know she was diagnosed at only 15 years old and, like me, she doesn’t have a genetic mutation.

But most importantly I cry with hope and joy.

Maybe, just maybe, this young, gorgeous, talented and inspirational woman will become a role model for other young women.

Maybe she will help raise awareness so that one day more women will be diagnosed early and able to survive this disease.
Maybe this incredible woman will save lives.

I cry with happiness for a better tomorrow.

I cry with love for a fellow warrior who, like me, sees the sunshine in the rain.

Let’s just all take a minute and think how wonderful and inspiring this woman really is.

Love and light, Fi xxx

Please remember a smear test CANNOT detect ovarian cancer! There is NO known screaming!
Diagnosis relies only on women being aware of the symptoms and being persistent with their gps.