health, ovarian cancer, yoga

Raw Food for Post Cancer Holistic Health – Day One

Hello and happy Tuesday!
I’ve been thinking over my health lately and realised that it’s not quite where I want it to be…it’s been nearly 18months since I was diagnosed with stage four cancer and after months of being sugar free, vegan (except for occasional fish) and not eating processed food (plus 8 years of being gluten free) I still feel my diet isn’t optimal.

This weekend I went away with my family and found myself slipping easily into old habits of sugar and processed food. Not where I want to be at all!

The result? Today I woke feeling sluggish, tired and all in all a bit ‘meh’. And my skin has broken out again too! Eeek!

So what to do?

Well, after months of researching I’ve decided to embrace a raw food diet under the belief that live food is best for our health.

Now, let’s get one things clear, I’m not doing this for weight loss! I am a happy and healthy size 10/12 and I walk/practice yoga/run ever day. This is about achieving optimal health and helping my body to heal from the inside out.

So, today begins my journey with raw food. I’m under no illusions that it will be easy but hey, it can’t be as bad as high dose chemotherapy and major surgery can it?

I’m a complete novice so I’ve decided to share my story with you all in a ‘video diary’. If you have any advice or tips please let me know!

Here goes!

Love and light, Fi xx
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⭐️VOTING IS NOW OPEN!⭐️

I’ve been shortlisted for ‘The Health Blogger of the Year’. It would be super awesome if you could head here and vote to help me win.

You don’t need to provide any details (not even your name!), you just have to tick a box!

The winner receives a prize of £600 and if I win then I pledge to use it all for my random act of kindness to help spread more joy and raise awareness for ovarian cancer!
With your help I can reach more people and help to spread awareness of ovarian cancer; living with stage four cancer; invisible disabilities and so much more! 💜💜💜

New to my page? In Jan 2016 , at the age of just 30, I was diagnosed with non-genetic, stage four ovarian cancer. There is no stage five. Since then I’ve been campaigning to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in the hope that my diagnosis will help save lives. I have been handing out random acts of kindness to strangers as envelopes containing £20 and a card with the symptoms of ovarian cancer. I do this in the hope of spreading kindness and joy whilst also helping to get people to take about ovarian cancer! 💜⭐️🌈

In August 2017 I published a book entitled “Love, Light and Mermaid Tails” about my story and how I strive to live an incredible life with ‘terminal’ cancer. Get it here.

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My Book is Now Available to Buy

It’s been an exciting week! I’ve finally achieved my life long dream of becoming an author and published my first book!

It is currently available to buy on Amazon in the UK, USA and Europe!

‘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

I’m giving away a free signed book over the weekend 🌈🦄💕🙏🏻 Please just visit my Facebook page for more info 🦄

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. I couldn’t have done this without you!

I hope you enjoy the book!

Love and light, Fi xxx

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“Fi Munro was diagnosed with non-genetic stage four ovarian cancer. In that moment, after months of pain, tests and assurances that it was ‘nothing to worry about’, her instincts were proved right and her worst fears were realised.

In the months that followed, understanding her diagnosis, recovery and health became her full time job.

Using her expertise as a researcher she dedicated her time to understanding everything she could about her diagnosis and subsequent prognosis.

In this honest, open and often tear-jerking account of her journey back to wholeness, Fi openly shares her story from diagnosis with stage four ‘terminal’ cancer to living an incredible, healthy life full of joy and laughter.

This book is a guide for anyone, not just those with cancer, who wants to embrace a happier, healthier and more caring approach to their life.

May it bring you peace, courage and, above all, hope.”

“Fi Munro (PhD) is a multi award winning researcher, author and public speaker recognised internationally for her presentations and articles on her journey and holistic health. She has been featured in two BBC documentaries, in TV and radio shows, and in newspaper and magazine articles across the globe.”

ovarian cancer

Birthday Celebration with my Family

So after my desperation to get out of hospital yesterday for my family birthday celebrations today, things didn’t quite go to plan..

The trouble with having a low immune system (especially right before surgery) is I can’t see anyone at risk of causing an infection so…thanks to a cold, a sickness bug, exposure to scarlet fever and chicken pox everyone had to cancel except my parents.

I was devistated! However very glad that I was able to see my mum and dad before I go back to hospital tomorrow!

Despite not being able to see everyone I was absolutely blessed to receive the most beautiful birthday present imaginable…made by my talented mum’s fair hands…a cushion hand stitched with fabric from clothes belonging to my deceased grandparents, my husband Ewan, my parents, my two sisters, my three nephews and my niece…meaning now my entire family can all be with me over the next few weeks 💖💖💖


This cushion is now, without doubt, my most prized possession and I’m so blessed and thankful for their sneakiness in getting this sorted without me finding out!

I love the addition of clothing picked by my niece and nephews, including my niece’s ‘little mermaid’ Tshirt!…my favourite Disney princess as a child!

There is also fabric from my husband’s kilt and my beloved grandparent’s clothes. It’s just beautiful and words can’t describe how happy it makes me.

Tomorrow morning I’m making the long journey back to hospital and I’m so glad I’ll be taking this with me 💖

Love and light, Fi xx

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Why I’m Grateful for my Cancer: Chemo 4 – Day 19

Three months ago I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer at the age of 30.

I often describe my cancer diagnosis as a gift…yes I know that sounds a little crazy but let me explain…

  We’re all guilty of going through life with the mind set that we will achieve happiness at some specific point…when we get the ideal job, when we get married, when we finish the house, when we earn a certain amount, when the kids are a certain age…the list goes on and on… but what if we don’t reach that point? What if tomorrow really never comes? Does that mean we are destined to be unhappy? Destined to not lead a fulfilling life?

Certainly not!

When the words ‘stage four cancer’ entered my life everything changed…
…but for the better!

I’m now living the best days of my life. I’m now the happiest I’ve ever been because cancer has taught me to let gratitude, positivity and joy be the only goals in my life

You see, what a cancer diagnosis does is really highlight your mortality. It makes you aware that tomorrow really isn’t guaranteed. Yes we’ve all read the many inspiration quotes about living for today but how many of us actually do? Well a cancer diagnosis (especially a late stage one!) is a constant reminder that today really is all we have.

Many people ask how I remain so positive and I think Charlie Brown and Snoopy sum it up perfectly in the following dialogue:

Charlie Brown: “Some day, we will all die Snoopy!’

Snoopy: “True but on all the other days, we will not.”

In truth none of us know when we will die, or indeed what will cause our death, but until then we are living and so we should enjoy each and every day.

There are days when I feel so ill from treatment that I want to just lie on the sofa, but I still force myself to get up and dressed and take our lovely rescue dog for a walk because it is so important that there is joy (and nature!) in every day. 

I no longer take anything for granted. Least of all the wonderful people in my life or the time I have with them.

Cancer is a gift because it wakes you up to a life half lived and makes you see the beauty in every moment. It makes you savor every second. I am grateful for my cancer diagnosis because I am not sure all the motivational quotes in the word would have allowed me to see life, or the privilege it is to be alive, in the same way that I do now.

Abraham Lincoln summed this up best we he said…

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

So today, if you do nothing else, be sure to laugh a little louder, smile a little longer and hug a little closer.

Oh, and please tell someone you love them.

Love and light, Fi xx

ovarian cancer

Love is marrying your best friend: Chemo 4 – Day 11*

I’m one of the lucky ones.
 I married my best friend.

There is no one who makes me laugh more. He is the first person to tell me ‘if anyone can do it you can’….even if what I’m suggesting is utterly ridiculous. He supports me in every decision I make…even the bad ones like painting our bathroom pink(!)…(a story for another day).
 He’s always been my confidant and companion and now…well now he’s also my ‘carer’.

  I remember so vividly the moment following my diagnosis when my GP broached the subject of noting my husband as my carer in my medical records. My what? I’m 30! How is this possible? What does this mean? How will this affect our relationship? So many questions about a situation you don’t expect to face just weeks after celebrating your two year wedding anniversary in Vienna.

  Most of the time I continue to fight for my independence because of this fact floating in my head. Most of the time I refuse to accept that my medical file has a name in the box labelled ‘carer’. Most of the time I battle through doing things around the house even on days when I know I’ll suffer afterwards (actually more so on these days because I’m stubborn and often trying to prove a point).

Most of the time….

But sometimes I get frustrated. Sometimes I have to sit down half way through hanging up the washing or cooking dinner or changing the bed covers because the chemo has made me too tired; because the fluid on my lung is making me too breathless; because my blood levels are too low; because my body is too weak; because I need a carer….

In those moments I’m still married to my best friend. He tells me to take my time. He helps. He supports me in the way he always has to do everything I do.

  Other times, like tonight, I’m too weak to even try to do anything. Instead, whilst I’m lying on the sofa wrapped in a blanket, my husband, who has already done a full day at work and then picked up some food shopping, comes home and does the dishes I’ve not managed from during the day, cooks dinner, tidies the kitchen, takes our dog for his daily walk, hangs up two loads of washing, and puts away the washing he took down this morning before work. He does all this whilst intermittently checking on me.

By the time he stops doing everything it is past 10pm and he hasn’t sat down since he got in the door. Not for a second. Not even once.

This is on top of our dog waking through the night and my husband getting up to let him out and settle him. 

He does all this whilst working a full time job.

He does all this whilst worrying about me and my diagnosis and treatment and surgery.

He does all this whilst not complaining.

And I realise, as I watch this man I love doing everything he can to support me, that I don’t have to worry about him being labelled my ‘carer’ because I married my best friend…

He is doing what he has always done….he is doing whatever he can to make sure I can do whatever I need to do.

When I was well and didn’t have cancer (or didn’t know I had cancer) I commuted two hours to my job, studied for a hypnotherapy course, volunteered and maintained a regular exercise routine. At the time I thought I managed it all because I was well organised and motivated (and, admittedly, stubborn) but, on reflection, I managed it all because I married my best friend who, as it turns out, has always been my ‘carer’. He has always done whatever he can to make sure I could do whatever I needed to do.

You see, as it turns out, having a ‘carer’ doesn’t need to label you as critically unwell. It doesn’t need to change anything. It doesn’t need to be a weakness. It’s just about being supported by someone you love. It’s about returning that support. All that’s changed is the exchange of support.

As it turns out, I didn’t just marry my best friend. I married my hero.

I love you Mr Munro.

People ask how I manage to stay so positive. The answer – you.

People ask how I remain so grateful. The answer – you.

People ask how I get through everything. The answer – you.

I love you to the moon and back.

I couldn’t do any of it without you xxx

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*This post was inspired by a telephone chat I had today with a lovely woman from Stand Up to Cancer. She asked me what my support network was like and how my husband was coping with my diagnosis and treatment and as I answered my mind filled with intense love and gratitude for the wonderful man I call my other half   xx

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Megginch Castle: Chemo 4 – Day 7

Today I woke feeling much as I had over the past few days since receiving my fourth chemo dose, only now with the added side affect of ‘roid rage’ – this is caused by the steroids I need to take in the days before and following a chemo dose now leaving my system. This manifests suddenly with me becoming unreasonably emotional and angry. It’s not pleasant and it’s not pretty – but it does pass! Also it’s easier to deal with now I know what causes it – the first couple of doses of chemo I felt like I was loosing my mind!
Although still feeling ill I decided to combat these emotions this  round by having a day out with my husband and parents. First stop was an awesome lunch at my favourite cafe who specialise in accommodating food allergies – making my life a lot easier! It’s amazing how much more human I can feel after a bowl of hot soup! I also find that being out and about and around people helps me to feel better – as long as I don’t try to over do it or stay out too long. 

Megginch Castle – which isn’t too far away – were having their annual open garden day today where they allow members of the public to explore the beautiful grounds with the aim of raising funds for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre. This provided our next stop and a great opportunity to take advantage of the lovely spring weather and, or course, an ever welcome opportunity to spend some healing time in nature. I’m very grateful for their chosen beneficiary. Maggie’s have provided such valuable support and care for me and my family during my diagnosis and treatment and it’s always lovely to see people realising this value and helping support them!

  
The family at Megginch Castle provided a warm and friendly welcome and the gardens were absolutely stunning! I felt so relaxed and comfortable strolling around their beautiful walled gardens and then resting for a cup of tea on the lawn with the other visitors. I only wish they were open to the public more often!  

  There really is something wonderful about spending time in nature. It’s so calming and I truly believe it is healing too. Simply being outside, breathing in fresh air and enjoying the scenery encourages a slower, medatative pace that allows me to enjoy the moment and – for at least a while – disconnect from being a ‘cancer patient’.

  In nature I feel relaxed and calm and, dare I say it, healthy. Such a priceless feeling and one we often take for granted. Instead we are often guilty of rushing around always ‘doing’ and never just ‘being’ – well I was anyway until my diagnosis! Time in nature, however, forces us to enjoy the moment; to look at the trees; to enjoy wondering down the shaded pathways; to loose our thoughts watching a bumble bee choose a flower – it’s beautiful and nothing quite compares.

I hope those reading this are taking some precious time to enjoy nature too.

Fi xx 
 

ovarian cancer

Gratitude and Thanks: Chemo 4 – Day 6

As always after a chemo session I expect to feel much better much too soon and as a result often push myself too hard before my body has had a chance to recover…not that I’m stubborn!…

So instead of focusing on the side affects I’m feeling…which are the same as yesterday with some extra fatigue and sickness…I’ve decided to write a little bit about gratitude… 

  
When in these first few days post chemo, especially during a ‘come down’ from steroids, it is easy to get caught up in the sadness and pain of feeling ill and forget to see all that there is to be grateful for.

But there is always something to be grateful for…

…Today I am grateful for the sun shining long enough that I could go for for a brief walk before siting in our garden with our chickens, cats and dog…how do we have five pets?!  

I’m also grateful for the wonderful messages I’ve received today. Messages of love and support and solidarity all letting me know that I am not alone and that I am in people’s thoughts. These messages come in different forms – photos, videos, links to articles or podcasts, comments – but all serve to fill me with love and hope. Some come from much loved old friends and some from new friends I’ve met on my journey or who are going through their own cancer journeys. It really costs nothing to show someone you care and it can make such a difference – thank you!

  I don’t really have much energy to write this evening but I wanted to end this post by passing on some gratitude from Macmillan whom I have been fundraising for since my diagnosis. The following is taken from a second email of thanks that I received from them this week…

Well done on your fantastic achievement! You’ve done an incredible job with your fundraising and it was really inspiring to read your story on Just Giving. You truly are an amazing person and we wouldn’t be able to continue with the work we do without dedicated fundraisers like you.

Just to put your fundraising into perspective, the money you raised could keep a Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs for a whole year. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets and are vital to ensure people affected by cancer get the support they need.

Now if that isn’t pretty awesome and worthy of a little gratitude and thanks then I don’t know what is!

Thank you to everyone for your love and support.

Happy Saturday, Fi xx

 

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Valuing Friendships…Old and New…

I am so blessed and happy to have so many wonderful people who message to see how I’m getting on – I never knew how much love there was in my life until now.

I often say that I view my cancer as a blessing and I truly mean it – it’s changed my perspective on life; showed me what really matters; and let me see where the joy, love and happiness is. Things we all too often take for granted until it’s too late 💜

It has also brought old friends back into my life – rekindling friendships lost or forgotten but still full of love and happy memories.

I’ve also developed some wonderful new friendships with people who have had or have cancer. The support we can offer each other is priceless.

These friendships fill me with hope and bring me positivity every day. I love you all, Fi xx

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Tell someone you love them…

Thought for the day…
I was diagnosed with cancer only 10 days ago and since then I’ve received so many wonderful messages, cards, calls all filled with love – people telling me how much they care for me; how much they love me; how much they value my friendship, my passion for life etc….all magical and wonderful stuff that keeps me going every day 💖 but I can’t help but think: why don’t we tell people how we really feel every day when they are well? I know I didn’t always do it before, but I do now 😘 I share my unfiltered love around like glitter! 💖💖💖
Life is precious and there are no guarantees so if you love someone, care about someone, value someone, admire someone…tell them today. Don’t wait till they are sick…tell them now. If we all told just one person how much they really mean to us today think how happy we would all feel 💖💖💖
love and light, Fi xx

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First Day of Chemo…

“Every journey begins with a small step, every race has a starting line, keep on reaching out for your goal, don’t give up, just give it time.”

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Well today I start chemo…just 16 days after I received the news I have ovarian cancer and I’m feeling great about starting my journey to being me again 💖💖💖

However, whilst I’m always positive about my cancer diagnosis – because really there is no other way to be in life – cancer is not an easy journey and so today I’d like to share the darker side that I usually hide because I think it’s really important that people talk about what cancer does to patients physically and give it the awareness it deserves….
….so here goes.

This is not a moan…I feel as positive as ever…but this is a journey that not everyone can take so positivity and that sadly thousands go through every single day xxxx

I’m told every day that I ‘look so well’…this is thanks to firstly an expensive skin and makeup regime!
Secondly it’s thanks to three different anti-sickness drugs that allow me to manage small mouthfuls of food (but never a full meal) without throwing them up.
Thirdly it’s thanks to two kinds of morphine – a tablet I take twice a day and a fast acting liquid I take when I just can’t take the pain….which is most days.

  • I can’t walk more than 5-10 minutes without needing to sit down – over the weekend
  • I had to go to hospital because I fainted trying to walk around the block.
  • I can’t get through a day without sleeping.
  • I’ve had over 35 blood tests in the last two weeks – I stopped counting at 35!
  • I had a drip 10 days ago when I couldn’t eat or drink anything at all and got too dehydrated.
  • That week I also had fluid drained from one of my lungs without any pain relief – holy cow I thought I would collapse from the pain!
  • Last week I had 4.5 ltrs of cancerous fluid drained from my abdomen (this was following 5ltrs one week before my diagnosis).
  • The next day I had a very painful tumour biopsy taken from my abdomen – I had to be sedated (although awake) because the pain was too much. My tummy still feels like it has a knife in it.
  • In the last 8 hours I have taken 20 steroid tablets in preparation for chemo today – 10 at midnight last night and 10 at 7am this morning.
  • I’ve lost 1.5 stone in fat and muscle in the last 6 weeks due to an inability to eat properly.

This is just a brief insight into ‘the medical side’ of my first two weeks with cancer.
I feel that whilst every day has to be full of medication, pain, tests, Drs and nurses I can get through it by understanding that I choose what else it is filled with . And I choose love, hope, positivity, family, friends and laughter.

So my first two weeks have also been filled with some of the best experiences and making some of the best decisions of my life! 💖 for instance – I never would have donated my hair before but I’d do it again in a heartbeat! I’d never realised how loved Ewan and I are – but we we must be the richest couple in the world because we are surrounded by love and hope and every day we receive over a hundred messages offering support for every step of our journey 💖

Without this I don’t think I’d find the strength I need – so thank you all a million times for your love and support xxxxx

12644866_10208073645057206_3951477712065967210_n.jpgCancer is a painful journey and it is a challenge every single day but by taking it a day at a time it is an achievable challenge. I promised I would do a marathon one day and I guess this is my version of an epic marathon.

love and light, Fi xx