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

Can you help?…

We are organising a charity masquerade ball for Macmillan.
We are looking for sponsorship and donations from businesses to help reduce essential event costs and increase the total profits so that Macmillan nurses can help more people affected by cancer.

Sponsorship options are as follows:-

Gold: Main Event Sponsor

💙Cost £1000

💙Named as main event sponsor

💙Featured on photography backdrop to appear on facebook/twitter and in local press

💙Dual branding at event with Macmillan

Silver: Welcome Drinks Package Sponsor

💜Cost £800 

💜Named as drinks package sponsor with branding space available on bar.

Bronze: Auction Sponsor

💚Cost £600

💚Named as auction sponsor at event – branding space available on silent auction table

💚Named/thanked on facebook page for silent auction

Name a Table

❤️Cost £500 per table

❤️Named on table as sponsor

❤️Named on official seating plan

In addition to the above, all businesses who sponsor the event will be:

🌟Mentioned in pre and post event news articles in local press.

🌟Mentioned in pre and post event official Macmillan Scotland Facebook Posts

🌟Able to include organisation information in goody bags for approx 230 guest

🌟Thanked during the event 

🌟Thanked in my blog/facebook – my blog now has over 24000 readers and my Facebook has an average reach of 5000 people per post 

💕 We are also looking for businesses to donate raffle and silent auction prizes or goody bag donations*

Again these businesses will benefit from public thanks from myself and Macmillan Scotland 💕

Interested?

Please contact Pamela on pemcallister@live.co.uk

We are also happy to consider specific requests/alternative proposals for sponsorship.

Thank you.
Love and light, Fi xxx
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*Goody Bag Donations – Any item valued at £3 or over donated for the goody bags can be accompanied with an additional money off voucher/promotional leaflet for that business. Bags can support a leaflet up to A5 in size. Minimum donation of 30 items.

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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Press: Just Giving

Just Giving have published my story for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Have a read…

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30-year-old Fi is battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. Not only is she raising money to thank the Macmillan Cancer Support nurses who have been there for her, she’s raising awareness so every women knows the symptoms.

Every year, 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed, and 4,300 women die of ovarian cancer – that’s 12 women every day. Do you know the symptoms? Take a look at Fi’s fundraising page and find out more – http://just.ly/support-Fi

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love and light, Fi xx

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Fundraising…

So I’ve been fundraising for Macmillan Nurses since my diagnosis and today I received an awesome email from Justgiving to say that my justgiving page was in the top 1% of all justgiving pages in February!!

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Together we’ve raised nearly £3500 for Macmillan nurses to continue their awesome work!!

How awesome is that?!?! Woohoo!!

Thank you so much for all of your love and supper.

love and light, Fi xx