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.

ovarian cancer

Reaching the Other Side of the Doors

Today I approached a set of automatic doors that I’ve passed through many times before. As I strode through their entrance I was greeted with mental images of the woman I had been before, weak and afraid as she made her way to her first chemo; I saw the woman I became, weaker still with no hair, her body frail from muscle loss; I felt the memory of the ambulance gurney, hard beneath my body as I was wheeled through those doors only months ago; I felt the memory of every time these doors had opened before me; I felt the changes I’d been through, some physical and some emotional and, with a smile, I acknowledged the many friendships I’d made on the other side of those doors.I suddenly realised how much I had changed. I’d had the honour and blessing of being reborn and, in that moment, none of those previous moments mattered anymore because today I was striding, my head was held high, my back was straight and I felt incredible, healthy and happy.

I don’t know how long my new life will be but I do know that I intend to cherish every single moment with gratitude for the people on the other side of those doors for their support, kindness and care 💜💕

How lucky I am to be here. Thank you 🙏🏻⭐️🌈

Love and light, Fi xx

Please vote here. You don’t need to provide any details, just a few clicks.

ovarian cancer

Chase Your Dreams 

I could have missed my run today. I could have looked at the bad weather and thought ‘nah I’ll stay in tonight’.

But instead I remembered the old me, the me lying in a hospital bed after surgery to remove half my organs. The me with stage four cancer fighting for her life. The me that would have given anything to be able to walk across the room unaided.

So I got into my running gear and I went for a run.

Was it tough? Absolutely!

But was it worth it realising how incredible my body is, how wonderfully well it has healed and how powerful it is to not only recover from cancer but to be able to run in the rain? Hell yeah!

I used to run to burn calories. I used to run to lose weight. I used to run to beat my personal best. Now I run for the old me. I run for my fellow warriors to show them that anything is possible. I run for health. I run for my future self! I run so that when I next see my oncologist I can tell her how amazing I feel!

I don’t know how far I ran. I don’t know how fast I ran. I don’t know how many calories I burnt. And I don’t care! What I do know is that I did something I once thought I’d never be able to do and that is the best feeling in the world!

Tonight I will be celebrating with a curry at a friend’s house – not because I ‘earned it’ but because life is too short to worry how many calories you eat as long as you are eating the right food! The main word being ‘food’ – not highly processed or ‘low fat’ bullsh*t!

Have a great weekend everyone! Go and do something you once only dreamed of!

Love and light, Fi xx

—-

You can now buy my new book on Amazon – “Love, Light and Mermaid Tails”

ovarian cancer

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

—-

“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, yoga

Follow Your Bliss

Today I achieved one of my life long dreams I couldn’t be more proud.


As many of you know, in May 2016 I underwent major surgery for stage four ovarian cancer during which I had multiple organs removed. The recovery was tough and involved a week in a high dependency unit and almost two months in hospital whilst I regained enough strength to walk, recovered from sepsis in my liver and adjusted to life with a colostomy bag.


At the time I was told it could be several months before I was even able to walk up stairs or bend down and my husband moved our bedroom downstairs into our dinning room in preparation for my return home.

Not one to be defeated I, perhaps crazily, decided this was the time to pursue my dream of becoming a yoga teaching and so, with the support of my oncologist, I approached a yoga training school.

Just weeks later I was sat in a cafe having an interview with the course leader. I was convinced she would be put off by my medical situation and turn me away however, miraculously, she took a chance on me and in early September 2016 I started a 12 month training course. 

I had a PhD by the age of 26 so I am not shy of a little hard work but what followed was, at times, the hardest education journey of my life. Physically weak from surgery, emotionally and mentally drained from chemo, I constantly struggled to keep up with my wonderful classmates. Each month we would have coursework to complete, postures and adjustments to learn and, of course, hours of yoga practice. We not only studied yoga but also pranayama (breathing), chakras, meditation, nutrition, yoga philosophy and so much more! 

Each weekend of training left me exhausted and requiring often days to recover but I loved every single second. My monthly yoga training weekends became key milestones for me. Getting through two days of training reminded me how alive I was and how incredibly well I was doing despite everything my body had been through.


My physical, emotional and spiritual health responded and my holistically health drastically improved as a result. Now, a war after finishing chemo my cancer markers are low and stable and I have never felt more alive.

Today after what could have been the worst year of my life I completed my yoga training and received my full qualification.

I have never been more proud of myself and hope that my story will inspire others to never give up on their dreams because if you just believe in yourself and you keep taking tiny steps in the right direction then anything is possible!

If I can train as a yoga instructor whilst living with and being treated for stage four ovarian cancer then just think what you can achieve.

Follow your bliss and magic happens!


With special thanks to the wonderful, inspiring and supportive people who trained alongside me; to the course leaders and trainers who took a chance on me and to everyone who has supported my yoga business. You have all played a massive part in making my dreams come true and I am forever grateful.

Love and light, Fi xxx

Find Fi on Facebook.

ovarian cancer

RAOK Christmas Day 5 – Surprise ‘Princess’ Visit to Children’s Hospital Wards

So, as many of you know, since my diagnosis with cancer I’ve been handing out random acts of kindness enevelopes (each with £5, £10 or £20 inside) in a bid to make the world a happier place. 

Now it’s December I made a pledge to hand out one of my ‘random act of kindess’ envelopes each day until Christmas AND I also created a kindness advent calendar so that others could get involved too!


Today was DAY 5 in the calendar which is ‘donate to a children’s ward’ and that’s exactly what we did – and then some!

A few weeks ago I saw a video of some lovely students in America who dress as princesses and visit children in hospital and I thought ‘hey I’d love to do something like that’. So I put a post on Facebook and was inundated with offers of support…in fact within hours there was a Facebook group created with over 50 people wanting to get involved!

Days later and we had approval from a local hospital that we could visit children in Tayside receiving cancer treatment…

So today, with the help of some amazing people, Aurora, Tinkerbell, Merida and many others including, of course, Elsa and Anna visited children in the oncology and surgical wards at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee (I was tinkerbell!).


We got ready at Maggies Centre in Dundee and with the help of local makeup artists, a hairdresser and some borrowed costumes we were transformed into character. Everyone involved donated their time completely free of charge!

Then we gathered up all the hundreds of donated gifts and toys and made our way to the hospital. 

What followed was an absolutely amazing experience and completely humbling. These incredible children are going through cancer treatment and/or surgery and not once did they complain. Not once! Instead they were filled with love and laughter, playing and enjoying the moment. They are truely loving life! The pure joy in their faces as they met with their favourite characters was incredible! What an absolute privilege it was to share a moment in each of these beautiful children’s lives.
Many people ask me how I am so positive since my diagnosis with stage IV cancer and I’ve struggled to explain it but today these children completely embodied everything that I believe and hope that others with cancer can too:

  • Live in today (not tomorrow)
  • Play
  • Laugh
  • Don’t be a victim
  • Spread joy
  • Be you

It’s that simple. Yes cry when you are sad (everyone has those days!) but still BE YOU. Still have FUN and still do all the things you are able to do for as long as you can! Life is a joy and an honour – live it!

Once again I find myself so grateful for my cancer journey and all the good it has brought into my life. I feel so blessed to have been part of today and to have witnessed the kindness and love of so many people.

The world truely is a wonderful place and people, when given the opportunity, just want to be kind.

Love and light xxxx

As well as the many individuals who have supported this venture, here is a list of the incredible businesses who have donated their time, gifts or money to the cause:

  • Charlene’s Bespoke Bows and Cakes
  • Cambee Cosplay
  • Skills development Scotland
  • Skipton Building Society
  • Scottish Official Highland Dancing Association (SOHDA)
  • Perthformance
  • Tayside Action for Refugees – TAFR
  • House of Butterflies Make-up Artistry
  • Amanda Thomson Independent Phoenix Trader
  • Princess Presence
  • Campbell Ewen Gentlemen’s Hairdresser
  • The kilted barber
  • LS Hairdressing
  • Urban Disco
  • Blue Square Creative Services Wedoprint
  • Innes Rattray MUA
  • Fiona Whittet Makeup Artist

Thanks also to my Macmillan nurse and Maggie’s Centres for supporting this xxx

ovarian cancer

Chemo 5 – In a Mermaid Tail

On Thursday I had my fifth dose of chemo – also my first chemo post surgery which, on numerous occasions, I’d be warned would be ‘rough’.

I’ve gotten myself into quite a nice routine with my chemotherapy now. I get my bag packed the night before with everything I might need – from books and my iPad to a wide range of snacks! I also try to get the house as organised as possible, knowing that over the next few days I’ll not be up to doing much. I have to stay up until midnight to take ten steroids the night before chemo (and then ten more at 7am!) so that usually gives us plenty of time for running around the house getting things in place before my husband and I settle on the sofa to watch something together until I need to take my meds.

This chemo was different though. My husband was going to London with work for two days (just one overnight) and my sister was coming to stay to look after me. This meant that he also had to pack and we had to get the house ready for a guest. We got everything done but it felt less relaxed and organised than usual. I also felt sad at my husband going away. Of course I was happy he was having a well deserved  change of scene – goodness knows he deserves it! – but chemo can be unpredictable and I’ve become so used to his amazing support.


The morning routine was different too. My husband was collected by taxi first thing and my parents picked me up to take me to the hospital. Ordinarily my husband would just take me on his way to work. It felt strange going with them but again it was also nice that they were able to see a little part of my journey.

I’m a bit funny about chemo, I like to do it alone. I don’t mind visitors, but I also really like to spend the time chatting with other people getting chemo and getting to know the nurses. So my parents left after 15 minutes and the nurses began their routine of putting a venflon in my arm and giving me my many anti-sickness drugs.

I’d been worried about getting a venflon. A PICC line had been discussed and I was so desperately hoping that some miracle would happen and my veins would be easily accessible for once. As it happened I was in luck. My chemo having been delayed by a day meant that a nurse who I swear has X-ray eyes was on shift. She manged to get a venflon in my vein on the first attempt with no pain! That’s never happened! I’m also pleased to say that now all my treatments will happen on a Thursday so she’ll always be working – here’s hoping this means I can put off that PICC line a little longer, if not forever. No pressure!

Receiving my chemo was pretty straightforward as always. It’s just a case of sitting there for 8 hours whilst the nurses change the bags of fluid running into my veins. We start with IVs of antihistamines and antisickness before moving on to two different types of chemo and then finally a bag of avastin – the maintenance drug that helps prevent my cancer growing new blood vessels. Sadly this drug is not available to everyone with ovarian cancer so I always feel very blessed when receiving this.

To keep my spirits high and because why the hell not, I decided to wear my mermaid tail blanket during chemo this time. It gave me a smile and proved a hit with the other patients too. It’s always important to maintain a sense of yourself during treatment – goodness knows chemo takes enough of you away!

I foresee these becoming a future hit in chemo wards. Haha!

Ordinarily in the three days after chemo I’d rest at home before venturing back to my usual routine. Unfortunately my blood tests that morning had shown that my magnesium levels were still low and so I was told I’d have to come in the next day to receive another magnesium infusion over five hours. Partly this was a relief as it meant that for the majority of the time my sister was watching me while my husband was away I’d actually be in hospital and she wouldn’t need to worry. However it was also a pain as I really like just lying in the bath the day after chemo to stop my bones aching and now this wouldn’t be able to happen.

However, the chemo nurses were very supportive of my concerns about my husband being away during this dose of chemo and of my sister caring for me in his absence – my husband has had months getting used to side affects and hospital admissions, I didn’t want my sister suddenly put on a fast track course! So they gave me extra anti-sickness drugs and pain relief and, thankfully, these did the job. I went home feeling relatively normal aside from being tired and a little grumoy – which I’m sure my sister would concure! We even managed to have dinner together before I napped on the sofa!

I maintained feeling well the next day during my magnesium infusion too. This was some kind of record…I’d thought this chemo was meant to be tough?…little did I know this was the calm before the storm. Two days later I was admitted to hospital in a similar style to my previous visit. I was in pain. I was weak. I was scared (more on this in a future post when I regain my strength).

Love and light, Fi xxx

—–

Did you know smear tests DO NOT screen for Ovarian Cancer?

ovarian cancer

Chemo 5 Pre-Assessment and Another Hospital Admission 

Please note that this is a backdated blog post from Tuesday 21st June 2016 – I’ve just not had the time or brain capacity to complete it….

—-

After an amazing time at my local Race for Life event on Sunday with my nearest and dearest, I was in high spirits and feeling good about the next stage in my journey.

The long awaited week of my first chemo post surgery had finally arrived and, although I was obviously anxious about the side affects I was equally excited to get treatment back underway.

For me, my chemo week starts on a Monday with a visit to my local oncology department to have blood tests. These are simply to check all my levels are suitably high enough that a dose of chemotherapy won’t make me too unwell. Due to one of my wounds playing up the week before, however, this week I was also met by my oncologist who wanted to see how things were healing.

All was looking well and I left confident that my blood results would mirror this and I’d receive my fifth dose of chemotherapy on Wednesday as planned.

Ordinarily I drive myself to my preassessment appointments, a last bid at freedom before the side affects of chemo take hold over the next wee while. However, due to my surgery I haven’t been driving lately and so my parents accompanied me on this particular appointment. This was lovely as it meant that, not only did they get to meet some of the team that have been caring for me, but also that we could go and have lunch together before they drove me home.

However, as is often the case with cancer, it had other plans. Half way through lunch I started to feel unwell. My tummy was cramping and painful and I just wasn’t feeling myself. In my typical approach to life, I tried to battle on but by the time they got me home I just needed my bed.

As soon as they left I was in my PJs, in my bed and had taken some breakthrough morphine for extra pain relief. I’m fairly certain I’d fallen asleep before they’d even left my street.

Most disappointingly I’d arranged for a friend to pop round briefly that evening while my husband visited his parents. Sadly those plans too had to be cancelled – having cancer is bad enough, having cancer have a say in what you can and can’t do is just plain annoying!

I slept for a good couple of hours before waking to constant sickness. I feared that a repeat of the previous week was on the cards, made worse by the thought that this could potentially delay my next dose of chemo. This brought a new kind of fear as, although chemo isn’t exactly ‘pleasant’ it is a necessary evil and it had already been delayed two weeks!..what would this mean in terms of my journey?…

So many questions went through my head about what a hospital admission would mean that, in hindsight, I probably suffered longer than would be advisable before I eventually called my husband and asked him to come home.

Unsurprisingly when I then called the oncology ward they advised that I came in to be checked.

It’s odd really, I made the decision to call them, I knew they’d want to see me but, somewhere, in the back of my mind, I just wanted them to tell me I was fine and should sleep it off. Sadly it’s never that simple with cancer. Don’t get me wrong, I think the oncology ward staff are exceptional but all I was focusing on was the fear of another admission and the potential of my chemo being delayed – again.

My fears were met. I was admitted. I was taken for chest and abdominal X-rays…something I loath as I’ve had so many in the last few weeks and they are, afterall, just exposing my body to more radiation. I was then given three bags of IV fluids overnight and given a syringe driver to provide me with constant anti-sickness drugs.

The Dr that came to see me on the ward let me know that my blood tests from my preassessment had been fine – my white blood count, infection markers etc were all in a ‘safe’ range for receiving chemo. However, knowing that my magnesium levels are prone to dropping, and also recognising that one of the side affects of this for me is sickness, I asked what my magnesium levels had been like during my preassessment. She let me know that they hadn’t been tested and agreed to have them looked into. As it turns out I was right to question this. My magnesium levels were low and, subsequently, magnesium was added to the fluid IV I received overnight.

By the time I’d had my X-rays and been attached to IV fluids and a syringe driver it was 1.30am. I was exhausted but I felt safe. Despite not wanting to be admitted, there is something so wonderful and nurturing about the care and compassion shown by the nurses that treat me. When my husband left to go home they sat with me, they held me and they listened until I felt calm enough to sleep. I’m sure they were busy, I’m sure they had a million things on their mind but in that moment they made me feel like I was all that mattered and that’s a gift. That’s real care.

The next morning my oncologist came to see me. Both of us were unsure what had caused this ‘blip’ after being so well during my preassessment only hours before. Perhaps it had been because my magnesium levels were low or perhaps I’d just inenvertently had a tiny amount of gluten at lunch with my parents (I have a gluten allergy). Whatever the cause, by morning I felt much better and my oncologist agreed that my chemo could go ahead but just a day late (Thursday) so as to allow my body time to rest.

I was happy and releived. Once again I felt supported by a whole team who see me as a patient and not just a condition. They understood my concerns, the comforted me and they put plans in place. Most importantly they removed my fears. The greatest gift of all.

Love and light, Fi xxx

Please spare two minutes to nominate me for a justgiving award.

ovarian cancer

Fact: Smear Tests DO NOT screen for ovarian cancer…

Smear tests DO NOT screen for ovarian cancer. In fact there is NO reliable screening test available for ovarian cancer!

Shocked?!!

Don’t feel bad…one research study states:-

More than half of women think a cervical smear test will detect ovarian cancer. [However] a cervical smear is designed to detect pre cancerous changes to the cervix, and it does not detect ovarian cancer. 

Wow! Scary thought?!

So what can you do?

  • Know the symptoms.
  • Be aware of your body.
  • Notice changes that aren’t normal for you.
  • Visit your GP if you are concerned.
  • Be persistent – regardless of your age and family history!

Remember I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer at 30 years old and I DO NOT have a BRCA gene mutation. I exercised daily, never smoked, rarely drank and I ate healthy non processed, gluten free food.

Cancer does not discriminate!

What symptoms should you look out for?

  • Persistent bloating.
  • Eating less and/or feeling full faster.
  • Abdominal pains.
  • Needing to pee more often.
  • Change in bowel habits.

What were my symptoms?

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Needing to get up to pee a couple of times a night.
  • Weight gain.
  • Tiredness.
  • Sugar cravings.

Looking back, I had all of these symptoms for over two years. 

The survival rate of a woman with a stage four ovarian diagnosis like mine is low. In fact, just 18% of us will survive five years.*

In contrast 46% of women diagnosed at an earlier stage are still alive after five years.

Think about that for a minute.

That is some difference in life expectancy. 

How different could my story have been if there was more awareness about ovarian cancer symptoms made publically available…

Don’t let my diagnosis be in vain. Be the Change. Save lives.

  • Listen to your body.
  • Take control.
  • Don’t become a statistic.

By sharing this blog post with your friends, family and loved ones together, just maybe, we can ensure ovarian cancer receive the attention it deserves.

Together we can educate women.

Together we can empower women.

Together we can save lives.

Thank you!

Love and light, Fi xxx

*Statistics don’t phase me and they certainly don’t change my positive outlook. They are just numbers. They can’t provide guarantees for either life or death.

Instead I focus on each day. If I wake up feeling good then it’s a good day. If I wake up feeling bad then I spend it looking for the joy.

I’m positive but I’m realistic.

I live in the moment. I practice gratitude. I make happy memories.

I hope for the best but I’ve made my peace with the worst.

It’s the only way to live a fulfilling and happy life xxxx

Uncategorized

The Joys of an Oncology Ward

You may expect an oncology ward to be a sad place. A place of suffering and tears. Pain and death. A place where people have lost hope and with it their spirit, their vibrancy taken by the many drugs, treatments and procedures.

You’d be wrong…

I remember at the start of the film ‘Love Actually’, Hugh Grant describes the love you see in an airport; people greeting one another with hugs and kisses and happy stories of fun and laughter. I liken this to an oncology ward.

You see here there are no arguments, no stress, no hatred. There is only room for love.

The patients have a certain appreciation of life that comes with a cancer diagnosis. They laugh and joke together and quickly bond. They have a connection they don’t share with their friends and family. They know the pain they each feel, the daily struggle they each face and they see through it, sharing stories of how far they have come, supporting those at an earlier stage in their journey and learning from those who have been walking this road for many years. It is truely inspiring to watch. I am so touched by the strength of my fellow warriors.

Likewise the visitors, the friends, the family members don’t bring stress or drama or judgement. They bring hugs, photos, stories and laughter. They bring hope and a reminder of life outside the hospital walls. Most importantly they always, always bring love.

I am most inspired by the partners [mine most definitely included of course]. They are pillars of strength for the person they love. They comfort and sooth. They bring smiles and laughter to faces stained with tears. Then partner no longer looks the same and yet they look beyond it. They show the importance of loving a soul and not a body.

There, of course, is a sadness too in their eyes. Sometimes they cry with their loved one. Sometimes they just hold them, offering a comfort that no one else on this earth could match. It’s a real test of a relationship to witness. While their partner goes through treatment they have to take on every role in the family home, whilst also caring for an incredibly sick loved one and emotionally dealing with the implications of their diagnosis. Some of these relationships have children and they are called on to care for and reassure them also. I struggle to find the words about how beautiful and wonderful these relationships are to witness but the words ‘soul mates’ comes to mind, after all, once cancer strips your identity and everything you’d expected in your life together what else is left apart from two connected souls.

The same can be said of the staff. In an oncology ward there is time to get to know your patients, what makes them laugh and cry, what they are feeling, who they are as a person when you look beyond their diagnosis. Many of their patients have been on the ward more than once and, almost always, for extended periods of time. Watching the nurses as they laugh and joke and comfort the people in their care it is sometimes hard to remember the pain these caring souls also deal with too. They connect with their patients on a long and challenging journey then, all to often, are at their side when they pass. Yet despite this they smile, offering strength and courage, hope and determination to those in the greatest of need. In minutes they can go from hearing a patient be told they will soon pass to making jokes with another patient whose soul needs to be enlightened with positivity once more. These are true angels at work and I am so blessed to have witnessed them. I have so many stories of the support each of my oncology angels gave me whilst in hospital. We’ve shared hugs, jokes, tears and laughter. They have been true blessings on a challenging journey. I send so much love to them all.

I once again reflect on the gifts cancer has given me, most importantly the gift of seeing true love in the everyday. We truly live in a wonderful world filled with hope and possibility and love – you just need to know where to look.

Love and light, Fi xxx