I delivered another Random Act of Kindness today. It is honestly still my favourite thing to do! This one was extra special though as it came from someone else…
Despite the fact that I am meant to be resting I needed to go and order new glasses as I broke mine teaching kids yoga. Yes I know, if I’d been resting they wouldn’t have got broken…blah blah…
Anyway…I used to work in my local opticians so I let them know I’d be popping by. One of the women that works there reads my Facebook (**waves**) and so she dropped me a message to tell me to say hi when I was in.
This I did and I’m so glad! She is without doubt one of the loveliest souls I’ve ever met. No I’m not just saying that because she will read this! She welcomed me with a warm and enthusiastic hug like no other and then surprised me by giving me a ‘random act of kindess’ envelope with money inside and asked me to ‘pass it on’.
I was so touched! I love when other people join in!
Leaving the shop I was still smiling when I went to buy some ‘jeggings’ – I hate that word but basically I need jeans with legging tops now I have a colostomy bag…anyway I’m going off topic (again!)
So I was trying them on and while doing so I could hear two friends chatting through the curtain of the cubicle next to me.
Their utter joy and laughter was infectious! From their ensthusiastic batter I gathered that one was helping the other buy a selection of clothes for various up coming events. What struck me was their passion. The one trying on the clothes was so unashamedly grateful for her friend’s help. Lsughing loudly she kept thanking her and declaring that she had ‘never looked so good’ and ‘couldn’t wait to show people’. The whole dialogue screamed LOVE!
I was really touched and knew straight away that I’d have to give them the envelope I’d just been passed moments before.
As I left I slipped the envelope into one of their hands and was met with the usual look of confusion and a mumbled ‘thankyou’ which, when combined, always translates as ‘who the f*ck is this crazy woman handing me an envelope’.
As ever, it gave me so much joy and I hope the ladies got as much out of it as I did. I just love being able to pass on acts of kindness in this way.
So, tell your friends you love them; be unashamedly you; and scatter kindness around wherever you go!
In January 2016 I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. I was just 30 years old.
Overnight my whole world changed as words like ‘incurable’, ‘advanced’ and ‘aggressive’ filled my life.
I though that was it. I thought my life was over.
It turns out that I was wrong.
You see, positivity comes from within and life is what you make it…
As for #LifeWithCancer, it’s been pretty awesome!
I’ve done some incredible things since I was diagnosed. I’ve set up my own Bliss yoga business for kids and adults, I’m about to publish a book to help other people facing adversity, I’ve been in two BBC documentaries, I’ve swum with sharks, been on a cruise, been to award ceremonies (and even won some award!), walked at the top of a mountain, most importantly I’ve started truly LIVING!
You see #LifeWithCancer doesn’t have to be the end…it can be the beginning of something wonderful. So go out and grab life. Claim it, live it and love every second of it because at the end of the day life is for living and having fun each and every day!
As I lay there on the floor, wrapped in a towel, unable to move from the pain and sickness I wondered does it ever go away? The fear? The illness? The anger? Is this the best it gets?
Every ache, every pain, every twinge, every new sensation bringing with it the lingering thought ‘is this cancer?’
No longer do you just get a head ache. No it must be a brain tumour.
The pain in your side can’t be from overdoing it. No it must mean the cancer in your lungs is back.
Upset tummy? That’s definitely the cancer spreading.
No matter how positive you are in the day to day, the here and now, the fear is just a moment away, waiting. Death walks beside you every step of the way.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wallowing in a constant fear, depressed and unable to live. No, that would mean that the beautiful lessons cancer brought me had been ignored.
Instead I am aware of its whispers. I hear it call my name in the quiet moments of pain, in the dead of night, punctuating my daily joy with subtle reminders of its permanent presence.
Internally I scream,
“I heard you. I learned the lessons. Now hear me. I want to LIVE!”
Of course it will not hear. You cannot bargain with stage four cancer.
It is such a cruel reality; the gift of knowing how precious life is and wanting to live and enjoy every moment coinciding with the fact that your life will be shortened by this gift. Oh the painful irony.
Perhaps, however, that is part of the beauty of stage four cancer. Perhaps if remission meant ‘never to return’ instead of ‘short break‘ then the lessons wouldn’t be learned. Time would march on and slowly we’d slip into old habits, forgetting the value of each moment, each breath.
Yet this fear does not bring joy.
People want to comfort you, telling you it’ll be ok. You are different after all don’t you know…
You know the truth though. You smile and nod, excepting their reassurance but inside your pain feels belittled. Why won’t someone just listen to your fears without comforting? Why won’t someone just hear your words?
In the incredible book ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ the author perfectly states “there is cancer and then there is CANCER“, highlighting the difference between those who have curable cancer and go on to live happy, healthy lives and those who, like me, have incurable cancer which will linger in the shadows ready to pounce.
Recently a friend said “we’ll look after Ewan when you’re gone.” The acceptance, the acknowledgment of the reality of my disease was the most comforting words I’d ever heard. They didn’t depressingly insinuate that my death was imminent, neither did they ignorantly suggest I was ‘heathy’. No, what they did was reassure me. With those words they also silently said, ‘I hear your fears’, ‘I love you’, ‘I support you’, ‘I’m here’.
I was not as alone as I’d once thought. They knew. They accepted.
And suddenly I realised. Perhaps everyone ‘knows’.
Had I really thought talking about it would make any difference? Is that what I want?
Would constantly grieving the future change the reality?
Perhaps all each of us in this journey together – the cancer warriors and their loved ones – can do is savour each moment, each smile, each breath without anticipatory grief of an, as yet, unknown future.
Yes, perhaps that’s all any of us can do. Each and every one of us on this wild and wonderful journey called ‘life’. We can live for today, irrespective of tomorrow, and pause and smile at all of the wonderful, incredible and beautiful moments there are to be grateful for.
You see, living in fear doesn’t change anything. However, living in gratitude…now that can change your whole world!
Love and light, Fi xxx
Ps. Dear Reader, please don’t take this post to mean that I am ‘depressed’ nor that I want to talk about my prognosis all the time. Instead please understand that I wrote this post merely to highlight some of the painful moments felt on the rollercoaster that is LIVING with late stage cancer.xxx
You can read more about Fi Munro on her website and public Facebook page.
I pledged to hand out one of my kindness envelopes every day between 1st and 24th December but it simply hasn’t happened for many reasons including a lot of resting and also some much needed time with my nearest and dearest!
I’m still, of course, handing out 24 envelopes in December (I don’t break promises) but now I’m just handing out multiple on the days I do venture out.
So, this is a wee update on 5 envelopes I handed out over a week ago. I hope these short stories inspire you to do good and to be kind.
Christmas Envelope 11
Many of you now know that I recently did a shark dive for Maggies’s Centres. It was an incredible experience that I’ve wanted to do for over nine years but had been putting off. If it hadn’t been for the support of my incredible oncologist and Macmillan nurse it would have remained a dream as my health conditions would have prevented it becoming a reality. However, with their support I was able to do it and I’m so so grateful! It was absolutely mind blowing.
Anyway, as usual, I digress. The dive took place at Deep Sea World in Scotland. It’s one of my favourite places as I love the sea more than anything else – a result of growing up on Guernsey. We’d been there the week before for my original date for diving and I’d handed out a couple of envelopes but my dive had been postponed for medical reasons so we were back again. Now, what you may not know is that we’d also been there the week before my surgery. It was one of the special things I did with my hubby to celebrate life that week.
That was back in May but a chance meeting with a wonderful woman who worked there had stuck with me and I was so glad to see her again that I gave her an envelope.
You see, back in May I was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment and, a combination of extreme weight lose, muscle wastage and no hair meant that, despite my best efforts, I had the look of a typical cancer patient.
When we were in the cafe at Deep Sea World a member of staff asked if she could give me a hug. I must have looked confused because she had quickly explained that she had had cancer in the past and that so had her mum. We began talking and she explained that her mum had had ovarian cancer. The same as me! She’d also had a big operation and was now doing grand! It was such a blessing to hear and exactly what I needed to calm my nerves so close to my own operation. The woman gave me the peace of mind that nothing else would and over the coming weeks and months I thought of her often.
So, a few weeks ago, following my shark dive my family and I sat down for lunch in the cafe again and here she was working (oddly she hadn’t been working the week before so if my dive hadn’t been postponed then I wouldn’t have seen her). We chatted and hugged again and this time she told me how well her mum was doing. Again, she left me inspired and filled with hope.
This woman is an angel to me and so deserving of an envelope. In fact, it was one of my favourite to hand over. I only wish I could have done more for this beautiful soul.
Christmas Envelope 12
One of my other favourite things to do is go to the cinema. I have no idea why but for me it is one of the most exciting nights out. Perhaps it’s because you can loose all sense of reality whilst emerced in a movie. I don’t know but I love everything from the massive screen to the surround sound and dark room. I especially love the trailers which I call ‘mini movies’. If it was a choice between going to a bar or going to the cinema, I’d pick the cinema every time! So, hubby and I go on a regular basis.
Last week was no exception and we found ourselves in the queue with me buzzing as always at the thought of seeing a new film. In the queue behind us was a man and his wee boy. Just the two of them. It got me thinking…you don’t often see men out with their kids on their own. Well, not that often anyway. I remembered that every second Monday on my train journey to work I used to see a man and his wee boy having to say goodbye to each other. I watched this relationship for two years during which the wee boy grew from about two to four. Every goodbye was as heartbreaking to watch as the previous. The wee boy would be crying and telling his daddy how much he loved him. The dad would be smiling and telling the boy that he’d see him in two weeks. They’d talk about the fun they’d had and the adventures they’d have the next time. Every time the dad was wiping his own eyes whenever the boy wasn’t looking. It was one of my favourite moments, seeing this connection between two souls who unconditionally loved each other but couldn’t be together. It was both heartbreaking and life affirming to witness.
The man and his child in the cinema got me thinking about this and, for some reason, I knew I had to give them an envelope. The man looked somewhat bemused as people often do when I approach them but, moments later, I saw them laughing together at the sweet counter and I knew I’d chosen well.
Christmas Envelope 13, 14 and 15
A few months ago I was honoured to be asked to speak at two Macmillan lunches for Team McKeown. It was a real privaledge to work with such amazing people.
Following the events, Caroline McKeown who leads this team with her hubby Des, very kindly offered me free tickets to see Michelle MacManus perform in Glasgow with an incredible Indian meal before hand at Ashoka Regent Brasserie in Kirkintilloch. It was such an amazing gift and a wonderful act of kindness that meant I could take out some great friends who have supported me this year.
Everything was perfect from the meal – which was so incredibly tasty! – to Michelle’s performance.
Whilst at the show I had decided to hand out three of my kindness envelope but(!) instead of handing them all out myself I gave one to each of my friends (aka Christmas helpers) to hand out too.
I gave mine to a young couple looking very much in love standing beside me in the never ending queue at the bar.
One of my friends gave hers to a woman walking behind us as we left – sadly I didn’t get a look at her.
My other friend, however, gave hers to a woman that not only ended up sitting beside me but who had also seen me present at the Macmillan lunches and what a blessing this woman was to me…
Seriously! She was like meeting an angel. This woman spoke from her soul about how my presentation had touched her and inspired her to ‘no longer sit back as an observer‘ but to ‘take action‘ and ‘make a change‘. She spoke with such passion and love as she told me her story and loses she’d experienced. We held each other, we sang together, we laughed and we cried and, I can honestly say, that despite our brief encounter, this woman touch my soul.
I said to her, “you know I think we needed to meet.” She replied telling me that “yes” she’d needed the inspiration. “No” I laughed “I think we needed to meet for me”.
And you know what? I truely meant it too. I’m a firm believer that you never meet anyone by chance, that everyone you meet has a lesson to teach you or a story that you need to hear. Just with the woman in the cafe mentioned above, this woman came into my life with her story at the right time and I was listening. Thank you beautiful soul.
So, what my message to you all? Listen carefully to what the world is trying to tell you. You never know where the story could lead you.
Love and light, Fi xxx
Ps. On Christmas Eve I handed out an incredible 10 Kindness envelopes!!…I’ll post an update soon!xxx
This year I faced Death. Not in a fleeting moment. We didn’t bump shoulders. No. Death and I stared each other straight in the eye.
It wasn’t the first time. In August 2015 my heart stopped during emergency surgery I’d required due to internal bleeding.
Interestingly that also wasn’t the first time…
No, it appears Death has hovered around me my whole life…from a near miss during my mum’s pregnancy (that’s her story to tell, not mine), to toxic shock from an allergic reaction to medication to being knocked down by a car (to name a few encounters).
You’d think my life long dance with Death would have made me wake up and realise that there was some message I was meant to receive. That Life was trying to tell me something…
On reflection now I realise that each encounter was more profound and extreme than the previous. Almost as if Life was shouting that little bit louder to get me to pay attention.
But no…in fact, it had the opposite effect. Instead of making me live for the moment it made be subconsciously believe that I was invincible, that I could survive all of this and so could put off my hopes and dreams until tomorrow…
For some reason, whilst brief encounters with Death had had no impact, the knowledge that it would now walk beside me for ever more was an entirely different story. Suddenly I was all to aware of my mortality.
True it didn’t taken just any cancer diagnosis. No, I was gifted a non-genetic, stage IV, possibly inoperable, ovarian cancer that ‘shouldn’t have happened’ to a thirty year old.
Life’s message had finally been received and I was listening.
So what do you do with this message? With the realisation that tomorrow isn’t to be taken for granted….that Life offers no gaurentees.
I remember the week before my big surgery. My husband took some holiday from work and I made a list of things I wanted to do. I never said it to him at the time but Death was with us at every moment. I was overwhelmed by the thought of not waking up from my surgery. It was to be a massive operation – the largest they’d done in one sitting – and that was frightening enough without the added concern that the last time I’d been on an operating table my heart had stopped. The surgeon had been brutally honest that there was more than the usual operation risk I wouldn’t wake up.
So, I had one week and I wanted to make it count. And, as a result, for the first time, I mindfully chose how to spend my time. I wasn’t wasting a second. Nothing was taken for granted.
I told people how much they meant to me. I loved them without reservation;
I had a picnic in a local park and invited everyone I knew (it was awesome);
The result? I realised what makes me happy and what truely matters in life.
Where you work, where you live, what you wear, what you drive; how big your house is; how much money you have…it’s all nothing. Nothing. Nothing! NOTHING!
Who you truly are; who you love; what makes you smile; what makes your heart sing…now that’s something! That’s what life is really all about!
In those few days I learnt more about Life and where my joy lies than I could have in a lifetime.
This is why I’m so grateful for my cancer. This is why I’m so positive and filled with love and joy and a childlike passion for life. And, if I’m totally honest, this is why I’m not ashamed to say I love mermaids and unicorns and glitter and sparkles.
You see, I am me! And I’m so proud of being me! Every day is a blessing and I’m so grateful to be healthy enough today to enjoy this very moment.
If I had one wish it would be that everyone reading this would just embrace the reality that we are not promised tomorrow so we must live today unashamed of who we are; we should love with all of our heart and we should laugh as loud as we can and as often as we can (even if only at ourselves)!
The day before my surgery I planned to write letters to those who mattered most to me, just in case. In the end, I never did because I’m a strong believer of ‘tempting fate’ and fortunately those letters weren’t needed as I’m still here. But, this gave me a hidden gift because now I know who I would write a letter too if I had to say goodbye. I know every single soul in this world who means so much to me that I’d want to tell them. But that’s not the gift…the real gift is I get to appreciate this knowledge every single day and make sure I show them so that, if the time comes, they won’t need a letter.
One day you’ll just be a memory for some people. Make sure you’re a good one.
So, my message to you… don’t wait until tomorrow to love, to laugh, to follow your dreams. Do it today.
The question I get asked over and over again is “how do you manage to stay so positive?”
Increasingly I believe it’s because I stay so busy, I don’t allow myself to stop and think about the reality…
I don’t let the words ‘stage four’, and everything that really means, sink in to my consciousness.
I just take each day at a time and try simply do my best.
Is this a state of denial? Perhaps but I don’t think so. I mean I have moments of realisation so debilitating I can’t move. Moments of panic so strong I can’t breath. The thought of my life being over is never far away. The promise of tomorrow never taken for granted.
However, I’m not sad or depressed. My life is not consumed by these moments but rather punctuated by them. They are little reminders of my mortality and with them they bring gratitude for each day, for each moment of joy and for each breath I take.
These emotions don’t remove my positivity but rather highlight its importantance.
How do I stay so positive shouldn’t be the question…but rather why do I stay so positive?
The answer to that question is much more straightforward.
I stay positive because I know better than most how precious life is.
I know how important it is that we never take a single moment for granted.
I know how valuable each breath we take truly is.
Life is a gift. It’s the greatest gift of all.
Life you life in a way that doesn’t take thingyft for granted.
Enjoy each moment and love with all of your heart. Because, quote simply, none of us are promised tomorrow. We are all mortal. We are all ‘terminal’.
Following the excitement of being in Tay FM I went for lunch with my mum and dad at a nearby cafe.
Finishing up, I asked my mum if she had spotted anyone who she would like to give one of my envelopes to. She instantly picked a young couple sitting behind us.
So…in my usual style…I approached them, excused myself, gave them the envelope and walked away quickly before they could ask me any questions.
It still gives me that magical feeling…spreading kindness around like glitter and making strangers smile.
We left the cafe and I thought nothing more if it, other than hoping the envelope had brought them a smile.
But, as with my other acts of kindness…these recipients tracked me down. This time making a donation to my justgiving page for Macmillan Nurses, following my Facebook page and sending me a message saying that they wanted to spread the word.
And not only that…but they intend to pay it forward with their own random acts of kindness and are encouraging others to do so too!!
A few days ago myself and Alicia Cork were having lunch in Dundee when a lady approached us, gave us this envelope and then promptly left. Confused at first, we opened the envelope and inside was £20 to pay for our lunch, we were totally taken aback! On the other side of the envelope was the name of a website and after looking on the website, we discovered that the lady who generously gave us this envelope is suffering from stage 4 ovarian cancer. She has an online blog where she not only seeks to raise awareness for ovarian cancer, but also spreads positivity through kind actions like these. We were completely taken aback by her generosity, kindness and positive attitude in the face of adversity and because of this we have happily donated to her cause and will in the near future spread the “Random act of kindness” in the hope of bringing the same joy she gave to us, to other people. Whilst we aren’t suggesting that everyone go out and give £20 to random strangers in restaurants, it would be super amazing if anyone else could donate anything at all to her chosen charity, or even just check out/share her truly inspirational blog. 🙂 thanks! Fi Munro: Love, Light & Mermaid Tails https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Fi-Munro?utm_id=13 https://fkmunro.com/
Isn’t that amazing!
Oh I LOVE the feeling this gives me!
Let this be a reminder to us all that, regardless of what we hear in the news, there is still some good in the world and if we work together, just maybe, we can let that goodness, positivity and love grow!
Yay! Tonight I delivered my third envelope!…I’m still getting super excited about doing this!!
I was going out for an early dinner with one of my friends. I picked her up from work (which happens to be the hospital I get treatment – and also my old place of work!) and drove into town to park in a car park near the restaurant she’d booked.
I went to the parking meter to pay and was just about to put my money in (£2 for the half an hour I needed to take me to 6pm!) when a man shouted at me to stop and that he would give me his ticket as he was leaving the car park and had paid for the day. How lovely is that?! He was with his wife and baby who started getting into the car as he went and got me his parking ticket. I said thanks and walked away to put the ticket on my car and then I started to think…
Here was a couple who could have went about their business, they could have ignored the fact that I was about to pay for parking when they had a ticket, but they didn’t. Instead, they had just given me a random act of kindness. I wanted them to know how good that made me feel. So I decided to give them a random act of kindness in return. After all, shouldn’t we encourage selfless acts of kindness whenever we see them? I approached their car again and handed the woman one of my RAK envelopes. Her response? Sheer delight, happiness and gratitude. Oooh I do love how it feels to do this!
We could all learn a lot from this couple. There is always, always time to be kind.
To the couple – thank you for giving me, a stranger, an act of kindness. The world needs more people like you 💕🦄💕
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.
Since my post about feeling broken I’ve come on so far in my journey to recovery.
After breaking down over the needles on Saturday the medical team worked together to make things more comfortable for me. In fact their response and speed was second to none and what a difference they made! Within an hour they had made the decision that I didn’t need to receive fluids anymore as my blood tests showed that my levels were stable. They also switched all but one of my antibiotics to oral tablets. This meant that I instantly went from being attacked to an IV drip 24/7 to needing it only 3 hours twice daily. This meant that in the afternoons I was now able to be drip free! After so long this felt like a massive step in the right direction!
More importantly, this meant that I was now free to leave the hospital between lunch and dinner – if aided by my husband.
Instantly I went from a sobbing lost soul to my old self. That afternoon my husband brought my rescue dog to visit me and I’m not sure who was more pleased to see one another!
Pets really are an instant mood changer!
Together we went for a slow(!) walk in the woodlands on the hospital grounds.
It was magical! I felt so free. I was me again, walking my dog with the man I love. I still had my syringe driver and drain attached, I was still weak, I was still in pain, but I was happy and really, when it comes down to it, what more can we really ask for from life? The following day (Sunday) my husband took me to the local Botanic Gardens in a wheelchair.
Oh the buzz I got from being in nature again was just indescribable. The grass never greener. The flowers never more fragment. The sky never bluer. Slowly my soul was healing. Isn’t nature so powerful and wonderful.
Monday brought more positivity. I was visited by my consultant; a wonderful woman, who treats me rather than my diagnosis. She agreed that I would heal faster at home and that our focus needed to be to get me detached from all the machines/equipment. First step was to speak to the lab about the samples of sepsis taken from my body and what antibiotics would best treat it. Their response enabled me to be switched to just one antibiotic – rather than four! Best of all it was an oral antibiotic! I was disconnected from the drip completely and the painful venflon removed from my arm! Cue mini celebration!!!
Tuesday I was sent for an ultrasound scan to see if my drain could be removed. This would be dependent on all the sepsis having drained. I was so anxious. So desperate for good news, knowing that this would determine how much longer I needed to remain in hospital.
The scan, of course, was painless but they could see that a small (15ml) pocket of fluid remained. I was disheartened but I remained positive. I reminded myself that this was a tiny amount. I reminded myself how far I’d come. And I was right to, because the ward made the decision to remove the drain! They also made the decision to remove my syringe driver and try me back on oral pain relief and to stop my anti sickness medication. It was a lot of fast changes but it was positive. I was making progress. I was moving onwards in my journey and, more importantly, in the right direction.
My drain wasn’t removed until this morning but wow what a feeling! Suddenly I was free from attachments. I felt able to straighten my aching body again. Able to move more freely. I’d regained a sense of self. Today when I showered I wasn’t coordinating my usual juggling act of medical equipment. It was just me, standing under the healing water. Oh what bliss. The little things in life we take for granted really are all that matter in the bigger picture. They are wherein lies the joy.
As I write this I am dressed, no longer living in my pjs. I am free from equipment and my scars and bruises are fading. The cancer patient I faced in the mirror just days ago is fading. My sense of self is returning. This was only possible because of an exceptional medical team treating the person and understanding that health care goes beyond pharmaceutical drugs. This is person centred care. I am so grateful.
I’m not going home yet. But soon. The light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. I’ve made it through another phase in my journey. It was tough. Tougher than tough. I saw darkness, I felt pain, I faced fear, but it didn’t break me. I feel stronger for knowing the experiences I faced. Better for the people I’ve met. Inspired and encouraged by the human spirit and the love and care in the world.
I write this because I know many other beautiful souls will go to the dark places I went to in their own journeys. Please remember that where there is darkness there comes light. There is a way through. Never give up, least of all on yourself. You have the power to do this. You are enough.