Friday, 20 April 2012
Walking and singing maybe but knitting...that would be a no!
As regular readers of my blog know I was flattened by a chest infection in February and I worried how it would affect me for my imminent surgery. But also I was concerned that in six months I had had two really bad spells of asthma, an unusual pattern for me. My own feeling is that because my main coping strategy had been to keep going and not let the recent diagnosis dominate my life, I had not given myself the space to acknowledge the impact at all. So I decided to seek some support with it. I created the space if you like to talk it through and ensure I considered other coping strategies. It was really helpful to let go the coiled spring tension, that I had unconsciously garnered to keep going. Of course for me this recent experience also takes me back to the previous time I had breast cancer. Perhaps my biggest discovery was linked to talking about my fathers death just after my treatment-such a hard time for us all as a family. Did it stop you grieving for him I was asked.....no I said , I think it stopped me grieving for myself. For that healthy self, fit, active engaged in life. And I guess that's where I am now, accepting that loss again, and rebuilding a life out the other side. It's also of course made me reflect on why. The research published this week, supported in part by scientists within Breakthrough Breast Cancer, has identified that breast cancer is indeed ten different diseases. The future of personalised medicine gets closer. It's a startling discovery and also each of us are individuals too, who need our treatments to reflect that individuality as well. Just as our paths to health and recovery will differ too. My current challenge is to ensure that my recovery time is about doing things that are for me, to encourage my rest and recovery in all ways. So I am compiling a list of options in my head and trying to drown out the demon that whispers in my ear going, you should not be so selfish or self indulgent! A hopeless case I hear you cry! Here is the list so far: Walking( not far as legs too wobbly). Swimming ( not yet as surgery too recent). Reading books I haven't got round to ( poor concentration a challenge). Writing ( I am on it!). Drawing ( mmmm not good at it...does that matter?). Singing ( fingers in ears all ...but I do love to sing). Meditation ( on that too). Massage ( limited because of surgery just now). Photography (joined blip photo and keen to do a bit but frankly need to get out more now or photos would just be of my bruises!!) Cinema and theatre trips ( still early days but some to look forward to). This is the list I have deleted! Sewing (don't know where to start). Knitting( forgotten the basics and was never good anyway). Re learning guitar( ditto and others in family are brilliant!). Cooking( too much like work at moment). Zumba( would kill me currently). So it's work in progress and I am open to ideas.........time with friends and family are good too. And temporarily released from a busy job means I have more time for that.....that feels like a real gift. Reasons to be cheerful. I felt the benefit of taking space to look after myself. Also have had a fun time with the family all together . Time with my daughter has allowed some mother and daughter bonding , including in the lingerie department of M&S ( don't ask, a vulnerable trip for me which i couldn't have done on my own). On this trip we also discovered vegan friendly Percy Pigs.....a truly happy find...they're good too!.We watched The Help together yesterday. What a wonderful film it is. Many a tissue was filled and we reflected on how relatively recent times it charted. A chilling thought and a tribute to the bravery of those who have changed the norms so much in my lifetime.