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Saturday, 17 September 2011

Looking for something to do

I have been looking at the evening courses that are run for adults this academic year.  There are a few Saturday / Sunday short courses that sound interesting, but I don't think that any of them will go very far.

I have been thinking about delving further into Alternative and Complementary Therapies.  I use several Alternative therapies as part of my strategy to deal with my diagnosis and also with life in general.  I have had depression since I was a teenager and being told that I have Stage IV breast cancer which they were only going to treat with palliative strategies was not the greatest of news.  The feeling of anger and frustration that it had been allowed to get that far despite there being evidence that I might have cancer in 2002, five years before my diagnosis.  I personally feel that the lack of support for those with and 'incurable' cancer is sadly absent.  A lot has been reported about the low survival rates in the UK, and I think this is an important factor.  Sorry we can't cure it, we aren't going to try, we will only give you palliative treatment to ease symptoms.  Now go away and die quietly. 

Where is the encouragement?  Where are the coping strategies to deal with this?

I was lucky that I was having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the time to deal with the depression I had for so long, but that was disrupted for longish periods because of various things.  I had started to have acupuncture in the four months between the Primary and Secondary Cancer diagnosis and have continued with it for nearly four years now.  I have a treatment every two weeks which helps to keep my left hip moving, and also balances me.  Justin also works on points on the front and back of my wrists which have really helped with my mood.

It has been a struggle to find some meaning to being alive with this diagnosis.  I have always rather struggled to find a meaning in life and a place in the world and while CBT really helped it still didn't give me a clear route to follow.  There were other pieces to be put in place.

One piece of the puzzle was Mindfullness, a form of meditation which is similar in its approach to CBT.  The course that I am considering is to become a meditation teacher.  I would like to be able to go into this more deeply and also to be able to hand on these strategies to others so they can better deal with things in their lives.  Above all it will give me something to focus on rather than just drifting though; getting up, going to work, coming home, checking my internet groups, going to bed, getting up...  I have been feeling more and more that I need to give something to the world.  To contribute my own drip into the ocean of humanity and society.

What I would most like to do is to find a way of helping and supporting those in a similar position.  I help administer a small forum in the UK and I belong to a big site that is based in the US but I don't know people locally who I could have a close connection to.  Maybe this is because I don't have children and live alone, I don't have people to give to directly and my immediate support group is made up of Teddy Bears who have managed to dry out after the crying phase of this journey.  I don't focus on the future, but I still want to grow and learn.  I am not dead yet.

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