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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Mindfullness

One of the strategies that I have used to help me deal with life is meditation, and in particular Mindfulness.  The only support that I have had from my hospital in the 44 months since I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer was to be part of a trial using Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) techniques to cope with living with an incurable disease.  So starting in January I did an eight week course at a hotel near the hospital which actually taught me to put into practice that which I had been trying to do simply from reading the theory.  I would have to say that this has been an enormous help to me, to be able to bring my attention back to this actual moment by focusing on my breathing.  MBSR has the ability to stop you in your thought processes and bring yourself back to a place of safety.

I can use this technique not only in stressful moments, but as an aid to dealing with pain and insomnia.  I don't have too much of the latter, but sometimes it really can help you to relax and release.  I have an MP3 player and have found some lovely music and guided meditations on Amazon for under £1, which is amazing.  I love the feature that you can listen to a sample before you buy, which is especially important with the guided meditations as you need to be guided by a voice that you can respond to in a positive way. 

I use meditation when I am having a treatment.  I listen to music, or to a guided colour imagery, and 'see' the meds going into my body and focusing on the bones and the cancer.  By accepting this into my body it is empowering the body and the medication to do what they need to do.  I can take myself to favourite places and I can allow myself to be there on a perfect day when it is warm with a cooling breeze in a sunny day with puffy white clouds in a beautiful sky.

Allowing peace and contentment into my life, and being at peace with the cancer, has been such a positive thing.  This is going to stay with me for the rest of my life, so why not befriend it.  In so many ways having incurable cancer has been a very positive thing for me.  I know that sounds really strange, but that is just the way it has been.  I have a meaning to my life, and that meaning is to experience each day as it comes and to focus on that.

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