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Sunday, 31 March 2013

Renewal - Spring is officially here

It doesn't really feel like it in the UK at the moment.  We are in a cold snap and last I heard April was supposed to be cold as well.  I have to admit that I have become so used to the cold that warm weather is becoming a dim and distant memory.

The clocks went forward at 2am for the beginning of British Summer Time so the evenings are going to be longer, and for a short time the mornings will seem a bit darker, but only if you are up early enough to notice, that is.  For me it is the start of the two weeks of the Easter holidays which means no work.  For the first time in several years I haven't booked to go anywhere for this week and I am rather chuffed with myself that I have started the promised clear up and sort out in my house.  I have recently bought some new curtains which have been hung, though one pair needs to be shortened because it is an odd length window.  I have cut one side and hung it up so it can drop a bit, but I can't be bothered to take the other one down today to start altering it.

I have opened up some of the things I had for my birthday last month and I am certainly going to make use of the 'To Do List' pad.  The pages can be hung on your door handle so I can make a list and put it on the door so I can see it before I leave.  So much easier to leave it behind that way, and be reminded of this when I shut the door when I get home.  Handily, of course, it will be there for me to miss the next day as well.  Brain = sieve.

Happy as I am to have made a start it is scary how much there is yet to do.  As much as I want to de-clutter my life this comes in direct conflict with the instinct to keep something because it might be useful one day ... because it can still have use; still have a purpose.  At least recycling is a God-send in this because it helps to ease my conscience at getting rid of things.  I do try to resist the temptation to palm things off on other people though?  After all what if they don't recycle something that can actually be used again?  What if they just chuck it away?  It isn't the value of the item, it is its innate usefulness that has to be kept in mind.  Well that and the fact that as soon as you get rid of something you need it again!  Karma?

Talking of Karma, I have been following Deepak Chopra's 21-Day Meditation Challenge which started on 11 March.  I have to admit to having missed a few days, so I am lagging behind a bit and have about 4 days to catch up with but I have enjoyed it.  Perfect Health may be the theme, but this is an elusive thing for so many of us.  I like to think that my mind and spirit has become healthier since my body developed cancer.  This may sound like a contradiction but health is so much more than having a buff body.  I never had that even as a small child but I do finally think I have found some peace and contentment.

Oh, if anyone is interested in Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocacy I have started a little website for those who don't want to go on facebook http://imbcagroup.wix.com/advocacy# so check it out, especially the event happening on 15 April on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington DC.  Just follow the link.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Things change all the time

I finally made it up to Gloucester and I have already been shopping.  I really needed to get moving after nearly four hours in the car due to hold ups getting here.  There was an incident on the roundabout where the road that I was travelling on intersected with the M4.  Mind you, these days I don't really worry about how long it takes to get somewhere when I don't have to be somewhere at a certain time.  The only problem I have is that I have been getting quite a lot of pain in my right leg when I am in the car for a while.

What is hard to do it keep this in perspective.  I have no proof that the problem is caused by my bone mets or that they have started to progress.  Normally I go for acupuncture every two weeks, but this time it was three weeks because Justin went to Slovenia for a skiing holiday.  This week I have had no reflexology which also doesn't help.  I take an approach that includes far more than just the conventional approach.  For me there is no way that I can stick to just the treatment prescribed by MDs.  I think part of the problem is that I have learned from the process of my diagnosis not to trust the medical profession and blindly believe that they have the only answers.  I believe that cancer is caused by a 'perfect storm' of events and influences so I take a 'perfect storm' approach of trying different things to deal with it on more than just the slash/burn/poison approach of western medicine.  I have to deal with it on a personal and spiritual basis.  It took a while to get over my anger and realise that there is nothing that can be done to change my diagnosis.  Yes there was evidence 6 years before my diagnosis that I might have cancer and it was ignored by conventional medicine because I was "too" young. 

Trying to find a way to co-exist with cancer is difficult.  After all no one actually does this willingly and one important thing has been to change my approach as my ways of dealing with this has changed.  I firmly believe in remaining open to new information and evidence about approaches that may help me.  After all it was once believed that the earth was flat.  As I have progressed through 5 years of living with this I have changed some things.  I don't actually meditate as much as I used to because I have found ways of doing this as a part of my life, rather than as a separate thing.  It has become a part of the normal pattern of my life.  It is important to do the things that are important at this stage of my life and not remain in a pattern that I have outgrown.  I am not the same person who was diagnosed over 5 years ago, and I am not the same person as I will be in a year's time.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Thank Crunchie it's Friday

After a sewing marathon on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I have come down to earth with a bit of a bump.  I feel as though I have used up all my energy for a while.  Yesterday I woke up at 10.30 when I needed to be at my Tai Chi class at 11.15 and even when I got there I was still half asleep and my balance was shot, which takes away the fluidity of the movements when you are trying not to fall over.

This morning I only remembered that I needed to have a blood test done today before my treatment next week when a reminder popped up on my screen.  Groan!  So I had to get a move on because now they have gone back to the 'take and number and wait' system it has been taking about and hours and a half to get through to have the bloods taken.

It did, however, give me the time to be able to get to work early to be able to sort out all the freebies that I have collected lately for the All-Ways Healthy campaign which will be starting on the 11th.  I have had a look at all the stuff that I have and I've labelled the boxes according to which day of the week they will be needed; and I made up some goodie bags for the out-centres of the college.  So all in all I am feeling a bit virtuous today, even if I wish I could sleep for a week - or at least a weekend.

It is hard not to think that my cancer may finally be progressing when I have had an increase in pain and stiffness in my back, and also with the stability of my lower back in particular.  I just keep having to tell myself that I have no proof of any progression, and it is probably connected to not wearing the special insoles in my shoes which have been recommended to me by my acupuncturer (is there such a thing?).  My old shoes started to fall apart and I just hadn't got around to transferring the insoles to my newer shoes.  This is probably a bit of an own-goal really.  Just because I am too lazy to do something it really just means that I am not being proactive and helping myself.

To be honest I have more faith in myself to prolong my survival that I do in the medical profession.  I think that I can influence the cancer by the way if think, deal with stress and what I eat.  However before I can do any of that I need to get some sleep g'night.