As they used to say in Sesame Street, this blog is brought to you by the number 5.
January 16th will be 5 years to the day since I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. the chances of surviving to 5 years are 40%, so I have beaten the odds, so far. The chances of surviving to 10 years are 35%, so planning on beating that one too.
To everyone who has supported me through this, I thank you with all my heart x
May 16th will be 5 years since being declared ‘NED’ No evidence of disease.
June 19th will be my 50th birthday, which I will be celebrating at Rhodes Rocks, a wonderful holiday and rock festival in Lindos. This is our 5th year of attending Rhodes Rock. I cannot begin to tell you how many great times we have had with this bunch of crazy people, and we have made some great friends for life. Our calendars are now packed with reunions, birthday parties all over the country and get togethers at many live music events.
So a time for reflection, to think about what I have learnt in the last 5 years.
1.Balance I have learned to live my life in balance, to care for myself more and appreciate the love of my friends and family. I understand the importance of making time for things that make me happy, and stop getting so caught up in being busy. I have learned the hard way that I need to cut myself off from negative people, I am blessed with so many warm, wonderful people who I need to make more time for. I have learned it’s OK to have lazy days, although they are rare, I love them.
2.Social media is a wonderful thing, I have connected with so many like-minded people, and made some great friends around the world. I have started a support group, Confidence after Cancer, and we have 968 followers on Facebook, and I try my best to respond quickly to all the women who contact me through this. I have learnt how to create a basic website . I have learnt twitter, blogging, and connected with Helen Adams and Lisa Cherry who have both featured me in their books, Gorgeous and Soul Journey. These are brilliant books I am proud to have contributed to, and I am still planning to write more books too. My little book Supreme Confidence in 7 Days, is now on Amazon. I am a writer!
3. Serving others:
I have learned that helping others feels right, and makes what I have been through worthwhile if I can help others. I am a volunteer with Breast Cancer Care on a pilot scheme called Best Foot Forward, a walking group for breast cancer survivors. I am also Treasurer for Marie Curie, a fabulous organisation. I also support Macmillan, their centre was invaluable to me when I was going through treatment, I joined their choir, had Reflexology and Reiki, absolutely fabulous.
I was lucky enough to be a member of crew at Tony Robbins Unleash The Power event in London in May 2012, and he often talks about the six basic human needs; supporting other women who have been through a similar experience to me, is effortless and inspiring to me, and it supports all of my needs. Would I have learnt this all this without IBC? Probably not.
I have learned to be so grateful for all I have, wonderful family and friends, my health, my desire to learn and grow. I am so grateful for my recovery, I have met some wonderful people who have not been so lucky, some have sadly died, others are still suffering with cancer. I try not to feel guilty, but wonder, why? I try not to focus on the question we all ask, ‘Will it come back?’ and just think about how wonderful each and every day is. I have learned to cope with depression by saying my prayers every night and every morning, and genuinely giving thanks for all that I have.
5. My beliefs:
My belief is that cancer is your body giving you a wake up call, get your life in order, eat well, drink water, laugh more, worry less, let go of negative emotions and people, and live every day in utter gratitude. Life is not always a bed of roses, but it is so much better than the alternative.
Morpheus : ‘My beliefs do not require them to.’
Thank you for reading, send you love and light always