1 year Cancer free.

It has been exactly 1 year since I got the all clear and what an amazing year it has been. I completed my coaching diploma, started my yoga teacher training course and most importantly I completely transformed in so many ways.

It’s amazing how when you get a life changing diagnosis every other worry you had becomes obsolete. That person in work who annoys you. That project your behind on. Any conflict with your significant other. Money worries. Self limiting beliefs. Everything else just disappears and you suddenly realise how it wasn’t really important in the first place. Suddenly you realise that the only thing that ever mattered was your health.

This is something that has really changed my perspective on the world. In the years leading up to this I suffered with auto-immunity and arthritis so I already knew that if your suffering with a chronic condition and with chronic pain it takes over completely and can be so hard to get into the right headspace to break free from the cage of being trapped within your condition. Being diagnosed with cancer allowed me to break free from that cycle.

From the date of my first surgery, through my diagnosis, getting the all clear, getting the ‘not actually all clear’, to a second surgery and the final all clear it all happened so fast and was such a whirlwind experience. I can’t even begin to put in to words the pain and deep soul felt sobs that happened during that time. Every single second of every day I was praying to God to heal me of this and visualising the outcome that I wanted and thanking him for all of the blessings in my life so far. I realised during this time of uncertainty that the things that would usually bother me suddenly didn’t bother me any more. In work, at home, in general – if something happened that would usually cause me to get stressed out, I just accepted it and moved on, it didn’t matter.

After getting the all clear this shift in perspective really stayed with me and because of this I began a complete transformation into a happier, healthier and more free version of myself. I realised the things that truly matter and let the things go that didn’t. Of course i’m only human and slip back in to worry and anxious thoughts from time to time, don’t we all? But i’m very quick to recognise it now and bring myself back in to a more positive and uplifting mindset. This change in mindset not only helped me achieve freedom from anxiety and my self limiting beliefs, but on a physical level I feel better than I have done in years. I actually forget some days that I have an autoimmune disease at all, i’m too busy loving every minute of life and thanking God that I am healthy enough to live it. I still suffer with chronic pain but I am no longer consumed by it. I still have an autoimmune disease but the autoimmune disease no longer has me.

This past year has been amazing for me and I know that this is just the beginning. I have always wanted to help people become better versions of themselves and help them to improve their mental, physical & spiritual wellbeing. After living and breathing such a transformation myself I now know that the rest of my life will be devoted to helping others achieve the same kind of freedom in any way that they need it. I am here to serve.

Second time lucky.

***08/02/19***

I’m writing this laid up in bed recovering after having my second surgery on my knee last week.

Let’s rewind..

Last year I had a surgery on my right knee to remove a melanoma. It was sent around to several specialists in Ireland and one specialist in Holland and finally they got back to me and said they all agreed they got it all the first time around, no further surgery needed. Massive sigh of relief ! I can’t even begin to explain the emotions felt at hearing you have Cancer and waiting to find out if it has spread or not. Anxiety, fear, dread, grief, panic, to name a few ! The weight that lifted off my shoulders when I got the call from my Dr to say they got it all the first time around was palpable.

Fast-forward to the end of January..

I then got a call from the hospital only two weeks ago to tell me actually no, your Dr shouldn’t have advised you that and we need to see you again ASAP. I argued blind with the nurse on the phone God bless her.. ‘no you’ve made a mistake my Dr told me you got it all’.. ‘I got the all clear back in December’.. ‘are you sure you have the most up to date records’.. ‘can you check and see if you have the results from all 3 specialists there as they confirmed that it was all gone?’. She had to repeat to me several times that she had my most up to date record and then she advised they recently had a board meeting where they discussed my latest results and the hospital decided that further surgery would be necessary. You couldn’t make this shit up!

I was back in the hospital two days later meeting my oncologist surgeon & discussing my treatment plan. He wanted to take a wider margin from the area and send that off for further testing, no risks being taken here.

1 week later I was in the Vincent Private having my second surgery. It all went well but the surgery was a lot bigger this time and a lot more painful so I’ve been laid up in bed for the past week recovering and keeping my leg elevated.

I was advised to pop back in to the dressing clinic yesterday so they could check the wound as I was worried it wasn’t healing as well as last time. The nurse was so careful with it and told me that it does seem inflamed and it was still bleeding slightly (which it shouldn’t be). Due to the scar being right on the inside of my knee she said I need to be very careful to keep my leg straight and put no pressure on it as bending/pressure can cause it not to heal properly. So that’s me in bed for another few days now before I even think of leaving the house.

To say I’m bored shitless is an understatement. I’m usually so active with work, gym, yoga, walks & cycling. Lying in bed for 8 days straight so far is not going down well but I really do need to make sure this heals well so for a change I’m actually listening to the Drs advice.

On the plus side, I’ve been getting lots of reading done & have finally found the time to stitch missing buttons back on dresses & shirts I have had lying around for a while. Little tiny positives right?

My results should be back next week. I’m staying positive and hoping that my Oncologist was just being very thorough by performing a second surgery but until then… fingers crossed & praying.

Skin-Cancer-Awareness-Photo

Life after diagnosis.

In 2018 I was diagnosed with autoimmunity (PsA), neuropathy & skin cancer.

I went through months of harsh medications that destroyed my immune system & left me weak & fatigued. I lay awake through endless nights of chronic physical & emotional pain. I watched my strength disappear, I watched my health deteriorate. I went from squatting 100kgs to being unable to hold a cup in one hand, unable to hold a pen, crying because I couldn’t hold my key properly to open the door. I’d get off the train from work and run home so I could climb in to bed and cry, my head and neck (aside from everything else) were in so much pain I couldn’t do anything else. I went on holiday weekends and spent the full time locked in the bathroom of the hotel coughing & crying.

I went from being the healthiest person I knew, to being the unhealthiest. How dare my body betray me like this? After all of the clean eating, workouts, yoga, years of no alcohol. Why me?

I stopped writing my blog… who wants to read a ‘health & fitness blog’ from a girl who can’t walk to the end of the street without feeling like she was going to collapse?

But guess what?

In 2018 I empowered myself by learning about my disease. I read books, I read peer reviewed scientific studies, I listened to podcasts, I changed my mindset. I came off my medications & started taking only herbal & natural supplements. I got my arthritis under control, I made progress with my neuropathy, and most importantly.. I beat cancer !

Whilst dealing with all this I was promoted to customer support team leader, and passed my probation with flying colours. I got back in to a regular gym routine & started practicing yoga again. I started to build my strength back up. I studied to become a personal trainer, passed my exams & got my qualifications ! I moved house.. and then I moved house again.. into a beautiful little apartment with my caring & supportive boyfriend. I didn’t just survive, I thrived.

The reason I’m sharing is not to get sympathy.. I don’t need it. The reason I’m sharing is to give others hope that there is life after diagnosis & to teach others about the battles of chronic disease. To show others that your mindset is absolutely everything.

I accomplished so much last year while simultaneously wondering if I was going to die. I believed in mind over matter anyway, but last year reinforced my beliefs beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Last year completely broke me… physically.. but nothing can break me mentally. Not anymore, that ship has sailed.

I am living proof that when life fucks you over, you CAN come back stronger.

I prayed to God every day to make me strong. Oh boy did he deliver. A few years ago he gave me panic attacks, anxiety disorder & disassociation. I overcame them all & became very mentally strong through that process. Then last year he gave me arthritis, autoimmunity, neuropathy & cancer.. I became even stronger.

This will be my first post of my ‘new but old’ blog. I want to share my journey & show that with the right mindset, YOU can do anything. I’ll share details of my health struggles, how they effect me daily, things I have tried & tested that have helped with the pain. Things that lesson my symptoms, things that make them worse. Yoga practices, workouts, recipes. Some of the old stuff, and some of the new stuff, some of the good stuff, and some of the bad stuff. Hopefully this will also be a place that will ease the suffering of others with autoimmunity by reminding them that they are not alone & allow others to come along on our journey learning more about it themselves.

2018 was a sucky year but sure as hell did I kick it’s ass. Here’s to 2019 !

 

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