Category Archives: Cancer

Gratitude and being

The most wonderful morning. The most wonderful now. I woke up, and my head is clear. I am myself. I am all here, what it is I call me. It is so welcome, I am so glad, so grateful to be here again.  

How to explain it? The past ten days, my head, my self, has been full of gaps. I called it fogginess, light-headedness. But it was more like a kind of hollow absence. Part of me aware that other parts of me just weren’t there. I felt this before they told me about the brain mets. And it had been getting worse, only feeling partly integrated as me, even lying flat.  

My consciousness told me, the self is illusory, there is no I. There is no self. You are just letting go of the self.  

But inside me was a lament. It was so hard for there to be anything but a lament, even surrounded by love and support. Who was surrounded? What was here? Am I being me? I didn’t know, as though I was remembering who I am. 

Yesterday, all the rest of my wonderful family arrived. We had fun. That is what we did. It was fun. And I relaxed into it, and I was there, and we all were. It is wonderful. And then I woke up today, and I feel like me. From the nourishment of my loved ones. From leaving all of it to the divinity of the universe. Who knows why or what’s next, but this is now. Now is wonderful. 




Filed under Cancer, Life, Philosophy, Spirituality

The next stage of the journey

I have been letting the next stage wash through me over the past two days. My scan results showed a many brain metastases, swelling in my brain, my lungs, a lot of growth in the liver, bony growth on the base of the spine, which is what hurts. I am taking a steroid now to try to reduce the swelling and help with the foggy feeling in my head.  

I also had a potassium and magnesium infusion yesterday, as the levels were low.  

Today I just let go and was how I was, how I felt. Up and down. Confused, sad, happy. Happy that I’m here and today I feel better than yesterday. I still went to the pool, and enjoyed walking in it. I had a delicious dinner of a minted rack of lamb. I am hungry often (this is a good sign!) and I savour and linger over every taste and flavour.   

This is what is, now.  

I talked to a counselor today, who said, what is fighting? What is letting go? This is a good question. What is, is, and this is I don’t need to fight. This doesn’t mean that I give up, but more that I don’t resist the moment itself. I have talked to the doctors about re-commencing chemo soon. Then the letting go is accepting the moment of that. I hope my cloudy mind can still make some sense.


Filed under Cancer, Life, Philosophy, Spirituality

Down and up

Today was a strange combination. I woke up at 5.30. I peacefully meditated. I felt filled with light, and with knowing that all is well. Nothing needs to change. I can let go and accept that all is as it is. Accept that all is love. Myself and others and all that is. There is no difference. No separation. No burden.   

Then I went back to sleep from 7.15 to 8, and woke up profoundly exhausted. Exhaustion became the focus. It made the scan difficult. I went back to sleep afterwards. Then I did feel well enough for physio – but went back to sleep after that.  

I played mastermind with Kieran. We enjoyed it. And of course I’d hoped we’d go to the pool.  But then the energy level plunged again, to the point where it was almost too hard to breathe. I was considering going up to the hospital. I managed to eat, and slowly some energy has slipped and spiraled back into me. Not a great deal, but I can sit here and write. 

Only this much though. Enough. The exhaustion made me very present-oriented. It was my only focus, getting through the next moment. I wonder how it was the manifestation of what was meant to be for today. How it added to my understanding of love and letting go and being. I don’t have enough brain to think about it, but I believe it.


Filed under Cancer, Life, Meditation, Philosophy, Spirituality

Two days to shake the world

I’d thought of this title before I heard there was an earthquake in the
Solomon Islands last night, and a tsunami warning. Must have been something in the air. Or the earth.

Every moment is a challenge. Today is the day before my scan. Wednesday is the day to get results from the scan. The range of change, re-adjustment of perspective, from that could be from very good to very bad, to anything in between. It is scary. All the possibilities leap out at me.  

But what of today? This morning, my emotions are fragile. I try to let go of the inspector of feelings, and be gentle. The inspector would like me to have a really good day. The inspector finds it hard to think of anything good enough!  

This is the same when the inspector looks at what I did yesterday. We went to a Japanese association lunch. I didn’t get much physio practice in the morning. Then I did chi kung and meditation. Then we went to the pool. I got over-tired and took a few hours to recover from that.  The thing is, the point of it all for me – and for the inspector  – was sharing experiences with my children.  All the time, there was the inspector, wanting everything to glow and overflow with meaning and joy and significance.  I was walking in the water, talking to the children and Mike. We were having fun, it was fun. The inspector, though, felt we could be having more fun. The inspector judged that there should be something I could do to make this all more, for all of us, to make this a treasure, to make this spectacular…  

So hard for me to learn how the present does not bear the weight of constant assessment. That seeing that it just is a treasure is what is. That I can’t be or feel for others, either, only be with them and be what I am now.  

It is moment to moment what so many of us are trying to do with our life – live in its meaning. But that can only happen if we are not constantly judging and valuing.  

Watching the cat, lying on the bed. She just is being a cat, not wishing, longing, striving, for anything. 


It’s 8pm now, and I’ve had a wonderful day. I did let go and be. I played Scrabble this afternoon with my nine year old, and focused on it, and had fun. We all went to the pool, and instead of evaluating I relaxed and we enjoyed it and I didn’t overdo it.  Now we are at home having Chinese takeaway for tea. All simple pleasures and all a delight and we will look at more world-shaking on the other days. Today was today, and it was wonderful and it still is. I accepted what it was instead of battling it to be something else. It was an opportunity all along.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cancer, Life, Philosophy, Spirituality


No final decisions yet on next week, for there is still this week to go through…I had blood tests today and at 5pm got a call to go up to the hospital because I had low potassium levels. I put it off until tomorrow because I would have been there all night.  

Before I had been feeling energetic and well and my legs, both of them, had been feeling stronger and more flexible. We went to the pool again this afternoon, and my son came too and played in the water while I was walking up and down. We had fun. I was thinking, perhaps I’ll be walking soon, I feel like I can.  

Then I get the phone call, and am told how low potassium ‘can cause all kinds of problems’. So now what? Just lie down again? I did at first, and felt deflated. So I have done a little moving around still. For in what way am I different? How can a number on a blood printout make a difference to how I am feeling? It doesn’t. I do still feel well, I do still have energy. But I’ll take it easy. And do tomorrow when it comes.

1 Comment

Filed under Cancer, Life, Philosophy, Spirituality

To face reality or to look away?

How much is it necessary, right now (or next week), to face up to exactly what is happening in my body? I would rather wait. I would rather nothing was changing too, but it is…but is it changing urgently enough that I need to find out now? Couldn’t I wait and see, seeing as it all still bearable, and I can still live with it? I could just see if it stays bearable for next week, and the week of family, without having major new information from the extensive CT scan booked for next Tuesday. I can put it off. It is up to me.  

But then again, perhaps we’d all be better off with new information? Would it be better if we all knew exactly how everything is now? What is better? What way will we all be happier together? What way will we all have ‘better quality of life’? What is that, ‘quality of life’? Maybe sometimes quality of life is not looking at what it is still possible to ignore while it is still possible to hide from it… 

One thing I don’t accept is that the new information should decide whether or not I continue on Herceptin. I don’t think we’ve given it enough time.   

I did get to the pool this morning, and walked in the water. That was wonderful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cancer, Life, Philosophy, Spirituality

Letting go of little things

Today was about letting small changes flow naturally into my time, letting go of the resistance. It wasn’t easy, but it did evolve, with degrees of acceptance. It increased my awareness of how letting go of little things on a moment to moment basis makes a big difference to enjoying and being in the present. 

I didn’t sleep all that well. I kept thinking about waking up, because someone was calling at 8.30am, and coming around at 9am. Now, there is no need to wake up through the night to reflect on that, is there? But I did. Then I struggled to wake up. Then I got cranky waiting to eat – it was a short time, but I got cranky anyway, because I was tired, and because I thought ‘I would run out of time’ before the arrival. I ate. I got ready. No call yet. And I realised it didn’t matter. It was okay.  

The call and visit did come, later, and were very good and enriching. But the challenge was the initial letting go.  

In the afternoon, the physio adds new exercises to my program, and suggests I go walking in the public pool. I am delighted with this, but again – my mind sees problems. I want to go now! I have to hurry up! But today we have someone coming to fix things at home. Tomorrow I have a visitor at 10.30am, I have doctors’ appointments at 1pm, the kids need Mike to take them places in the afternoon. So when I come back from the physio, I spend most of my meditation time reflecting on when I can get to the pool. Try to change today? Cancel tomorrow morning? What shall I do, what shall I do? It goes round and round my head, I feel teary. All I want to do is go to the pool, why should it be so hard? Then again, why do I need to hurry? Oh, but I do, I do, I need my legs to get better… 

So the thoughts and feelings go round and round. But gradually, I feel the still centre is there. I can go there, even though the other thoughts still flit and jump. I can watch them come and go, the worry, the attachment to doing now, to fitting in, to trying to do everything – because that is there too – if I go to the pool, I mightn’t have time to write my blog, write my stories, do the other neck exercises I planned to do…perhaps also I am not sitting in the right way to meditate, perhaps I am doing it wrong, not maximising my healing, trying to do too many things at once…and then it all lets go…it doesn’t matter…it’s all right…what I am doing is all right, it is what I am doing…it is what I am… 

So the afternoon was peaceful. Listening to my son practise his trumpet (perhaps not everyone’s idea of peaceful…). Talking to my daughter and doing the leg (but not yet the neck) exercises.  

When I check on the receding gum in my mouth, I feel a chalky space/texture under the gum line. It reminds me. I must enjoy now. I have enjoyed today. It would have been hard to enjoy if that tooth had broken. But it hasn’t broken, it doesn’t hurt. I didn’t go to the pool, but my leg is better. I let go of resistance. I keep enjoying today.

1 Comment

Filed under Cancer, Life, Meditation, Philosophy, Spirituality