Control – my biggest problem in dealing with cancer. Like an avalanche, it knocked me sideways and just as I tried to gain control, I lost it again and again. That horrible feeling as you desperately try to find the path through all the results, and topped off by the BRCA that knocked me sideways again, lead carefully out of the counseling room to be offered a therapist when it hadn’t even sunk in what this all meant. And so, control was seriously rocketing downwards, like a car with no brakes. Could I work again? Did people believe I could get through this – some clearly not as they moved on to other doctors, luckily most believed in me because I did – ahh my force and energy. Actually, who would believe, that like India, I would come back changed and inspire so many – the outcome and control of the future being so much less relevant that what I bring and how I now think.
“Sign here” he said, “ it’s a four year cellphone plan with a penalty to break it, the assistant kindly told me….. four years! I don’t think past the next season and that’s a great improvement. A part of me makes exciting plans for the next adventure but four years – that’s a gamble I can’t do. And then, my car, another one. I am fully responsible for my 4 year ownership – no problem, I’m strong now says the good side of my head…. After all, as I always say, no one knows what is around the corner, but four years, that’s the oncology clinic talk.
Is this just me or does everybody who has had cancer have this fleeting fight with their awareness that there’s a good probability that I will do well with all my treatment but a little tiny itsy bitsy dark spot knows cancer is not like having your appendix out – it has a risk and that’s what haunts us.
It is easy to see why people don’t tell clients or work colleagues for fear of thinking their commitment is risky. What a precipice we sit on. We have to acknowledge the thoughts yet not allow them to define us.
As you know, I don’t live life on the edge, except going to India! – I am the most conservative, safety conscious person around. Yes, most people could not believe I signed up, including me – it was something inside me that wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone – prove that I could go further, before time ran out, not live life with regrets or maybe’s, be proud of myself, open to learn new things, be humbled, be amazed, be inspired, take risks. In fact this year, I have rapidly been checking the bucket list – meet a old friend – on my way to India, I met with my school friend of 25 years ago and madly rushed around London seeing people who had not seen me since cancer. I managed to check off parasailing at 500ft in the air OMG – did it, got the t shirt , used the word shi#!! one too many times up there! Yes, zip lined the canopy wahoo loved it with my family recently and rode a camel from the Taj Mahal viewpoint right back to my bus – not getting on by ladder – no, the camel stood up like a giraffe sending me clinging for my life to the rickety chair.
The difficult side of going to India is certainly the lack of hygiene, the disease and infestation, the dirt and poverty that is such a contrast to the beautiful people.
I always said that I write best when emotions are hurting. As I relive the decisions, I want to hold those thoughts, the ones that helped me decide. There will be times in my life when something else comes along, another door opens, and I will decide to open it because experience now tells me it is worth trying. And so I hold another thinking card – one that contains all those forward thinking words, ready for next time…
I learned on the plane, on my way to India, a very valuable lesson from the wise man who sat next to me, interested in the documentary I was watching: He told me that A challenge is when you have to try and do something and you have the tools; stress is when you have to do something but you don’t have the tools – it’s different : Say yes and challenge yourself, but be careful to see that you don’t stress yourself.
Go beyond your comfort zone, you’ll be proud of yourself, be amazed, be inspired, be humbled, don’t let time run out, fit it all in, prove that you can do it, take educated risks, no regrets or maybe’s, be prepared but do it, be proud of myself, learn new things, you can do it, make it happen, think of a way, flip your thinking, determination is a forwards direction, challenge yourself, Be the change, Own it – share it- inspire with it, goalify, notice your thinking, priorities, push yourself, finish, examine guilty feelings and correct them, be kind to yourself too, remember to laugh, doors open – see them – walk through them, learn new things, be the change.
So today as I push myself hard on the tennis court, I look at the saying I placed in my water bottle – BE THE CHANGE….. Own your disease, share the wisdom, Inspire with your change