I wrote this blog over six months ago now and the time never felt right to share it. However, my mum is hosting a charity Zumbathon this month raising money for Yes To Life - an integrative cancer charity. So this felt like a good opportunity:
My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2020 and since then, as a family we have been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Now, do not get me wrong, this journey hasn’t been easy. Not in the slightest. But I have realised over these last few months that we do have a choice in how we view things. And that choice can make a challenging experience your greatest life lesson.
My mum finally got the all clear yesterday and it was such a relief and a happy day for us all. Afterwards my sister said “right, we all need to look back on this and remember what it gave us.” And she was totally right. It would have been all too easy to let the story of what happened be overwhelming, fearful and disempowering. But choosing to approach things with an attitude of ‘what can I learn from this’ can help switch the feeling of being out of control and helpless to being in a position of empowered choice.
I will be forever grateful for the gifts this time gave me. The understanding of the value of an integrative, 'wholistic' approach to healing. The power of nutrition and a new, healthy relationship with food. One of deep nourishment, awareness and excitement about the things I want to put into my body, instead of one of restriction and ‘cutting out’. True emotional resilience. The ability to welcome and feel all the emotions that came up without getting too caught up in the story. The shift from lack to an abundant mindset, from what I wanted to get and where I wanted to be to gratitude for everything I already have in life, an incredible support network of family and friends. The privilege to witness first hand someone take ownership of a situation and face their fears head on and change a lifetime of deep rooted fears and beliefs in just a few short months. The list goes on!
I think the biggest lesson of all though is that there is opportunity in every situation we face to learn and grow and to become happier, more well rounded people as a result. While I wouldn't describe this as a happy time in my life I don't look at it with that dark ominous cloud over it like I could do. Instead I see it as a gift. An experience that gave me and my whole family no choice but to accept it, dive in and embrace the lessons it had for us. One that brought us closer and that helped us to appreciate everything we already had.
I wouldn't change it for the world.
After her experience, my mum has decided to raise money for a charity that takes an integrative approach to the treatment of cancer. A 'wholistic' approach of modern medicine, nutrition, emotional wellbeing and complimentary therapies. One which encourages people to take control of their own healing process and help people to feel empowered at a time when they feel so scared and helpless. If you would like to join the event or donate, all details can be found on her website.