Tag Archive | mental-health

Pink Post ~ Aloha

7658577_

Aloha means, “To consciously manifest life joyously in the present.”

I looked up the meaning of Aloha today and it was here  that I found the above meaning.  The meaning suits and is a lovely way to start every morning.  Simply speaking the word “Aloha” seems to roll off the tongue with a special sparkle, don’t you think?  Perhaps it’s because it conjures up thoughts of Hawaii to me even though I’ve not yet been there (but it’s on my bucket list!).   Have you been there yet yourself?  Is it as beautiful as I imagine?  It’s a dream of mine to go ~ one always must have a dream!

I’ve added the Pink Post title as well today, but truthfully I try to write so anyone can relate ~ anyone who has had difficulties in life.  I am a bit scattered this morning, so please forgive me if my musings aren’t organized too well.

I’ve met 2 women recently who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and it reminds me of my past.  As each wrestles with the turmoil of uncertainty. fear and the unknown, I feel such empathy for I remember all too well those feelings, those sleepless nights when my mind continued to whirl with the unrest of what if’s and the complete and utter sadness I felt all the way to my soul.

I remember reaching out and being connected to a woman named Nancy who had been diagnosed a year before me.  Occasionally I would call her (there wasn’t texting back in 2002) and with her 6th sense, she would call me sometimes as well ~ always with the most perfect timing.  We didn’t meet for months, but talked on the phone for hours.  She understood what I was enduring and I felt a peace with her as she connected with me, soul to soul, having endured all that I was going through at that time.  She didn’t frighten away when I told her how I felt.  She didn’t shatter when I spoke of my night-time fears and thoughts.  I didn’t sugarcoat how heart-wrenching it felt to be so bereft of my hair, my breasts and what I believed was my femininity.  I didn’t mince my words when I was angry at the cancer which stole so much from me.  I didn’t hold back the tears which many times flowed during the outpouring of emotions.  In turn, Nancy connected with me, empathized, held me spiritually and stayed the touchstone of healing in my life.  She was and still is a blessing in my life.

When I asked how I could ever repay such kindness, she simply asked me to pay it forward.  So with every person I’ve spoken, I remember the priceless feeling of acceptance that Nancy gave me, that feeling of being loved and understood, that knowledge that I didn’t have to comfort her when I needed comforting.  I could take the comfort when needed and when I was strong enough, I could give it as well ~ and that’s been our story for 11 years.  True friendship ~ give and take when needed ~ pure love and understanding.

Do you have a friend like this?  Are you a friend like this?  I am blessed to have many friends whom I can count on and they can count on me.  I have enjoyed the heartfelt connections I’ve made though my blog as well.  Thanks for reading and for being you! ♥

I wish you

ALOHA.

Today and Everyday.

Shine On!

xo

Pink Post ~ Can Worry Change the Outcome?

b2da76556d05ba59a030659203e56b84

Worrying will never change the outcome

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or an illness or have ever waited for an answer that was important to you, then you’ve probably experienced worry in your life.  Be it waiting for test results due to your health or in school or at work ~ be it a job application, your driver’s test, a pregnancy test, a pathology result or anything else, many times worry is our comfortable go-to emotion.

Not that I’m saying that to worry is comfortable.  No way Jose!  Worrying is uncomfortable, but for many of us, it’s the routine emotion that we turn to when we are waiting for the results of something important to us.

Perhaps you are one who worries and thinks about all the possibilities for the outcome of the test.  You can imagine the good, the bad and the ugly result.  You can even go so far as to give yourself the worst result and then plan on how you will deal with that answer, plan how your life will change and how you will live with that change in your life.

Or do you worry, then imagine how relieved you will feel when the result is what you were praying for so that you are healthy?

Or are you the one who just can’t get past the what if’s and can’t even go to to the next step of imagining how life would go on if the result were bad?  Your mind continues to run round and round, thoughts whirring and repeating in your head until you can’t even think straight?

Or do you acknowledge that you are worried about the outcome, but then hands the control over to God/Universe/Life and goes on about the day knowing that no amount of worry gives us any more control over the situation than non-worrying?   Practicing telling the family the dreaded results or the happy ones still doesn’t change the situation at all for the moment.  Without knowing the result, this is all just busy mind conjecture and doesn’t do anything, but drive us into a frenzy at warp speed.

Do you relate with any of the above situations?  Are you a worrier?  Do you know someone who is?

Well, join the club my friends for I’m a worrier too.

I grew up surrounded by worriers.  ‘What if’s’ ruled the roost, cocka-doodle-dooing from morning to dusk growing up.  In fact, it became so ingrained in me that my first instinct if I’m not careful in my thinking goes right back to the ‘what if’s’ and to the worst outcome and how I will live with that result in my life.

I remember my father used to tell me that I needed to check my breasts to make sure that I didn’t get breast cancer.  His own mother had died from it when he was studying for his last exam during his senior year in college.  I don’t remember if he annoyed my sister with those same worries, but I clearly remember feeling pestered by him.  It almost felt constant although it surely wasn’t.  However, it was his constant worry that made me flippantly tell him that if I did get breast cancer, I would simply get my breasts taken off and get new ones.  I’d be the perkiest 80 year old on the beach due to non-saggy implants if that happened.  And off I’d go, on my merry way, feeling smug in having told him and gotten him off of my back, stunned into silence by my bravado.  And more than 14 years later ~ his worry came true and so did my flip answer to him.

Now I’m not blaming his perseveration of worrying about me getting breast cancer is what gave it to me, but I am saying that we need to watch our words and what we choose to put our attention to in this life.  My smug retort came true ~ I did end up with breast cancer and with a double mastectomy.   In fact, I have endured 3 separate reconstructions of those perky boobies.  So I ask you, what are the odds that his worry, my response and what happened are all related?

But back to worry ~ it’s easy for me to tell you not to worry ~ and believe me, I’ve counseled many people (not to mention myself!) to not worry about what may happen ~ I’ve even gone so far as to tell them that worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair and expecting to get somewhere ~ you can rock and rock all day long, but you’ll still stay in the same place.

I’ve offered to help people pack up their worries and give them to God/Universe or even to hand them over to me for awhile, knowing that I’d keep the bundle safe for them and that they could have it back whenever they chose (of course, I was going to drop that bundle into God/Universe’s lap as soon as I got my hands on it!)  No way was I burdening myself with their worries!

It’s amazing how people react when I tell them that I’ll take their worries.  They don’t want to give them up ~ they think because they have their pile of worries, they are in control of the situation.  It makes us somehow feel more in control when we hold our own worries, we’re greedy misers who don’t want to Let Go and Let God.  We believe that we hold the key with our worries.  Sometimes, we don’t even realize how stressed and how tightly we are holding on to the ‘what if’s’ and the anxiety which uncertainty brings to our lives.  We just know that if we can be left alone to worry, to agonize and to perseverate on the matter, we can somehow make it come out as we want.  We believe that we have control.

Well, my darlings, guess what I’ve learned?  We don’t have control over everything.

There, I’ve said it.  Whew ~ do you believe me?  Do you think you have special control powers?  Do you believe that you are different?  Because I did too for a long time.  Now I’ve just learned that I need to go with the flow, do my best, be as healthy as I can and just keep on living, loving and breathing.

Sorry for the long post and I apologize to whomever I copied the above image from on Pinterest.  It was so perfect that I just had to use it.

Thanks for reading today ~ I would love to hear how you feel about worry.

If you are a worrier, how are you dealing with worry in your life?

Shine On!

xo

Pink Once A Week

6887301_

Lately I’ve been just going with the flow in my life, but I’ve been dabbling in writing a book or two as well.  It seems to me when we breast cancer patients finish treatment, we are sent out into the world with less than nothing in order to rebuild our lives.  As an 11 year survivor, I’m finding that there are so many women out there who are asking as I did, “What now?” because quite frankly, it’s a bit overwhelming.

First there’s the simple grieving process of being diagnosed, with the subsequent surgeries ranging from a lumpectomy to a full double mastectomy which is enough to depress the happiest of souls followed by the reconstruction surgeries which may or may not take place at the same time.  Most times we endure chemotherapy which as the meds designed to kill cancer cells, slowly changes our body chemistry as well, we endure hair loss including baldness, depression, nausea, aches, pains, weight gain and hot flashes, none which are sexy or fun.  Afterwards, we may have radiation treatment daily which tires us out and gives us a mean sunburn among other things.

And then, we’re set free ~ off to a world filled with pink ribbons and we are handed a survivor sign to commemorate our cancer journey.

But what about the new normal that we’re trying so desperately to find?  It’s a hard road to get used to implants or being breast-less or multiple surgeries.  It’s a process to accept our new bodies with the restrictions surrounding them.  Self-esteem, self-confidence and self-acceptance need to improve so that we can feel good about ourselves and that’s simply NOT just a breast cancer thing either!

So that’s what I’m writing about ~ I want to give a class on it ~ I want to help women who are looking for a friend  to hold her hand as we travel along this road together.  It’s the beautiful thing about women who’ve endured breast cancer.  None of us have wanted to join this group, but since we are all here, we bond.

You can meet a stranger who has breast cancer and instantly, there’s a bond of knowing and understanding which forms quite literally in moments.  We’ve been there and we understand each other.  Have you found that happens to you?  I think it’s human nature to bond with others of similar circumstances.  I know I’ve bonded with others who’ve been grieving over the loss of a parent since my dad passed away last year.  It’s when we open up and connect with each other that healing can take place.

So if you’re interested, let me know because I’d like to write a bit more about it here on my blog.  But I’m testing the waters first because many of my readers aren’t breast cancer survivors ~ but since we’ve all experienced sadness in our lives (at least most of us), I thought it could help others as well since I like the glass half full approach!

What do you think?  Would you appreciate just once a week breast cancer help? 

Please let me know!  Just click on the Poll below!   Thank you!

Shine On!

xo