I wrote the initial blog ‘5 hard truths’ two years ago (based on diary entries from 2014). Fast forward to 2018, I’ve since faced another breast cancer diagnosis in June of this year. Over the past month I’ve had a chance to review and reflect on previous material from my blog.
It’s through the reflection of these ‘Hard Truths’ that brought tears to my eyes… Three-fold:
- Firstly, it’s re-living that raw pain through the words of my diary entries and vividly remembering how I once felt (some of those entries, still break my heart).
- Secondly, the reflection is with gratitude… I’m so freaking proud of how far I have come and how I’ve learnt to deal with fear and uncertainty.
- And finally, I appreciate how these truths are still relevant to me, to you; to anyone, and these ‘truths’ I extracted from my experiences are timeless, universal lessons with relevance to any situation.
Furthermore, ‘5 Hard Truths’ was born through my experience of pain, suffering and indescribable fear – it’s through my real life experience and the lessons learnt from facing the fear of premature mortality and going through the relevant unpleasant and frightening treatments.
These ‘Hard Truths’ if you allow wholehearted acceptance of them – may resonate with your life too – AND perhaps set you free in some facets of life where you may be struggling.
My belief in these truths in addition to conscious, purposeful and present moment living has truly helped me stay above board.
So let’s get started…
[These diary entry extracts were written at the beginning of my first battle with breast cancer (2014). We (as a family) were facing so much uncertainty and having no clue as to what would develop each day with regard to my diagnosis of aggressive grade three breast cancer. Life felt incredibly foreign and frightening.]
Below you will find two separate reflections:
Reflection 1: Written after my first cancer.
Refelction2: Written since my second diagnosis in June this year (2018).
Hard Truth 1
Diary entry: 4 August 2014 [2 days before my first chemotherapy].
“I can’t wake in the morning with the fresh feeling of a ‘new day’ like I used too. That feeling was a privilegethat has been ripped from me.”
“Most mornings I wake in a fright (gasping for air), sleep feels safer than being awake at the moment.”
“Distractions and fun/lovely things like seeing friends or going out for a meal are short-lived pieces of happiness that are bliss but then the stillness and quiet brings you back to your living nightmare!!! Anger be gone with you, I hate this. I want to smile and breathe again, I want my normality but deep down, I know life will never be the same again…. So let’s hope it’s f**king better!!”
*Hard Truth: Life is a privilege, not an entitlement – no one owes you anything.
A privilege should always be respected and therefore we should feel unending gratitude for our life. Next time you go to whine about something… stop for just a second and ponder… become aware of yourself and aware of your thoughts. What if you were to reflect gratitude for something instead of complaining? I can tell you right now, you will feel more fulfilled and gracious. Negativity will leave your side and you will feel lighter in that moment.
A synonym for ‘privilege’ is ‘freedom’ and freedom is an absolute gift not granted to everyone. Cancer in particular for anyone who has experienced it will agree 100% that it confines, dictates and can hold you back. Cancer (and it’s treatments) can have a temporary control or hold over your every day life.
Please… Treat your freedom with the respect it deserves.
Reflection 1 (after first cancer): Although I was in pain and miserable about fighting cancer in the prime of my life with a young family to raise – I still dug really deep to find something I’m grateful for, to find the hidden message in the pain… to learn something.
Reflection 2 (after second cancer): This hard truth helped me beyond belief when I was diagnosed with cancer again this year. Instead of feeling kicked down and spiraling miserably down the usual path of emotional destruction… “Why me?” I simply thought, “Why NOT me?” none of us are exempt from illness – all any of us have is right now (present moment, cancer or no cancer). I didn’t want to waste my emotional energy this time round with asking all the ‘why’s?’ Instead, I wanted to focus on my life, the reality of the situation and the privilege it was to still be here. I was grateful that the cancer was picked up in my screening (granted though, still an absolute shock).
What’s most important, is that I still had the freedom in my mind to choose how I would take on this next battle and I saw that as a blessing – I was mentally stronger this time round. Whenever I was afraid, annoyed or overwhelmed with facing this disease once again, I just focused on gratitude for all that was still great in my life and the life of my loved ones. Gratitude for my life and my freedom albeit under threat of cancer once again, to me was an absolute privilege and this attitude and hard truth saved my emotional wellbeing.
“Every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day” – Alice Morse
Life is a privilege, not an entitlement – no one owes you anything.
Stay tuned for Blogtober day three for the next part of ‘Hard Truths’.
Love Bec x
P.S. If you’d like to keep up to date with Blogtober, you can do so HERE.
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