"Are you looking for a way out? Are you looking for an exit? It seems like all the fuss you're making Is a sign that you're not quite sure
... I'm not giving up, no "
~ Natasha Bedingfield ~ Not Givin' Up"
After blogging about my birthday, last weekend and confessing, I have had feelings of giving up. Yeah, I know me, Ms. Sunshine here all positive and peaceful having feelings of just "whats the use?". There are many factors and events that have triggered these feelings and out of respect and privacy to my friends, I will keep those details to myself. But what I can tell you, that when you are at a place of giving up, it is very dark. And very lonely. But you have to pull yourself up, and even though I have amazing family and friends around me, it is really up to YOU, and only you. You have to decide if it is worth it ... and yes, thankfully, I have realized it is. I blog a great deal on the blessings in my life and the opportunities that cancer has given me. Yet day to day, this is hard, well actually brutally hard. And I don't think any treatment would be. Regardless of how you go about it, the fear and uncertainty can be overwhelming. I see it in others eyes as they just get really quiet when I tell them what I am dealing with and what treatment I am in. Would I like to be definitive and give a resounding YES this is working and YES I am healing and YES I will be cured ... of course!! But again, what do we really know? Just the present and every moment when the fear starts to take over, I tell myself that over and over ... the present is what you truly know so enjoy it.
So the harder you fall the higher bounce right? Let's just say, I bounced real hard lately.
And during this process I found some reasons why to never, never give up. My plan now, is to post this up in clear view just in case ;)
"1. As Long As You Are Alive Anything Is Possible The only valid excuse you have to give up is if you are dead. As long as you are alive (and healthy and free) you have the choice to keep trying until you finally succeed.
2. Be Realistic The chance of mastering something the first time you do it is almost non-existent. Everything takes time to learn and you will make mistakes. Learn from them.
3. Lance Armstrong Lance was diagnosed with serious cancer that had spread throughout his entire body. He had cancer cells the size of golf balls in his lungs. Despite all odds he overcame the cancer and set out to win the Tour de France 6 Consecutive years in a row.
4. You Are Strong You are stronger than you think. One little setback is not enough to stop you from achieving your goals. Neither are 10 or 100 or 1000 setbacks.
5. Prove Yourself You don’t want to be known as someone that is weak and gives up. Go out there and prove yourself to the world and to yourself. You CAN and WILL achieve what you set out to do. The only time you fail is when you give up.
6. Believe In Your Dreams Don’t sell yourself short. In life there are going to be many people who will try to bring you down and tell you what you want to achieve is not possible. Don’t let anyone destroy your dreams.
7. Your Family and Friends. Let the people you love and who mean the world to you be your inspiration to persist and persevere. Maybe you need to try a different angle, study more or practice more but don’t give up!
8. Improve Our World When you achieve whatever you set out to achieve you can use your success to make a difference to the world or other peoples lives.
9. Inspire Others Be an inspiration to others by refusing to give up. Who knows what someone else can achieve because you never gave up and in turn inspired them not to give up.
10. You Deserve To Be Happy Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to have success. Keep that mindset and never give up until you reach your destination"
"In touch with the ground I'm on the hunt I'm after you Smell like I sound I'm lost in a crowd. And I'm hungry like the wolf. Straddle the line in discord and rhyme I'm on the hunt I'm after you. Mouth is alive with juices like wine And I'm hungry like the wolf"
~ Duran Duran ~ Hungry Like The Wolf ~
These days I have been so hungry, hungry like a wolf. For those of you that have been following my wellness journey, I write about how restrictive the Gerson Therapy is. And I just finished 5 months, on week 21 now ~ and yeah it has flown by and then not really. Sorry probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I guess you have to live it to understand it. My cravings are coming back for foods that are not necessarily healthy. Honestly I admit this ... I am guilty of craving junk food at the moment. And with all the knowledge I have gained on this journey, I know "Food is your Medicine, Medicine is your Food" ... but the cravings are still there *sigh* ... why, well read on and it may fill in the blanks.
You see, the truth is I love food, I have always loved food because it has been my comfort. And food is a part of socializing with family and friends. Everywhere we look, read, go ... food is advertised and remember "you can't have a good time without it" ..... And back to the idea of comfort ... real comfort for all the things I didn't want to deal with - self hatred, resentment, depression, insecurity, lack of self worth and well the list goes on. You see, growing up, it seemed I was the one that "developed" earlier than other girls. Puberty ~ blah! .... I would tower over them and therefore came the hunchback/slouch which I still wrangle with to this day - the posture that is. Along with this came the usual teasing which lead to feeling bad about myself, ashamed that I was different, and just wanting to fit in and be accepted. So the way I comforted myself was to stuff my face with food. Any type of food. And being of east indian descent, culturally the food is very sweet, extremely savoury and very very rich. So I would indulge with whatever I could get. I would sneak in my pockets and bags or wait till the "coast was clear" to get more food. This continued for a very long time. Even after school I would come home and watch soaps or sitcoms and eat junk food, only as a appetizer to the delicious Indian meal my Mom would prepare for us. She was none the wiser, well maybe she did notice that the junk food was diminishing rapidly and her youngest daughter was starting to look like Santa, but she still cooked her love into our food!
As we all know, life is cruel and unfair and as a girl we can be so vain. Well we may not want to admit it, but it is true. So the more I wanted to look like a supermodel, the more I realized I was so far away from the dream. Instead I would look at myself in the mirror and recite horrible things and then make myself feel better by ... eating and eating and ... eating. This continued until one day in university I heard a few gals talk about binge and purge. I didn't understand it until I listened closer and realized - wow that is the ticket!! I can continue to eat whatever I want and then just get rid of it later. Genius! ... no, not really in hindsight a real sickness. For those that know me and know me well, I have shared with them my struggle with this - I was bulimic for over 20 years of my life. Yes, 20 years. There, I said it and now it is in print ... *sigh* ...... I would eat whatever I wanted only to purge. And when I purged, I was very cruel to myself. My thoughts were so negative, and I just hated myself. Through this ordeal, I became addicted to food and more food. And I was using energy to get rid of it .. depleting my body of the necessary nutrients (if there were any in the food I took in) and starving.
So now it is quite ironic to find myself on a restrictive nutritional therapy, where I am fighting for my life instead of worrying about my waistline. And I have NO intentions of giving to these cravings, but I can dream about it ... my favourite pizza place: Coco Brooks Pizza, the new doughnut shoppe: Jelly Modern Donuts, my non-fat cinnamon dolce latte: Starbucks ... and at times Russell will indulge and I live through his experience vicariously. But on a serious note, I will not compromise my therapy in anyway, and once I am cured and off this redundant schedule, I still won't go back to my old ways. Because really I have to be a fool to not connect the dots. Emotionally and physically, my bulimia contributed to my cancer. So doing the same thing over and expecting different results is ... well insanity right? And why tempt fate twice ... I don't wish this diagnosis on anyone and I have no intentions of living this experience twice. So in the meantime, I "dare to dream" of the foods I once indulged on while I pleasantly eat my potatoes, soup, veggies, fruits and juices and heal my body.
"You say it's your birthday It's my birthday too, yeah They say it's your birthday We're gonna have a good time I'm glad it's your birthday Happy birthday to you."
~ The Beatles ~ Birthday ~
Well I had another birthday yesterday and turned the big 4-2. Yep, 42 years young. Funny, I don't feel 42, but not sure what 42 is suppose to feel like so maybe I do? Anyhow, as you know from celebrating Russell's birthday a couple of weeks ago, I love love love birthdays. But this year, I didn't love love love mine. I kinda just showed up. Usually I anticipate it for weeks, and am just so excited for the day to come. This year, I woke up annoyed, sad and angry. Yeah, a real barrel of laughs I know.
I tried to shake off the negative vibrations but I couldn't. Most of the morning I was in my head, thinking, fearing, and just so so sad. I just felt that Life was so unfair. Life just sucks at times. Here is my birth - day and I am fighting cancer. What the heck is going on?!? Why is this happening?!?! Rewind to 6 months ago at diagnosis and the sad and angry feeling were the same, real and very powerful. I was emotional and told Russ, I was so afraid and that I didn't want to die of cancer. He told me that is not going to happen and tried to comfort me, but the more he did, the more my head took over. I needed to get in touch with my heart again, my intuition, my soul. What were they saying, I had to listen hard over the voices in my head telling me that I was not going to make it. I felt I was in a very dark place ... and to top it off, the day was overcast and rainy ... joy! ... and then something happened ... Russell took me by the hand and led me upstairs ... as soon as I got in our room, I cried, cried and cried.... and told him how I was feeling, and that I was trying to keep it all together, be positive and upbeat but ... I was feeling so so bad. The fear was overwhelming.
For some time, we just sat there hugging each other.
After having the allowance to express my true feelings, I felt better, the load was lighten and I thought okay, enough of that ... it's my birthday after all! The day I was born ... kinda cool actually. And the last 6 months fighting cancer was not going to define the blessings in my life and the joy I have experienced. Because how fortunate am I really??? Here I have a man that is standing by my side, thru a very very very challenging time. That is his gift to me, every day, every moment. The greatest gift of all. And, soon after my perception started to shift, so did the happenings of the day ... loving phone calls and birthday wishes from family, lovely birthday cards, a beautiful flower delivery, numerous facebook messages, wonderful phone calls from friends, birthday dinner with my husband, parents and in-laws ... blessings.
Then, I felt a bit ashamed to be so sad and angry earlier ... but it was real and so I honour those feelings instead of pushing them down so that they can further aggravate my illness. So there is no shame. Just being real. It is more than okay to feel whatever you feel ... you cannot script everything in your life. And true to what I believe, life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it, and what I do today will improve all my tomorrows. So at the end of the day ... I reflected back to my day journey, and after my prayers, realized my day was so amazing, MY BIRTH - DAY, a time when my loved ones wanted to celebrate ME and they did ... I felt like the richest girl in the world.
Life in Abundance comes only through Great Love ~ so so many Blessings.
"For those doubts that swirl all around us, For those lives that tear at the seams, We know, We’re not what we’ve seen,
For those days we felt like a mistake, Those times when love’s what you hate, Somehow, We keep marching on. "
~ OneRepublic ~ Marchin On ~
Well, we are into week 20 and "marchin on" with the therapy. Recently we have had a bit of a change as our days have been busier with Russ's Mum and her husband Ron visiting from New Zealand. They are staying with us for three weeks during their cross country tour of Canada. We have good conversation, board and card game nights, visits from friends and just time to relax with each others company. It has been nice to have that change of the daily routine with family visiting ... allows us a bit of a break from things feeling the same yet different.
We did go down to the Stampede Grounds on Sunday which was loads of fun. We had to pack my foods, juices, meds and prep for the "outing" ... sort of like a day pass really ... LOL! With the sun shining bright, and the day full of humidity and heat, we made our way to see the sights. You could feel the energy and the excitement ... there were some crazy things for others to try ... donut burgers, deep friend pop tarts, colossal onion rings, mac and cheese pizza, taco in a bag .... and really the list goes on ...just wild!! Not sure if I was even off the therapy if it would tempt me ... although there is something about the smells that pull you in. I am sure one of our friends will have a fun story on their food ventures over the 10 day event.
Here's some quick videos Russ took, unknown to me, at the grounds with the marching band passing by and some fireworks at the end of the night ... awesome fun!!!
"Before this river Becomes an ocean Before you throw my heart back on the floor Oh baby I reconsider My foolish notion Well I need someone to hold me But I'll wait for something more
Yes I've gotta have faith.."
~ George Michael ~ Faith ~
So we are now on week 19 of the Gerson Therapy ... yeah crazy how almost 5 months has passed on. At times it feels quick and other times, it is so so slow. Over the past weekend, I have been asked with care by friends "how much longer?". I just smiled at them and said "as long as it takes". Mainly because I don't know myself. I struggle with this, wishing I could give a definitive answer, but the reality is that the therapy is a minimum of 18 months. From what we have been told, the more toxins you have in your body, the slower your body heals because we need to detoxify first before we can rebuild our immune system. It makes sense if you give it some thought, regardless if you agree with alternative treatments or not. But I have blogged a great deal about the therapy, in detail, and the other areas of this blog provide more information for anyone that is interested - so I won't do that again today. Because seriously, you do not have to be diagnosed with cancer to consider a form of nutritional therapy.
At the moment I have been focusing on my FAITH. And this is not a blog entry about a type of religion, or a representation of God ... I mean true FAITH ... trust, hope and belief in the goodness, trustworthiness or reliability of a person, concept or entity. Oddly, I have heard some say that Faith is the opposite of reason. It is believing something you know isn't true. That it is down in your heart, allowing yourself to accept something that you know with your mind could not be possible. These are the same people that are so skeptical of the whole idea because they think of it as something not connected with the ordinary processes of the mind. This whole viewpoint makes me sad for them ... closing themselves off from the experience of believing. Maybe science has programmed them that seeing not feeling is the only believing. But, just because you have faith, you do not put your intellect to sleep. On the contrary, Faith is not an irrational thing ... it something we exercise every day in our lives and it began the moment we were born.
You see when we are faced with challenges, adversities and difficulties, we will ALWAYS prevail IF we refuse to yield. Society believes that when someone is diagnosed with an "incurable disease", the odds are stacked against them and a healthy life is next to impossible. Statistics focus on mortality. Why? Because the core belief is that the universe is inherently evil. Evil? (Yeah ... stay with me on this one ..... ) Yet, there is no inherent and permanent evil in the world ... infinite intelligence is GOOD all the time. It is only when we turn away from infinite intelligence that the road becomes rocky. So why do we like to "perceive evil" ... maybe it allows us to take the responsibility for our own destiny off our shoulders. We choose to play the victim, you know the phrases "this always happens to me", "I knew this was coming", "I cannot do anything to change this" .... but for those of us that want to become healthy, happy and abundant, we must have no doubt that the universe is inherently good. You see this realization can be difficult if you have allowed your lack-centered mind infect your subconscious mind. At first you must believe it, then adhered to it, until it ripens into realization and knowing.
And I now know the sorrows of life can be great and at times, the universe is indeed dark - but sometimes we need the dark to appreciate the light. Dark is not evil it is just ... well dark. Our thoughts need organization and direction. We must chose to supervise this process. And when we do, our thoughts become obedient servants, leading us to the life we wish to live ... allowing us to tap into the natural order of the universe with is ... inherently good. And when we stand face to face with truth, we understand that every challenge is a stepping stone to build character that allows us to ultimately triumph.
Our sorrows can be conquered and used for greater good. When we accept these lessons for what they truly are, we manifest health, happiness and abundance we desire. Evil is a mind virus. For us to become strong, serene, and at peace, we must have no doubt that the universe is ruled by an Infinite Intelligence that is good.
"Sometimes I'm hot sometimes I'm not Tonight I'm ready ready to rock No sitting home all alone not tonight tonight I'm in the zone Cuz I'm on fire fire fire fire fire tonight I'll take you higher higher higher higher higher tonight"
~ Raghav ~ Fire ~
This is the best time of year in Calgary. Seriously, summertime in Calgary is beautiful. We have so many events, festivals, concerts and activities on the go ... there is quite a selection .... And to top it off, the Royal couple are in town, Will and Kate, and the hype is big, real big. But an even bigger HYPE in town is theCalgary Stampede.The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The ten-day event, which bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", attracts over one million visitors per year and features the world's largest rodeo, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions. And I am a HUGE fan, and not because I enjoy country music (uh, negative) but because it is one big party environment. Everyone is on FIRE!!
The streets are filled with people dressed up in country wear, ahem some not wearing much and with different agendas, but hey whatever works for ya ... giddup!! From memory, most people "check-in" the office in the morning, you know making an appearance and then ... off to the races - beer chuggin', vodka drinkin', flapjack flippin', baileys and coffee sippin', sausages eatin', egg scramblin' ... and thats just before NOON! ... hmmm think I covered it all - but the best part, if you play your cards right, it is absolutely FREE. Yep, F-R-E-E! Almost every shopping mall, community centre and church in the city has free food for the entire stampede duration. The Stampede spirit is wonderful, besides a few party poopers who state "ugh, I just hate the Stampede!", people are generous and just looking to have simple, plain, good ol' fashion fun. The party lasts for about 10 days, and afterwards the city is usually experiencing a massive hangover. And this refers to those of us that don't even drink ... seriously, the high is SO high, that afterwards, it is just down-time ... until the next festival, street party or event is on ... which is usually the following weekend?!
This year we have an opportunity to experience the events in a different way ... besides working around my therapy schedule, which goes without saying, we have an opportunity to see a talented musician, RAGHAV. Raghav is a Canadian born singer, raised in Calgary and a family friend. He will be performing on Friday, July 8th at the Whiskey niteclub in Calgary. And we have the pleasure to be there and cheer him on. His debut CD "Storyteller" sold an impressive 1.3 million copies. He also won a MOBO Award for Best Collaboration, and two UK Asian Music Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Single. And in 2005, Raghav also won an Urban Award for Best Chart Act. And if this wasn't enough to impress, Storyteller was the 6th best selling international album of all time in India and his CD, Indentity, had a #3 charted single that won a Southern Asian Music Award for Best Artist and an Asian Achievers Award ... yes, we can all give a collective WOW! To state how proud we all are would be an understatement.
So with the city is in full Stampede swing, concerts are planned, parties are set and people are buzzing and on ... FIRE! ... I decided to try to enjoy the aforementioned as much as I can. Making sure not to push myself too much, but try to live it up as much as possible. And it takes a lot of planning on our part, if it is a day trip, making sure soup, potatoes, juices and meds are packed ... if it is an evening event, making sure the therapy is complete for the day, monitoring my energy levels, etc ... Some days I get excited to do things only to find out at the end of the day, I am just spent. So, for tomorrow nights gig my plan is to REST UP, DRESS UP and just ENJOY THE SHOW!
"Tonight I'm ready ready to rock
No sitting home all alone not tonight tonight I'm in the zone"
"You may think that I'm out of hand That I'm naive, I'll understand On this occasion, it's not true Look at me, I'm not you ... Just wait till tomorrow I guess that's what they all say Just before they fall apart ..." ~ New Order ~ Regret ~ ***
Well not sure how to blog about this subject, and I thank you in advance if this turns out to be a rant... subject: Regrets. I guess what triggered it for me was recent comments from a friend. These comments have been a bit of a theme from this friend, and it started to really affect me. I have been told that I need to give a "signal" or the "go-ahead" for others to get in contact with me. That they really do care and love me, but don't know what to say ... or may say the wrong thing ... or they are worried how I will react ... or they think I am mad at them (yes, I actually had someone facebook message me and ask me that question) ... or they really want to but ....hmmmmmm.
Well, to be honest, I am a little confused. I guess because I have been so open, honest and vulnerable when it comes to my diagnosis. If you are aware of this blog, or have been reading it, you would know this. I have blogged about pretty much everything, from the day of diagnosis to daily and weekly events, side effects, nutritional restrictions, doctor appointment updates, emotional turmoil, physical symptoms, etc ... hmmmmm, okay, so maybe that is assuming that this blog is being read. Fair enough, but it is automatically uploaded to facebook and twitter ... hmmmm, okay, so maybe your not on either of those social media sites. Regardless, I have been processing and trying to sort through what this is all about, because I can tell you, it really is not about ME, its about them. Haha, yes the old saying, but this time in reverse, its not ME its YOU.
So what do I mean, well, I am a very empathetic person. Anyone that knows me, knows this. And sometimes to my detriment. In the past, I have had a difficult time setting up boundaries, taking on others problems and sinking deeper and deeper into a bad place. With friends going through break-ups, separations, losing a child, losing a parent, losing a job, financially in ruins ... being there for them, and not necessarily knowing what to say, but just the assurance that they can count on me, really count on me. In return, especially in the last 5 months, we have had friends visit from all over the world, calling and emailing and skyping, we have had our local friends bring carrots and food, we have had our friend's children make pictures for us, we have had countless words of kindness, love and support, we have had flowers and cards and plants ... basically showing us that they are really there for us. Not thinking about what not to say, or how to say it but just doing. And really does it take a blog or a social media outlet to connect with someone ... what about the simple task of asking?
And the odd thing is, I started to feel bad, or guilty that I wasn't making it easy for others to connect with me, that I maybe didn't give the right signal, maybe I was unapproachable?? Wow.... yeah, then I came to my senses and realized that I needed to stop and really think about what was going on in my life. Uh ... a little busy here trying to beat cancer? That is my focus, healing ME. So the rest is just ... well it is what it is. And truly and honestly for those that are unsure I hope that you don't have any regrets. You know it is never too late to connect ... that is IF you really want to. The word "should" is a pet peeve of mine now ... it implies that you have already done something wrong. You know the "you should do this and you should do that" ... perhaps instead the word could would replace nicely.
So what is Regret ... the definition states to be disappointed, feel sorry about something or distressed; wishing something to be different than it is. Well, I am trying to learn from this current rant and understand my regrets from the past ... thinking that maybe not to regret anything, because at one time, that was what I wanted.
Going forward, no opportunities missed, no regrets, no boundaries, no fear.
And really if I think about it ... if I fill my heart with regrets from yesterday and worries of tomorrow, I have no today to be thankful for.