You may notice, if you look carefully, that there has been a big gap in my blogging habits. I have had cancer. There, now it is written in black and white for all to see. It must be true, however surreal this last year has been.
The DNA damage happened between ten and twenty years ago, and so I suspect happened in the midst of my marriage falling apart and my sister’s husband being diagnosed and subsequently dying of brain cancer when he was just 35 years old. Certainly there were times in those dark days when I questioned whether life was worth living, a place that I never want to return to.
However after 28 sessions of radiotherapy, two rounds of chemotherapy, and two weeks in a burns unit recovering from the side effects of the radiotherapy, my scans are clear. The enormity of my lucky escape has, to be honest, rarely hit me like a celebratory bolt of lightning. The feeling is more like a steady dawning, a feeling of increasing security after every checkup. My confidence is steadily building as the pain recedes and my energy returns.
Over the coming weeks I plan to share with you some of the coping strategies that have helped to pull me through. I was incredibly lucky to already have mindfulness so well embedded in my life, and to have these principles to draw on from the depths of my trauma is making a tangible difference to my recovery. My family, friends and Sangha were, and continue to be, invaluable and I am grateful beyond measure for their support.
If you would like to join me as I explore ways of responding positively to such an experience, please do sign up for blog alerts in the box to the right of this text. You are welcome to email me directly with questions, comments and feedback on [email protected]
Here’s to the future, dear friends.
Katie Sheen, Founder & Director of Soul Nutrition
Other Mindfulness in the Midst of Cancer blog articles: