Fear is to be understood

 

Β 

π˜•π˜°π˜΅π˜©π˜ͺ𝘯𝘨 π˜ͺ𝘯 𝘭π˜ͺ𝘧𝘦 π˜ͺ𝘴 𝘡𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘒𝘳𝘦π˜₯ —

This is a loaded statement.

The elephant in the room that people are not comfortable talking about is death.

I believe that anyone who is traveling on a late-stage cancer road, death is a conversation they are willing to have.

Or at least that is my experience.

Mind you, not everyone wants to hear what I have to say about it. And sometimes I walk away, biting my tongue because of the uneasiness that it has caused.

People who know me well will confirm that.Β 

I am always an open book.

If you don’t want to hear my opinion, you shouldn’t ask me.

My argument if I really need one,

is it is time to understand more,⁠ ⁠so that we may be fearless?⁠ ⁠ ⁠ 

When I say understand more, I’m not saying my thinking is right or wrong.

It is merely what I have found to be the truth for myself.

How do we understand our fear or at least accept our fear?

Inner peace

What brings me peace when I think of my fear “death” as my example won’t necessarily feel the same for you.

I have learned to develop an inner-peace through my experience.

Over time I’ve found what works for me. I refer to it as “my personal way” of mediation.

 

This is the beautiful thing about meditating —Β 

It is what you decide it is for you.

 

Sitting still in a room and trying to meditate has never worked for me.

 

A few years ago, I noticed that when I was disconnected or found myself in an unfamiliar physical space– my thoughts were less restricted.Β 

 

I was training my mind to way to drift into a different place.

 

When I have the opportunity to be in the silence of nature, my own meditation process becomes very natural.

Laying in an MRI machine is obviously the furthest thing from being in the great outdoors.

But I’ve learned to trick my brain.

 

Whatever it takes to “let go,” this is when my mind clears of the everyday thoughts.

 

I begin by moving my thoughts to gratitude.

 

I use memories that bring my loving, grateful, and peaceful moments.Β Β 

This helps my mind to go from one grateful thought to another.

 

Each time I’ve had the opportunity to travel, I collect memories specifically to recall for a needed time.

This works well for me.

When I need to, I can mentally and emotionally travel to different destinations by using my memories.

This is what calms me.

 

I use this method when I undergo cancer testing and scans.

The times when I need to release anxiety.

 

I have noticed that when I’ve completed my own meditative experience, I often have my best ideas come to mind.

 

an example

 

When I’ve needing to reach out to a family member or friend. Not knowing how to handle a situation.

 

It is very affirming to me that I have reset my mind and spirit and am ready for comes next.

 

Again, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.

You don’t need to call it meditation.

 

Do the discovery that is waiting for you.Β  It is there for you to reach out and touch it.

Your personal journey to experiencing inner peace.

⁠ ⁠ ⁠

How’s Your Flow? – A Happy Habit

 

How’s your flow?

No, I’m not talking about your Aunt Flo who comes to visit every month — or in my case use to come for a visit.

Finding your flow – is essential Habit of Happy People.

Ok, this one is new to me, but the more I have read about it –I realize that “It” is a necessary form of happiness in my life.

I have noticed that when I feel stagnant, I am not at my best, and I think “out of sorts,” and this can eventually lead me to be grumpy or just plain sad.

But I’ve learned how I can quickly recover.

When we are involved in trying to reach a goal or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called “flow.”

“The loss of self-consciousness that happens when you are completely absorbed in an activity – intellectual, professional, or physical — is described in contemporary psychology as a state of flow.”

When I find myself in a bit of a funk, the following is an example of a routine I have learned to follow.

I start by clearing my mind. I need to quiet all the chatter in my head. The noise is not serving me and is causing the distraction that is causing me to be stagnant.

Here is how I clear my mind. Let’s call it a mind sweep. I’ve learned this from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. David often states that our brains are for having ideas, not storing them.

The more we keep in our brains, the more stressed we become. Stress does not lead to happiness.

Now it is time to dump what is in my mind.

So I will write a list. On my list is everything that I can think of that I have not gotten to yet.
Like;
Fix the leaky sink
Pick up the drycleaning
Buy the airline tickets
Sweep the porch
Write this week’s blog post
Plan some social media content
Plan next week’s meals
Organize the kitchen
Clean out the closet
And the list goes on and on.

And when I can’t come up with anything else to add to the list, I feel so much better because now I can see a way of getting some if not all of my tasks completed.

I start by seeing what tasks I can have someone else accomplish. I will call it my “honey-do list.” Repairs around the house. If my Honey can’t do it, he can call the repairman. He certainly can take care of the dry cleaning since it is on his way to the office.

I continue going down the list and creating a plan of action and going from task to task. Not all of the to-dos will get crossed off the list at that time. The important thing is that they have become organized on paper, and a plan of action is in place. And I can now breath a little easier because I am mo longer holding them in my mind.

And this is when I do my best thinking. Because now I get to decide which project I want to do next.

I have a hobby that has turned into a project and two-plus years later

My project has also become my “Side Gig.”

“My project” leads me to find my flow. It can be an emotional outlet for me, where I share my feelings. It has surprised me at times when my creativity blossoms.

I am in my flow when I am working on my social media. I get excited and energized with new ideas. I meet new friends often. I learn something new each day. It might be something I’ve learned from you, or it may be a new way of posting content.

Either way, it all brings me joy, and that is when I know I am in my flow.

Side Effects? — There’s an App for that

 

You go through months of chemo, and you have a follow-up scan which show’s improvement. Hooray!

So now what?
What’s next?

An oncologist’s primary purpose is to slow the progression of cancer and improve your outlook. There are a few different treatments that you may continue with.

Yes, these treatments can help prolong your life. The bad news is that these treatments also cause side effects that can make your day-to-day life difficult.

Common side effects of metastatic breast cancer treatment include:

constipation
diarrhea
fatigue
hair loss
headaches
hot flashes
increased risk of infections
joint or bone pain
loss of appetite
mood swings
mouth sores
nausea and vomiting
numbness or tingling
vaginal dryness

There are the obvious tips that can help with side effects from all cancer treatments, such as making sure that you get enough rest. The simplest tasks can wear you out very quickly. Drink fluids often. Drink even more water when you have any type of infusion.

Other tips to keep in mind.

 

Up your fiber intake –

Bowel movements might not be at the top of your list of concerns right now, but when you ‘can’t go for days at a time, ‘you’ll feel bloated, crampy, and miserable. Cancer treatment will most likely leave you constipated.
Add more fiber in your diet from fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods or take a fiber supplement. Stool softeners can also be helpful.

 

Exercise –

You most likely are not going to feel like but a ten-minute walk will help you feel better and actually have more energy.
This will help you sleep better as well as improve constipation. Start small when it comes to exercise.

 

Divide up your meals –

I have found eating smaller meals more often has always been helpful. You may have learned this when trying to control nausea.
Treatments can affect your appetite and cause mouth sores that make eating more difficult and painful. Because you need proper nutrition to help your body heal, try to eat smaller meals that are high in nutrients and protein. Include foods like peanut butter, whole-milk yogurt, milkshakes, and granola. You can also add nutritional drinks and snacks throughout the day.

 

Keep a notebook –

There is always an App for that! Like I’ve mentioned in other posts, the best way to be your own medical advocate is to keep track of your side effects. Honestly, it is difficult at times to determine what is a side effect of your treatment as well as your possible progression. By keeping track of what is going on with your body, you will have a better discussion with your oncologist.

 

Don’t Give Up

Travel Adventure: Thailand Part I – Santhiya Resort

Life is short, so buy the damn shoes and see the world!

Everyone should visit Thailand once in their lifetime. Steve and I have been once and have wanted to go back since. We quickly fell in love with the Thai people. They were always warm and friendly and it’s easy to feel safe everywhere you go.

Traveling to Thailand might sound extravagant and expensive; however, it has been by far the most budget-friendly international vacation we have taken.

We purchased our airfare with China Southern Airlines and only paid about $1000 for the two of us to fly round trip. I have even seen less expensive fares since. Buyer beware that the less money the airfare, the longer the layovers. We ended up with a ten-hour layover in Guangzhou China Airport where we slept on the terminal floor. Luxury at its finest!

The next morning our flight arrived in Phuket, and the fun began.

We had arranged to stay at Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai, and I am so glad we did! The resort is on the island of Koh Yao Yai and is about a 20-minute boat ride from Phuket Island. If you arrange it ahead of time, the resort will send a small speedboat to pick you up and take you to the island. Make sure to have your camera ready for the beautiful views you are about to see! Tip: Sit at the back of the boat so there’s no roof hindering your view.

When we arrived at Santhiya, it felt just like a scene from the tv show Fantasy Island, complete with a gong upon the new visitors’ arrival. The resort was fantastic, and the staff was lovely. Santhiya is built on the side of a hill overlooking the ocean. They have Tuk Tuk trucks to take you around the resort.

For the first several nights we stayed in the Supreme Deluxe Sea View, and it did not disappoint. King size beds, a beautiful bathroom with and an enormous shower. And of course a large soaking tub on the veranda overlooking the ocean. It was heaven and precisely the type of accommodations I was wanting after undergoing treatment. Breakfast was served every morning buffet style. It was a beautiful presentation with everything you might want to eat and so much more. Each morning we would arrive for breakfast while beautiful live Thai music was being performed.

Ayurvana Spa is incredible and has every service you can imagine. Β But we also enjoyed a massage near the beach every afternoon. The price was $17 for an hour massage (pricey by Thailand standards) and was just what the doctor ordered.

The last few nights we splurged and upgraded to a room with an infinity pool. It is the Ocean View Pool Villa. Β If you choose to stay at this resort do rent the villa, at least for a couple of nights, it is worth the extra money.

We stayed in Thailand for two weeks. We planned to enjoy and relax at the resort but also to adventure out away from the resort to experience a little more of the country.

What is the weather like in Thailand?

Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, you can visit all year round. The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April. We went in late October and it was warm and 80% humidity.

Thai Baht is the currency for Thailand. Here is a link to a currency converter.

Check back soon for Part II of the Thailand installment which will include information about the excursions we recommend.Β  Until then namaste