Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Illness, healing and positive thoughts

First I owe all my readers an apology for the delay in updating my blog, I hope you have all been well and happy.

It's been a trying time in my family, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer last month. For those of you who have been reading my posts you will know that my son died from meningitis over 3 years ago and that has been quite a hill to climb. To hear that my mum had a life threatening illness was quite a shock and a worry for us all. My mum is a beautiful caring person who has been such a support for us, particularly Kirsten my daughter, and the thought that we might lose her was scary.

Everyone (including mum) was most concerned about Kirsten and how she would react, she has had to cope with a lot in her 11 years. I thought hard about how to tell her without scaring her, I didn't want to mention cancer but as I talked about a lump in the breast she immediately made that leap for herself. She was upset and scared that her gran would die, that I would get it and even that she herself might get breast cancer. I have learned that honesty is the best approach, so I got as much information as I could and explained what was to happen to her gran. Explaining that it was really important that we kept positive for her and that we could only deal with what we knew.

I expect most of us will explore the worst possible outcome in our minds when we are faced with some bad news. I also know that the worst outcome can come true but it doesn't mean that it always will. Mum was lucky - her cancer was found early, almost by chance as the lump she went to the doc about was a cyst. The GP sent her to the consultant, who suggested a mammogram just incase. That action meant that the tumours in both breasts were spotted, surgery and reconstruction were done together and the outcome is looking very good. What I am so proud of is how my mum has handled the situation.

The mind can heal the body

I am a great believer in the power of the mind and had encouraged my mum to use some visualisation exercises to help free her body from cancer. She took this on board and created 2 versions of the cancer cells leaving her body both of which were funny. She has continued to use some visualisations to help her body to heal following her surgery and has a virtual team helping to dig drains, clear fluid, knit her wounds together and keep everything spotless. In fact she imagines that my son Calum is helping to organise all these folks to make sure they do their job. (Her wounds seem to be healing quickly).
This has helped us to laugh about her illness, mum has been smiling as she imagined these sessions and has shared this and laughed about it with others. She is now continuing the theme by imaginging doing her exercises to strengthen her muscles. For anyone interested in knowing more about these tecniques I
Linkwould recommend David Hamilton's book How the mind can heal the body.

Laugher is the best medicine

I know that this has approach is having a positive effect on us all. Laughter is such a healer, and mum has said that feeling positive and having a laugh has really helped her to cope. The pain never seems so bad when her thoughts are good and her mood up beat. The trick I suppose for us all is to be able to create those moments of laughter and good feelings when we feel ill or have bad days.
I have a wee stock of good thoughts and happy memories that can switch how I feel for even an instant. I know I can choose to feel good if I use these. Even 15 seconds of feeling good is enough to give your positive vibes a boost. Try this for yourself, you'll soon find that you can switch on the positive thoughts and feelings for longer.

Being positive doesn't mean ignoring those other emotions though. It is healthy to cry, it's our release valve. If you are ill or supporting others all sorts of emotions can surface, find a way to acknowledge them and let them go. I find writing about the situation helps, talking it over with a friend or even using EFT (emotional freedom technique) helps me too.

So we have had an emotional journey in our family again, life is like that. It remind us about being in control of what we can, that is our thoughts and our emotions. Feeling good may not change the situation but it will help us to cope with it. I also believe that you can pass on that positive energy and help others too. Science seems to agree now with studies showing we can catch other people's energy too.

Thank you Mum

Thank you mum for trying something new, for encouraging and supporting me in my life. Thank you for spreading laughter, love and joy, for the times you kissed my scrapped knees and made them better, for joining in our games, for dancing to Fame and showing us how to have fun. You have helped to heal my pain from losing Calum and by agreeing to share your story I hope you have helped others to find a way through theirs.
I hope that you will be encouraged by our experiences and pass on a bit of good cheer to someone else. If you are in the Glasgow area (Scotland) then you could come and join the Glasgow Happiness Club, where we explore more ways to handle to the low times, create good thoughts and feel happy.

If you have anything to share or a question to ask please comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Wishing you all health, love and happiness.