The next bit for me.
My journey beyond the cancer seas
I walked out of the door of the clinic in January 2022, the air was sharp and cool and I remember sitting in my car trying to understand what I was feeling. I rubbed my arm gently, the mini bandage still in place from the picc line and looked back over the year I had just had.
In December 2020 I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, right bang in the midst of my peri menopause and I was floored. My nervous system went into over drive of panic and it was only through the love of the community around me that I found balance again. They reminded me of who I was and kept me on track.
I went through the requisite treatment plan using both allopathic and alternate medicine and blogged about it all. The quiet listening shiatsu practitioner became very transparent and vulnerable, as much to meet the audience of supporters as to recover her voice.
I came through that year with many ups and downs, and on that January day as I sat in the car digesting the news of my remission I started to understand that I had put myself through my own personal process of healing using the traditional medicine tools that I had used for so long with my clients. I began to realise how much my shiatsu body work sessions had evolved into mentoring sessions over the years, with heaps of videos and nutritional advice and more.
Every day during my recovery I did Qi Gong and developed other energy based exercises. I put to use the nutritional knowledge I had and reformulated my diet. I looked my old trauma in the face and found compassion for myself. I spent hours doing relaxation techniques, with breath, yoga nidra, mindfulness. I found my inner artist and writer. In short I became my own client and mentor, who was dealing with both menopause and cancer.
With regards to the cancer there is no magic formula to make it end. I was lucky. Every day I live in gratitude that I am alive. At this point I’m not certain that working with others in a cancer story is such a great idea, its a bit too close. Maybe in time I can come to this. There is a book that came from my blogs about my journey, perhaps when it is published enough time will have past for me to develop some work to offer here.
However, working with women like myself going through menopause I can utterly get behind. Menopause is a cycle, it may seem long and never ending when we are traversing it, but it does pass. As I see it we can choose to pull our lives back to what they were on the other side or we can actively listen to the new emerging aspects of us.
In this day and age there is an overload of information, yet little wisdom. We as a society seem to have forgotten how to traverse the transition times. There are few sign posts for the rites of passage into different times of our existence. I am suggesting that menopause should be seen as a rite of passage. I am suggesting that aside from the practical advice I can bring to the table, developing a community is as important. And not just one where my word is heard. A community for us all to lift each other up on the other side, either emotionally, practically or through supporting each others new emerging offerings in the world.
I am learning all of this as I go. I am not fully through the menopause, but I am willing to keep on evolving and sharing. I have my traditional Chinese medicine tool kit, nutritional advice and body work which will be reformulated into support packages for you if you work with me. The details will be shared as I go along. There will be both online and in person options.
I also believe that community support is the most crucial way forward. So for those working with me there will be a free FB forum that is open to whatever is needed, I will only ask you to be kind to each other on it, the rest is yours to develop and shape. And down the line I am considering an online membership for those of us wanting to develop further into the rite of passage work. This will open the question of what it is to become an elder woman in our society and how we can co-create this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, if it resonates with you then please share your details with me in the messages here and I can keep you posted.