Have you ever found yourself in a waiting room wondering what the next step will be?
Are you waiting with a loved one or a Carer?
Are you worried about results of your own or those of someone you love and care for?
What will be your options ?
How will you get your head around all the things you have to remember and do?
How are you going to talk about the ‘hard stuff ‘with the people you love and care for?
How do you cope when you feel like your world is falling apart after a diagnosis of yourself or a loved one?
Listen to the Podcast
I thought I would start with sharing a little bit of my own story so that you ,the listener will understand how ‘After The Waiting Room’ came about and my purpose for these podcasts.
I’ve been in practice as a Myotherapist and teacher for nearly 30 years and I have been working with oncology, pallative, dementia patients and their families over that time and I’ve trained specifically in this area over the last eight years counting my own cancer diagnosis as part of my eventual formal training.
I now work in nursing homes, hospitals and people’s homes as well as in my own private practice through the week.
I am a provider for the many care organizations, the city council, receive referrals from oncologists and breast care nurses and work part time in one of the oncology wards in my hometown of Geelong and I also make myself available for speaking at various support groups.
My clients have shared their stories with me and they have taught me lessons of coping in the many ways we do as humans and how to not just exist, but to engage in living.
I remember when I was waiting on my diagnosis,which took a long time, with many tests.
I was terrified inside, and on the outside – I portrayed a calm exterior which made the terror even worse! My children didn’t know, only my husband and a couple of people were in the know until I knew exactly what I would be dealing with.
Lots of things were going on in my head like:
- Am I going to die?
- How will my children respond?
- How will my family survive emotionally and financially?
- Will I loose my business?
- How much time will I need for treatment?
- How well will I be?
- Will I have to choose what treatment and doctors I need?
And lots more….
I hid a lot of what I was thinking to protect my family and to keep a sense of normality around me, while all the time I’d catch myself going into panic mode and screaming inside.
I felt that I was loosing control over my life, even though I still had to function with getting on with the stuff of living day to day, with three adolescents, a worried husband and a business to run.
Some people would say around me “You’re strong,you’re going to be ok.”
Admittedly I was very fit, in fact a gym junkie and an impending cancer diagnosis was feeling very much like a big slap in the face. I felt as if I was going to war, slaying dragons at every turn.
Some doctors said that they thought it was only a cyst and only because I had insisted ,they would refer me to have a biopsy. “Yes please”, I said.
I knew deep down what it was. I had felt enough cancers to have a good idea what I was feeling. My mother’s and other clients I had met over the years.
My friend and mentor, Jo, was one of the few who knew what my wait was about. I was studying how mindset was the deciding factor in how we build our reality around different things that happen in our lives and what we make these events mean.
She sat me down and explained that even before we get a definitive diagnosis we start to run strategies in our mind even when we’re not consciously aware that we are doing it.
She said, “What have you decided to do?”
I was a bit confused. I said, “What do you mean? I don’t understand!”
She looked straight into my eyes and put her hands over mine and said, “Are you deciding to live, or are you deciding to die?”
I was shocked! They were brutally honest questions that ripped me right out of my foggy mind. After digging down deep into my gut feelings in that quiet room, I said, “Well I was planning on living a very long time, say, to 100. So I’ll choose the living strategy and see where it takes me.”
“Good.” she said, “because if you chose the other, I really wouldn’t want to work with you. So keep doing the living strategy until it really is time for you to die.”
After that, the stories I told myself were very different to the ones I previously had in my mind, even through treatment difficulties and hard lessons I had to learn, especially about my ego, but that’s another story!
I’m very grateful to Jo for the gift of waking me up to possibilities in my life and those of the many clients I have told this story to over the last few years.
So what stories are you telling yourself?
What are the stories we tell others?
How are your stories working for you ?
Are they serving you so you are living, or are they creating a reality that is far from how you want your life to be.
We all have our own stories. They make us who we are.
Next time I’ll be talking about our stories, how we create and them how we can change them if they don’t work for us anymore.