Take The Good With The Bad


My wonderful friend Sian and Me fulfilling a dream to visit The Spaceneedle Seattle WA


Our lives can bring us to very unexpected places, we try to plan ahead and think we have things under control. The reality of course is quiet different and that is why we tend not to focus on that, it seems a very scary concept to have no control but when a person gets diagnosed with a life threatening disease at a (relatively!!) young age your forced with alarming speed to realise control is an illusion.

Of course as scary as it seems, and as glib as it sounds it really is important “to go with the flow”. That’s been as life changing as the cancer for me and maybe I would never really have learned that without the Melanoma. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I’m glad I got it but it has led too a lot of good experiences for me because I am now willing to except opportunities and go with the flow without analysing situations too much in advance.

One of those situations was without hesitation or over thinking it, to apply for a scholarship to attend ASCO which is the American society of clinical oncologist’s conference in Chicago June 3-7, as a patient advocate. The idea was mentioned at MPNE Brussels conference for anyone who felt it was something they would like to do. Submit an application explaining why you should receive a scholarship from the American Conquer Cancer Foundation to attend as someone with a special interest in patient advocacy not necessarily a patient. Me previous to this last year, would have thought No Way!! You would be out of your depth, they will discover you shouldn’t really be here and you will look like a big eejit. It is , I’ve been told called very aptly imposter syndrome we all do it to some extent in our lives talk our self worth down think we shouldn’t or couldn’t. That’s bad for you full stop!! it stunts you emotionally and physically it puts stress on your body and serves no purpose except to miss what may be some of life’s greatest opportunities, you must never let someone else impose those thoughts on you either that’s toxic behaviour, everyone needs to surround themselves with people who encourage, support and love , without that we can’t and won’t reach our true potential or live fulfilled lives. There is no time to do over, this is it, here and now, one shot, at this but it’s never too late to start.

So if you can take one thing from this blog let it be that, it took me getting cancer to throw away my self criticism and embrace life and because I have its led to amazing opportunities, I am actually writing this staring out at beautiful scenery from my friends house in Seattle. I had promised myself a trip to meet her for 28 years since she emigrated with her family, after we had both met during another life changing event, that had a profund effect on both of us. I had made every excuse as to why I couldn’t do it over the years, thinking I couldn’t justify it, that it was too self indulgent, I was afraid it would make me question my life in ways I wasn’t open too, about decisions I had made but BAM!! Along came cancer and has taken all that away and made me live in here and now, as we all should, we all need to be kinder to ourselves, be self indulgent not to be confused with selfish they are completely different. We get one go at this (as far as anyone can tell) and none of us are getting out alive one way or another.

Forget about trying to control everything, except when good things come your way don’t always think why, or is there going to be some big pay back, the bad stuff doesn’t happen because we are bad, and we can’t stop it by putting life on hold, and not doing what we really desire in our hearts, it’s simply because, sometimes Shit Happens!!

It has taken cancer and an unexpected scholarship to push me travel to America, to finally see where my friend has spent all these years. I have no idea where it’s going to lead me after Chicago but I’m ready now to take the good with the bad with open arms……….