Healing Cafe Message 3rd May 2020

You’re the voice, try and understand it.

Make a noise and make it clear – whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah

We’re not gonna sit in silence; we’re not gonna live with fear.

Whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah whooooooaaahhhhhh!!!!!

How loud is your voice?

I’m not talking about volume. 

I’m talking about how – how are you heard?  How do you want to be heard? 

Are you being heard? Really heard?

I’m Kathleen and welcome to the Healing Cafe.  Kathy by family and some friends who have known me since way back then. 

Whew!!!!!!!

And still the learning continues; what the?

There I was feeling smug as, thinking I had kicked cancers arse and low and behold – whammo!!!

And yet another message from my body to my body – here we go again:

3 tiny tumors now having to be suppressed with their growth by the good drugs – whatever that concoction is – actually I did know what it was; I just had it on Thursday arvo. 

The results of the PET Scan, that’s Positron Emission Tomography which is a diagnostic medical imaging detecting cancer scan – well that revealed 3 tiny tumors, one the size of an almond next to (not in) my bowel and two each side of my bladder the size of pistachios with their shells on.

Just going with the nutty health theme. 

Heart scan excellent and yes, I do have one – so my body is able to tolerate the new medicine that will be dispensed every 4 weeks intravenously via the portacath that has been with me for a year now.

So, I had my first dose on the last day of April, yeah Thursday.   

Now chemotherapy is the body being helped with chemicals – I choose to call them medicine and we take this in many forms.  Mine is specific.  The dose is designed by my oncologist who is the best, in my opinion, in his field. 

So many of us have medication in many forms, could be blood pressure, heart conditions, kidney conditions, mental health conditions such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, other physical problems, weight challenges, mediations in the form of self-help via counselling, coaching, kinesiology, acupuncture and on and on and on it goes. 

These are all interventions, medicine for the ill, self-help for the suffering.  Sometimes with mediation sometimes with remedial support and mostly with drugs or chemo – chemicals – legal and not illicit or sometimes illegal, even prescription medication.  I know some that had been prescribed to me, I could have probably sold them on the street – sorry this is ex Drug Arm language. 

I am here to say the only medicine that is in my body right now is Liposomal doxorubicin (lye-po-SO-mal dox-oh-roo-bi-sin).  Its role is to suppress the aggression of those tumors that decided to stay after my last chemical treatments.  Suppress their growth and soon, when there’s a remedy that will make them magically disappear, well that’s another step into our future isn’t it. 

So, that’s it, no blood pressure, no anti-nausea medication, no head ache stuff, no heart – ooonly joking. 

Sooo, that’s my story regarding my health.  Just wanted to share, I wasn’t going to actually.  I get sick of talking about it.  It’s great, it’s gone, it’s back, no it isn’t, yes, it is, bloody hell. 

I was, I wasn’t, I was, I wasn’t, then this morning I thought, what the hell – how can I lie to people and say “yeah I’m good” when it’s just bull shit – you know what I mean?

You people listening to me – you “friends” have become really important to me. 

You think I don’t know you very well – I know you – I see you.

You have all been a part of my journey for as long as I can remember when you entered my life.

I’ve always said:  “Share with your clients or the people in your lives YOUR reality and speak only the truth.  It’s ok to say you’re not ok, however you are working towards being ok and not resisting the reality of your life.  

Now I am not going to go all emo, it’s just that I am a bit raw at the moment however the good news is the drug I’m on, sorry medicine, is only being dispensed once a month so there is no excuse to stop.

And no, I will not lose my hair again however it may not grow back as quickly – will wait and see huh?

Yes, I may slow down a little when I get tired.

I have not lost, nor intend to lose (as my mother said) my marbles.  I am still sane – shut up some of you.  Said with a happy smiley face in emoji language.  Or a LOL which a lot of people say is Lots Of Love I might add. 

However, to keep in touch, to keep “working” is so important to me and I know those of you who do work with me, have said they appreciate our time together.

Now, here we go – Jeffrey Slayter put this out a few days ago titled The Power of Choice and he said: 

“You’ve heard this before; I know I have. Yet, I have forgotten, and many people have, that they have the power to choose, that they have no choice.

Each of us, many of us, have forgotten that we have chosen to have no choice but remember, we’ve chosen that.

This is a critical time to remember that you have a choice and maybe go back to the part of you that might have chosen to have the experience that you have no choice.”

Get it?

Soooo onward and upward ok.

Recently I had a session with Janice Muir who was going to run writing retreats do you remember?

I mentioned those, well we both did a month or so ago and then whammo – covid-19 – social isolation and it had to be all put on hold.

However, lots of people have discovered in our solitude and plenty of time to reconsider what we are really doing with our lives and often reformulating our plans, our hopes and our dreams and often, believe it or not, it turns out better or it’s in the process of becoming better with more time to focus. 

To be honest, I’m loving the Zoom sessions. 

It just feels more honest, the face tells the story doesn’t it?

When I counsel face to face or in person, you know with the whole-body present, lots of visuals get in the way and presumptions and curiosity.  Crazy diversions like fashion, wonder where she bought that top?  Love her nails, wonder why she wears them that long.  Or if I’m in a client’s home, gosh, the furniture comes into the equation and my non-judgmental attitude and my unconditional positive regard is tempted.  No, zoom is definitely the way to go for focus. 

Focus on the story and on the face.  It’s just basically from the neck up and what is seen there and what words are being expressed and where the eyes are looking. 

Yes, I know there is value in the real thing however we are the real thing and you can get the sense of how a person is online.  Do you reckon or don’t you reckon?

I remember working as a telephone counsellor at Drug Arm and then after the initial phone assessment, I would go and visit a person in their home.  My presumptions about all sorts of things tried to fail me every time. 

However mostly I was on track, you do receive and ascertain a lot of information just from a story. 

Now, remember Janice Muir, the writing lady, remember the writing retreats that she was planning?   

Janice is going to re-write her program and it will take time however when she’s sorted, I’m thinking of jumping on board and doing that dam book, sorry writing the book that I have had inside of me for around 9 years now.

I do have the title and I have mentioned it to many people including Janice and she straight away said “well we better get that title registered” – I think that was the terminology she used and I said.. Why?

So, nobody else uses it.  See I don’t know about those sorts of things, my skills are in other areas. 

See how little I know about writing – see how important it is to do things right?  Write right, right?

Whatever you’re carrying inside of you that causes you the need to want to share your story, please know how important it is and how healing it can be to disclose those words and that story out of your body, through your heart, your soul and wherever else you carry that yearning to write and out through your hand so words form on paper. 

Watch Janice’s transcriptions as they appear and for what it’s worth for anybody interested, the story I will write will not at this stage be about my health challenges.  It is way before that. 

Interestingly though, it could have been the life I was living that encouraged the health challenges; more soul searching huh?

I can’t wait to write my first book.  I feel as if I’ve already written heaps anyway however not a complete book. 

Through the week I also attended Liz Campbell’s Writing School where the focus is on timing and getting things done, yes writing content. 

It was a good opportunity to plan writing around time for my self.  Taking the time to focus is best done without any interruptions and when I say that I mean just what is happening now. 

I may be speaking; however, some are half-listening and that’s ok, that’s fine.  Some are answering text, Facebook, email or half watching the kids or thinking about dinner or wondering if they need to take the washing off the line and still thinking about what is going on with Kath in the Healing Café. 

Yes, see I can say that out loud, because I am you.  I am one of you.  I am one of those people who multi-tasks while writing or reading or typing or watching TV or whatever. 

It is a human fault, or it is a fantastic ability whichever way you look at it, my book when I do focus on it will be entertaining. 

Actually, one of my dreams is to set myself up somewhere overlooking the water/ocean water with a computer and just write and write from my heart. 

Gosh I would love that – anybody else think this way?

To me it would be sort of soothing – maybe that’s just where I’m at right now, I don’t know.

I probably wouldn’t even need to set the alarm on my mobile phone to compartmentalize that time to write; yes, I have to force myself to focus on writing.  I can be a very distracting type of person. 

Look I set my alarm to have a nap during the day as well.  It’s set to go off at like 2.30 or 3pm and then I force myself to lay down and then I set my alarm to wake up again after only half an hour.  If I don’t set my alarm and keep sleeping, an hour or more later I wake up and I feel like crap – sorry I feel drunk; it’s horrible and then it takes me ages to wake up again. 

Yeah, I know a lot of you sleep experts will come through with the importance of the circadian rhythm and whatever I was going on about a couple of weeks ago and yes, I’m living the dream, I sort of know what I’m doing – I don’t think I’m floundering – I’m on track – am I?

Anyway, back to work for a while now.

Last Wednesday, in between the PET and Heart Scan and chemo, I and the college organized the Advanced Skills In Action Zoom group presentation and it was brilliant.  I wrote and talked about specifically Person-Centered Therapy.  The session was very interactive. 

Those who attended said they got a lot out of it as well.  I’m thinking because they are comfortable and confident enough in their own space to be themselves.

We’re all at home guys – it’s safe, it’s comfortable and now hopefully warm and cozy.

Why on earth would we be complaining – things could be so much worse couldn’t they?

Actually one of the nurses at the hospital was saying how numbers had decreased at an alarming level, of people going to the hospital with health challenges to the point where the rate of deaths on arrival via ambulance (and not from the virus) had risen because people were waiting too long to go for help. 

Now how sad is that?

It’s sad and yet at the same time I am still so dam happy to be living here in Australia, in Queensland and as close to Brisbane where the caring supportive health staff are doing amazing work – thank you so much to all of those people.   

I love how most people are pulling together and making do; yes, we’ve had the normal complaints and winges however overall, I think we’re going ok – what about you?

In the whole scheme of things, it really could be so much worse couldn’t it?

Hey who liked the giraffe’s high diving?  Wasn’t that a classic?  Thank you so much Kathleen for posting that originally – no not me – there are other Kathleen’s on the planet, yes, I know it is hard to believe and I struggle with it, every day. 

Yoga zoom classes are continuing, thank you Cheryl – loving those – gosh it’s probably the main source of exercise that I’m doing these days.  So great to benefit from a familiar voice as well when we’re used to a particular style. 

I tell you what, focus on your health first every time.  When your health is not at its peak – you will notice, and you will suffer, and you don’t want that.  So, look after yourselves, please. 

Still get checked when you need to – we don’t know what’s going on inside our body. 

On the family front, my third son, Luke is having a birthday on Tuesday, he will be 36 this year.  Such a good dad however he, his partner and my 3 grandkids live in Cairns. 

They do love it up there, have a little cattle dog pup called Jill and I do receive heaps of photos and I’m so appreciative of that.  Photos are so easy these days, aren’t they? 

Often my sisters and I talk about the photos we drool over when we were kids – aaahhh the memories. 

Birthdays were always so important, there was always a cake, as they grew older and didn’t really like cake – yeah I know – I’m a bit the same.  We had ice cream cakes and now I’ve noticed my kids have inherited that now – ice cream cakes. 

What sort of traditions did you have growing up and still have?

My sisters and I still get together for lunch on our mother’s birthday even though she hasn’t been with us for 7 years now.  And it is Mother’s Day coming up isn’t it?  Next Sunday I believe. 

What are your hopes, plans, celebrations if any, going to be like?  What would you like to happen – mothers?

How can you make your day special anyway?  Would you be happy to plan your own celebration?

That way if things don’t go to plan, then you’re doing what you want to do anyway – aren’t you?

Please share on this platform what traditions you have in your lives.  

Love seeing and living vicariously through other people’s brilliantly organized and somewhat normal lives.  Pining for normality?

What is normal anyway and just when you think you’ve got it all sorted – whammo!!!!

Life will throw you another curve ball just to make sure you are alive, functioning, living with challenges in the form of beautiful gifts or not.  

And closing now with Jeffrey Slayter’s words: 

“So, choose with our own life, with our own experience of ourselves. If we want to see a more beautiful world, we must see ourselves as beautiful again. So, choose, choose yourself and choose beautifully again.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you again for arriving here in The Healing Café and listening to my story and watching me share vulnerabilities, challenges, etc. 

You too can share here remember, in the Healing Café and thank you for those who do.  Love the words, photos, pictures, reminders, makes my heart and soul sing. 

Come along with your coffee or tea, herbs, medicines, whatever.    

Looking forward to painting another picture of our lives through my eyes next week, same time on Sunday.

Bye for now, Namaste and may peace be with you. 

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