Thought for the week – The fact that you never gave up was practice for never giving up again

Thought for the week - The fact that you never gave up was practice for never giving up again

It occurs to me that life isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s the most wonderful thing in the world so why would it be? The best things in life you have to fight for and it’s the battle that makes the difference to how it tastes at the end.

The people in this world for whom things just happen for them won’t understand this sentiment and I make no apologies for that. This blog and this thought for the week is for those people who feel that every single day is a struggle, a battle. This is the journey you are on and I know that there are times when you look upon your neighbour covetously at their easy life but the reality is that nothing and I mean nothing worth having ever came easy.

So when those times are tough you know as I do that you are ready for the challenge. When you have fought for your life then what that life throws up doesn’t compare to that battle. There is nothing that you can’t out think or out fight anymore.

The fact that you never gave up before was practice for never giving up again.

Motivation for the weekend: The world needs more brave souls.

Motivation for the weekend:  The world needs more brave souls.

More specifically courage is the ability to recognise your fear, understand what is scaring you, comprehend why it is and then blindly ignore it and do it anyway.

Doing it anyway is the application of rationality with a healthy acceptance of what will be will be, over what is stopping you. Society has developed because of this: What’s over this hill? What does this taste like? What happens if I do this? It is sanitised out of us now and we are poorer for it.

So if you are fighting your Cancer battle again this weekend, or Sky Diving or just living your life, keep being brave, keep making the tough decisions, make those choices and ask the questions you might not like the answer to.

The world needs more brave souls.

Do you like you?

Do you like you?

I was struck this week by the notion that throughout my life I have done things that I am not proud of and I think that that is part of growing up. However the most startling revelation is that before I was ill I’m not sure I would have wanted to be friends with me.

I would have wanted to party with me that’s for sure but would I want to have truly been my friend and I don’t think i wold have done. It’s taken being ill for me to like myself and to like what I have become. All the best things that have happened to me have happened since I have been ill. Now that could well be coincidence but I’m not so sure.

Cancer has made me more open to accept opportunity has made me more tolerant and has frankly made me a nicer person to be with. I can’t imagine where I would be today without having been ill …. my career would probably be more advanced, I’d probably have a lot more money I would be materialistically better off but spiritually and emotionally I’ll stick where I am because now I would want to meet me.

Not older just stronger

Not older just stronger

Today I turned 38 and I realised this morning that I have spent the best part of a quarter of my life in and out of battles with Cancer. Or more specifically I have spent a quarter of my life kicking Cancer’s ass. It has been a battle that has not been without casualties but it is a battle that I am proud to have fought; it has made me the person I am and it has made me more able to accept that the best days of my life are to come.

Thought for the day – Motivation is like taking a bath

Motivation 1

Sometimes you don’t want to run your own bath you just want to slide into the warm soapy bubbles that someone else has prepared for you.  It’s the same with motivation, sometimes it is difficult to motivate yourself and that’s when you look around at the world around you see the things that are important to you and realise that motivation isn’t just about doing things for yourself it’s about doing things for others.  When you can find the motivation to do what it is you want then you will always have a bath ready for you.

Motivation Monday – the gift of life

Motivation 2

Sometimes even as a Survivor I can forget to make the most of every day; living life just plain gets in the way of getting out there and doing amazing things.  But in reality you have to realise that making the most out of life isn’t necessarily doing something massive every day it’s about doing the little things in your life well.  What we do with the time we have on this earth is our message and is our legacy – who do you want to be?  What message do you want to leave that will be heard by your family in the years to come?

8 simple things that Golf and Cancer have in common

I am a survivor and I’m good at that I am a Golfer and I am very very bad at that but what I have noticed is that there are a number of similarities inherent to both that for anybody thinking of taking up the game, or more pertinently for this blog, dealing with Cancer might find useful.

Equal Opportunities

Golf is a game for all ages, young and old, male and female.  It doesn’t discriminate between athleticism or indolence, intelligence or ignorance it is playable by all, in the same way that Cancer really doesn’t care who it attacks it’s an equal opportunities disease.  Accept that it’s not you it’s the disease and that’s a good starting point for your battle to come. Also according to Wiki (so must be true) there are approx. 28 million Golfers in the world which is the same number of people who are living with Cancer around the world.

Knowledge is Power

You don’t know what to expect on a new course, how long does it play? How bad is the rough? What hazards are there? In the same way that going into treatment for Cancer is daunting and you have no idea what to expect.  In Golf you’d get a course guide so you can get information before you swing at your first ball.  Cancer is no different there are some great resources available before you start your treatment that will explain what’s going to happen and in the case of Cancer like Golf knowledge is power.

It’s unpredictable 

Some would argue that one of the joys of Golf is its lack of predictability; they are wrong.  Even the simple holes are challenging on the more difficult courses and depending on your state of mind a 2ft putt for par can seem like the most difficult proposition when yesterday you rolled it in from ten feet. The most frustrating thing with Golf is that what worked yesterday doesn’t seem to work today; I could hit it straight yesterday why do I have a hook today.  The same with Cancer, on treatment it would be great if the symptoms stayed the same day to day week to week but no, there is an inherent variation to the patterns of how you’re feeling that make it so difficult to feel the same day to day.  Which makes the answer to the question:  “How you feeling?” so difficult to answer every time honestly every time.

Persistence pays off

Whether it’s a 600 yard par 5 that seems to take forever with no end in sight or a dog leg that means you’re playing blind, no idea what’s to come or what perils lie in your way in both instances if you want to get to the end you are going to have to go through over or round but to get to the green you’re going to have to deal with them.  There will be days in the Cancer battle that you feel like you’re never getting there but you will get there, it may take you a long time and it may ruin your score card that day but you will get there in the spirit of “All things will pass” and one bad score does not make a handicap.

Local knowledge is king

Get a Caddy, someone that knows the course, knows the pitfalls and knows what’s going to happen.  In the case of your treatment there are people who have been through the same thing and will happily talk to you about it, guide you through it like at Immerman’s Angels. http://www.imermanangels.org or LIVEStrong http://www.livestrong.org   The medical community is also full of wonderful caring people who will guide you through it so ask and listen to the people that know what’s ahead.  They only want you to have the best round you can and are happy to help.

Caddy

Two’s company and three’s a support network

For me one of the most enjoyable things about Golf is that it is the only environment where there are no raised eyebrows after introducing yourself as a one ball.  However that is a lonely way to play Golf so if you can play your round with people whose company you enjoy, they’ll keep you sane through all the ups and downs of your 18 holes and share the pain with you.  So if you have a support network of friends and family around you, use their strength in the same way they will use yours but do remember your treatment has an effect on your support network, they may not be going through it personally but they’re living every single painful gut wrenching shot that you are.

playing partner PRTNER

Technology helps

Tiger Woods would no more expect to play his best round with a hickory shafted dibber than you would expect the treatments that were used in the 1960’s to be as good as what is available today.  The breakthroughs in Golf technology have made longer straighter driving possible for every person in the same way that the medicines available now to treat Cancer and to manage the side affects of those treatments are changing survival rates dramatically.  However technology is not good enough to swing our clubs for us or to put it in the hole you still need the human for that and the same with Cancer, new medicines help but it is you that will make the treatment and the game what it is.

A sense of humour REALLY helps

When playing Golf and when going through Cancer a sense of humour is essential, there’ll be good shots, bad shots and shots that defy any reason but they will all happen and a smile is sometimes the only way to get through.  Trust me on this one, both as a survivor and a golfer some days there will be days when if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.

HUMOUR

I hope this helps either your game or someone you know dealing with Cancer, please feel free to share it to anyone who you think it might help.