I’ve been here before.
The long wait in a crowded, anxious room. Being led to an over-quiet, clinical office. The concerned expression on the consultant’s face, as he says: “It’s cancer, I’m afraid.”
The first diagnosis was in 2008 – then again in 2011. And now, in 2013, I’m here again.
I haven’t spoken much about my cancer journey in public, or written much about it here – this had always been a business blog, so a story about living with cancer didn’t seem relevant. And it’s not my intention to turn this into a blog about breast cancer now, either.
However, having had breast cancer HAS had a huge impact on my life over the past five years – and I’ve realised that how I have dealt with it IS relevant to how I work with my clients.
In the same way that my being an Introvert, a Scanner (although I prefer the description “multiple specialist”) and a Supporter/Star affects my behaviour and the way I see the world, so too does the fact that I’ve had breast cancer – whether or not I am now free of cancer and will be for the rest of my life.
In the beginning, I saw it as a wake-up call – a sign that my life needed to change. When it returned, I understood that I still hadn’t changed my life significantly, so I needed a reminder. But a third time?
OK – this time I really AM paying attention!
I’ve noticed that I have often needed to experience a particular challenge three times, before I fully understand what I’m meant to learn from it.
In 2008, I simply knew that I needed to change my life in some way.
In 2011, I realised that the change I needed to make was about being true to myself, instead of trying to be like someone else. And I think I’ve been taking that on board over the past couple of years. I even wrote a Manifesto in 2012, to reflect this… But there’s obviously more to it than that.
Last week (2013), during an Inspired Entrepreneurs Community event, we were talking about how much we invest in keeping ourselves small, instead of investing in our greatness.
Guilty as charged!!
So, for the next month, I’m going to be writing about my journey to invest in my greatness – even though simply saying that makes me feel slightly queasy.
This will include writing about my journey with breast cancer – not just for the sake of it, but rather to show how it has changed my life and how I am still learning the lessons my subconscious is trying to teach me.
I’ve been here before.
And, if I fail to learn the lesson fully this time round, I may be here again.
And if I find myself here again, then at the very least I will know that I’ve come through it again this time – and will do so next time as well.
If you’re looking for support and a community of women who are also living with cancer, I recommend you visit Marie Ennis O’Connor’s “Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer” blog.